Boosting sustainability and financial performance: the role of supply chain controversies
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EnvironmentGovernanceSocial sustainabilityStakeholdersSustainable supply chain managementTobin’s Q
In recent years, numerous scandals concerning working conditions in Asia have threatened the reputation of large companies like Wal-Mart and Inditex. Since such scandals call attention to activities harmful to sustainable development, it is very important to study the relationships between concerns for sustainable supply chain management (SSCM), sustainability, and organisations’ market value. The added value of our study is, first, to explore SSCM controversies as drivers of or pressures for adopting and applying sustainability practices; and, second, to contribute to the recent but growing literature that analyses the channels through which SSCM and sustainability practices influence the firm’s value. We introduce sustainability environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices as a mediator between SSCM controversies and market value to examine whether SSCM controversies with firms’ stakeholders lead to improvements in the ESG dimensions of organisational sustainability. We also examine the relationships between the ESG dimensions and market value, measured as Tobin’s Q ratio. The results confirm both the positive relationships of SSCM controversies to the ESG dimensions two years later and a positive relationship of the dimension of governance to Tobin’s Q. We also confirm a negative and significant relationship of the social dimension to Tobin’s Q, and a non-significant relationship of the environmental dimension to Tobin’s Q.