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Understanding supplier sustainability performance: The role of dependence and relational capital

Akın Ateş, Melek
Güleryüz, Atakan
Güleryüz, İrem
Arslan, Ataberk
With increasing stakeholder pressure to improve sustainability performance, firms focus on understanding how buyer-supplier relationship characteristics play a role in encouraging or jeopardizing supplier sustainability efforts. In this study, we examine how buyer-supplier dependence and relational capital affect the environmental and social performance of suppliers. We adopt an embedded, multiple-case study design, and examine five large buying firms in Turkey and their multiple suppliers at the dyadic level. Our findings suggest that there is a complex interplay between dependence and relational capital, illustrating both complementary and conflicting roles on supplier sustainability performance. We develop propositions to be tested in future studies.