The purpose of this thesis is to analyze and describe the effects of sustainable supply chains on the financial performance of the textile industry. The paper will focus on the Turkey textile industry and more specifically the Tier-1 companies. The textile industry in Turkey is one of the greatest economic contributors, but the industry faces many challenges, such as increased input costs and changing demands that limit its competitiveness in the international markets. The aim of the paper is to encourage textile institutions around the globe to embrace the use of sustainable operation throughout the supply chain for higher financial outcomes. The paper will use three theories in the fields of management, environment, and finance to analyze the effectiveness of the suggested operations in the textile industry.
Keywords: sustainability, supply chain, textile industry, Turkey
The textile industry has grown rapidly over the last few decades. The changing fashion taste and the increased income among women have contributed to the improved rates of income in the textile industry. According to Mathu (2014), Men have also become fashionable, thus requiring the fashion designers to come up with various techniques that can help cover the male tastes. However, the environmental consciousness of the customer base necessitates that manufacturers become environmentally sensitive to attract more consumers. The textile industry in Turkey contributes to the greatest economies in the region (Muthu 2014). However, the increase in input costs has reduced the growth and the development of the industry in Turkey. As such, Turkey cannot compete in the international markets regardless of the proficiency of the textile industry in the region. Therefore, the industry must employ various business mechanisms that will help in cutting down the input costs and improve the financial outcome of the industry. The success of the textile industry lies in the ability to create a sustainable supply chain (Choi 2013). Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to determine the financial contribution of a sustainable supply chain in the textile retail industry in Turkey.
Many materials have been printed on the topic of the sustainable supply chain. However, most of these materials do not provide a clear relationship between a sustainable supply chain in the textile industry and the financial impacts. The sustainability in the textile industry must be practiced throughout all the levels of the supply chain. The supply chain in the textile industry is long, but the main stages include eco-material preparation, sustainable manufacturing, green distribution, profit sharing, and green retailing. The Tier-1 companies in Turkey are the most sustainable organizations in the textile industry in Turkey, hence the main focus of this paper. Sustainability takes different turns depending on the stage of the supply chain as well as the organizations involved at that level (Yin 2009).
Tier-1 and other sustainable organizations in the textile industry use organic cotton to produce their items. Research indicates that the use of organic cotton raises the cost of production in many ways. As such, many farmers prefer to use fertilizers and other chemicals to grow cotton for purposes of raising their production levels. Switching to organic farming is costly for the farmer and the companies benefiting from the crop produce must compensate for the lost opportunities (Sharma 2010). On the other hand, the use of organic material to make textile products enables the companies to land more clients and a wide range of customer base thus increasing their returns.
The use of organic farming produces a superior financial performance in the textile industry in many ways. First, the farmers who are key stakeholders in the textile industry spend fewer resources in the production of organic material. Fertilizers and chemical products that are used to grow cotton contribute to about sixty percent of the cost of producing the product. Therefore, the use of organic material reduces the cost of production to about half thus increasing the profit margins at the retail level.
Sustainable manufacturing entails reusing, and the recycling of materials to reduce the waste products thrown away. Consequently, sustainable manufacturing requires companies to use sustainable sources of energy that guarantee environmental safety. Additionally, organizations in the Textile Industry advice people to re-use torn clothing as rags and bring those that are beyond re-use to the manufacturing organizations for recycling. In the production process, the use of biological textile products helps to cut down the cost of production. Additionally, recycling used materials reduces the amount of organic cotton used in the production process thus reducing the cost of production (Oliva & Watson 2011). Sustainable manufacturing benefits the financial stability of a company by cutting down the fabric requirements.
Green distribution involves the use of environmentally sensitive means of transport such as ferry and rail transport. The use of water and rail transport to ferry goods from the factory to the stores reduces the environmental contamination by avoiding the excessive release of greenhouse gasses to the environment. Additionally, to ensure green distribution, organizations collaborate with local producers and stores to prevent the need for long transport systems. The local sourcing in the textile industry reduces the economic burden of the distribution channel and fulfills the social needs of the textile industry (Subic et al. 2012). With local distributions, consumer needs can be fulfilled in an efficient and effective way. Green distribution ensures co-investment and profit sharing in the textile industry hence superior financial performance.
Research indicates that consumers respond positively to green marketing. As such, companies that engage in green social marketing cover a wide consumer base thus raising their financial outcome. Additionally, green retailing involves encouraging consumers to recycle the used textile materials. A retail store can offer to buy the used materials for the consumers and a lower price, thus benefiting both the industry and the consumers. Recycling textile materials saves energy, water and leads to reduced gas emissions (Joergens 2006). Green retailing is an interesting venture for the textile industry, and it attracts investors who are green sensitive. As such, it promotes the ability of profit sharing between key stakeholders in the supply chain, which further results in successful financial performance in the industry.
The desire to protect the environment makes consumers inclined to purchase products from sustainable companies at a higher price. As such, sustainable organizations in the textile industry have a higher hand in controlling the market prices, which gives them a high financial outcome. The textile industry in Turkey can use this approach to improve on its profitability levels and compete in the international markets. The use of online stores in the retail section reduces the need to transport items from the factory to the stores thus improving the financial benefits of the industry (Blackburn 2009). Sustainable practices right from the farms to the retail stores can help in managing the prices of the textile products and in maintaining the profitability of the industry at a constant level.
Financial Outcomes in the Textile Industry
The textile industry all over the world contributes greatly to the economic growth and development. In most countries, the textile industry contributes a great deal to the gross domestic product and the general economic stability of the nation. However, just like any other industry, the textile companies are trying to shift to sustainable production activities to enhance the stability of the industry. The financial benefits of using sustainable operations in the textile industry are many. For instance, the use of sustainable production reduces the amount of water and the energy required to process the products, thus cutting down the cost of production. The textile industry is rarely affected by demand fluctuations because people require different kinds of wear at different times of the year. However, the supply of such items is rather seasonal considering that about forty percent of all textile products come from agriculture. The limited supply affects the pricing of products as well as the profitability levels.
On the other hand, the textile industry is a rather competitive one thus making the profit margins at the retail level thin. To improve the level and the amount of profits, organizations within the textile industry supply chains work together to make the process of service delivery effective. Profit sharing is one of the advantages that organizations within this industry benefit from by working together. Additionally, companies can hold certain events together that help promote the green business, thus increasing the number of sales at the retail level. Sustainability in the textile industry helps to manage the changes in the supply chain, thus ensuring continuous profitability throughout the year.
Aims and Objectives
The aim of this thesis is to analyze the importance of sustainable supply chains in improving the financial outcomes of the textile industry in Turkey. Some of the financial issues that affect the textile industry include profit sharing, the high cost of production that does not match the retail profit margins and the lack of financial supporters in the textile industry. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to determine how sustainable supply chains in the industry can improve the financial outcomes for the industry by positively influencing the financial burdens that affect the industry.
The objective of the thesis proposal is to create a platform through which textile companies in Turkey can develop their financial outcome by employing sustainability in the various stages of the supply chain. Sustainability in textile industry is costly, especially for the eco material preparation; therefore, many companies opt to use the chemically produced materials. As such, this thesis will help the organizations in the textile industry to understand the long-run financial benefits of using sustainable practices in the supply chain. These benefits could be measured in term of aggregate current/future profitability of the textile industry, their profitability outlook after introduction of sustainable principles, and other financial measures. In addition to financial measures, we may consider macro-financial metrics of textile industry, including employment and operating establishments, relative prices, capacity utilization, and productivity.
The thesis will focus on answering four main questions including:
- How can organizations in the textile industry employ sustainable supply chain operations in their activities to lower the cost of debt and equity?
- Which financial and non-financial metrics would best measure the impacts of sustainable chain in textile industry?
- How can sustainable supply chains and profit sharing co-exist in the textile industry in Turkey?
- What is the relationship between sustainability and stock market returns in the Turkish textile industry?
The thesis will use three theories from different subjects including the supply chain management, the sustainable supply chain, and the supply chain financing. The three theories help the researcher to cover the vital areas of development that are necessary to the growth and the development of an industry. The Supply Chain Management Theory brings in the aspect of management and engineering. On the other hand, the sustainable supply chain theory brings in the environment and the sociological aspects of development (Muthu 2014). Lastly, the supply chain finance will bring in the economic and financial aspect of the industry development. The three theories allow the researcher to cover all areas of management, thus improving profitability levels in the textile industry.
The tools that will be used to collect primary data will include interviews and questionnaires. The researcher will interview key stakeholders in the Turkey textile industry. To narrow down the study and to allow for effective data collection, the study will focus on the tier-1 companies in Turkey. Managers and people with different positions in the supply chain will give their views on the various aspects and challenges of achieving sustainability in the supply chain. Due to time constraints and locality issues, the researcher will collect secondary data from the financial records of the Tier-1 companies and other key textile companies in the Turkish industry. The major limitation of this methodology is the focus on a single organization. The textile supply chain is complex and dynamic; therefore, a researcher needs to use more than one organization to understand the contribution of the sustainable supply chain on financial outcomes (Beard 2008). Therefore, archival data on each textile industry like size, turnover, and main financial indicators are to be sampled to measure the historical impacts of the past outcomes of making the chain sustainable.
The project will result in a better understanding of the sustainable supply chain in the textile industry. Consequently, the thesis is expected to inspire people involved in the textile industry to embrace sustainable practices for improved financial outcomes.
Provisional Table of Content
1.2 Sustainable Supply Chain
1.3 The Turkey Textile Industry
1.4 Thesis Structure
2.1 Literature Review
2.1.1 Steps of Sustainable Supply Chain
2.1.2 Supply Chain Management
2.1.3 Challenges in Sustainable Supply Chains
2.1.4 The Conflict between Economic Growth and Carbon Emission
3.0 Aims and Objectives
3.1 The Aims of the Thesis
3.2 The objectives of the study
4.0 Research Questions
5.0 Theoretical Relevance
5.1 Supply Chain Management
5.2 Sustainable Supply Chains
5.3 Supply Chain Financing
6.1 Methodology of the Study
6.2 Data Collection Methods
7.0 Results and Research Reflection
8.0 Conclusions and Recommendation
General Overview of the Textile Industry
The textile industry has become a vital component of the economy in the current. Fashion has become the mode of lifestyle in the 21st century as the world embraces the western lifestyle. The changing fashion taste and the increased income among women have contributed a great deal to the improved rates of income in the textile industry. Men have also become fashionable, thus requiring the fashion designers to come up various techniques that can help cover the male tastes. However, the environmental consciousness of the customer base necessitates that manufacturers become environmentally sensitive to attract more consumers. As such, companies in the textile industry have many benefits to reap from the changing worldly systems financially. On the other hand, the textile industry must invest a lot in innovation and the creation of unique material because the consumers are rather sophisticated (Beard 2008). The customer needs and preferences keep changing, thus demanding a high level of innovation among the people in the textile industry.
Quality is paramount in the textile industry. Therefore, retail stores must ensure that they work with effective manufacturing companies to ensure the satisfaction of their clients. Most companies in the textile industry focus on only one segment of the supply chain, thus making the process of service delivery in this industry a rather complicated one. The satisfaction of the consumer depends entirely on the effectiveness and the efficiency of each segment within the supply chain in the textile industry. Manufacturers must ensure that they deliver quality products to the retail stores through quality distribution channels (Yin 2009). The time taken for products to reach the stores from the factory also account to the success of the industry around the globe.
The Turkish Textile Industry
The textile industry in Turkey is quite developed. The industry is among the greatest economic earner of the nation. As such, the industry is flooded with small and large corporations. Turkey is renowned for its leadership in the manufacturing of organic cotton, an essential component of the current textile industry. Additionally, the textile industry in Turkey is the fourth largest supplier of clothing around the world. In fact, the textile industry in Turkey is the country’s second export earner after the automobile. The success of the industry has opened door for many young people in the nations for entrepreneurial opportunities and employment. The industry provides employment to around two million people in Turkey (Subic et al. 2012).
The recent statistics indicate that the industry contributed to about eight percent of the nation’s gross domestic product in the previous financial year. However, the limited barriers to entry in this industry and the international involvement of many small organizations in the Turkey textile industry have affected the industry negatively. A textile-based building collapsed recently killing many people and destroying property in the nation. As a result, people become more conscious of the sustainability of the industry and the safety of people with the current growth (Tulder 2014). Additionally, the collapse of the building led to the stagnation the industry’s development, thus requiring the shareholders in the Turkish textile industry to find new approaches to business.
Sustainability in the Textile Industry
The desire to protect the environment and the pressure from the consumers to produce green products has forced the textile industry to embrace sustainable operations. Sustainability in the textile industry requires the involvement of all the stakeholders and the shareholders in the planning and the organization of business transactions. The textile industry, especially in Turkey must embrace sustainable supply chains to achieve their former glory. Many people have lost confidence in the industry, although the Turkish industry still produces quality products. However, the focus of the international market in the current world is the ability of organizations to make profits in a sustainable way (Sharma 2010). As such, the Turkish industry with the help of multinational companies such as tier-1 companies is transforming the industry to include sustainable development at every stage of the supply chain. The supply chain in the textile industry is rather long and maintaining sustainability at all levels is not easy. The production of sustainable materials by the farmers is costly and requires the companies within the industry to pay extra for organic materials. Small entrepreneurs find this approach of business unpractical. However, the multinational corporations are trying to show the SMEs the importance of employing sustainable supply chains in the textile industry for the greater good of the industry (Oliver & Watson 2011).
The Aim of the Paper
The purpose and the aim of this paper, therefore, are to analyze and discuss the financial outcome impacts of sustainable supply chain in the Turkish textile industry. The thesis aims to point out the importance of sustainable supply chains in improving the financial outcomes of the textile industry in Turkey. Sustainability and the economic development principles do not always agree. Some researchers argue that sustainable development hinders the economic growth potential of the industry and the nation at large. Therefore, this paper hopes to demystify such claims by providing first hand information on the contribution of sustainability in financial outcomes in the textile industry (Oak & Gopalakrishnana 2009). The thesis will focus on Turkey because the nation is well known for its success in the field of fashion. Additionally, the choice of the geographical location was influenced by the environmental sensitivity of the regions and the involvement of multinational corporations in the production of sustainable textile products.
Questions the Paper Addresses
The main business question that this thesis sought to answer is the possibility of co-existence between sustainable development and the economic growth of the textile industry in Turkey. As mentioned earlier, the two aspects do not always work together but recent developments indicate that sustainability can increase the financial outcome of an industry. As such, the thesis will seek to answer two main questions. The first question that the thesis seeks to answer is the ways through which organizations in the Turkish textile industry can employ the use of sustainable supply chains in their operations (Niinimaki & Hassi 2011). Secondly, the thesis seeks to provide answers about the financial contribution of a sustainable supply chain in the textile industry by focusing on the Turkish industry. The two issues are essential to the growth of the textile industry in a time when people are environmentally sensitive. The era of industrialization has left the mother earth in devastating conditions and it is the duty of the business people to ensure that the remaining resources are effectively utilized and reserved for the future generation (Muthu 2014). In addition, customers prefer green products; therefore, companies that invest in green production and distribution are bound to reap high financial benefits in the current world.
The expectations of the thesis include increased understanding among the people involved in the textile industry and the increased use of sustainable supply chains in the industry. The tier-1 group of companies is doing a lot to ensure that the textile industry in Turkey remains sustainable by encouraging SMEs to focus on sustainable supply chains but the move is yet to take root in the industry. As such, the purpose of this research is to help the young entrepreneurs in this industry to see the bigger picture and to understand the specific risks that are involved in the suggested operations (Muntean & Stremtan 2010). The thesis builds on known theories to create an ideal understanding among the key shareholders in the textile supply chain of the financial gains of sustainable operations.
The Contributions of the Research
Many researches have been done on the area of sustainable supply chain in the textile industry. However, very few have pointed out the financial outcome of using sustainable supply chains in the industry. Regardless of the needs to safeguard the environment, the main agenda of being in business is to make profits. Therefore, the lack of sustainability in the textile supply chains is because people in the industry do not understand how sustainability can contribute to their goal of making profit. The Turkish textile industry, for instance, is known for the production of materials at a low cost. Therefore, investing in sustainable supply chain will require the industry to incur extra production cost, thus leading to raised product prices. Although previous researches have pointed out the process of sustainable development in the supply chain, the people involved in the business need to understand the various ways that these business practices can work to their advantage in the long run (Miraftab & Horrocks 2007). Therefore, this thesis will offer the missing part of the sustainable supply chain puzzle in the textile industry with the aim of encouraging more shareholders in the industry to change the practices to sustainable ones.
The Background of the Industry
The textile industry provides clothes and footwear. Many companies within this industry have differentiated themselves to serve specific segments of the market. The demand for textile products has risen over the last few decades because of the increase of dispensable income among people. Fashion and the desire to look different among women and men have brought many developments in the textile industry. The textile industry in Turkey has been quite a success until recently. Although the industry continues to prosper within its borders, the Turkish textile industry cannot compete in the international markets for lack of sustainable developments within the industry. The Turkish industry has therefore set up policies and strategies to ensure that it returns to its glorious position in the market (Lai, Cheng & Tang 2010). One of the policies that the industry is focusing on in currently is the use of sustainable supply chains to achieve the required financial outcomes and serve the diverse demands of the consumers. Turkey exports most of its textile products to Europe, which gives the industry a great opportunity to make considerable impacts in the global textile industry.
The Historical, Economic, and Social Background
The historical, social, and economic background of the Turkish textile industry is quite intriguing. Turkey is among the nations of the world that has invested highly in organic cotton production. Cotton is the main raw material for the textile industry and organic production goes a long way in ensuring the sustainability of the industry. The multinational companies in the nation encourage farmers to produce organic cotton, which is bought at a higher price by the production companies. The farmers are compensated for their inputs because the production of organic cotton lowers crop yield by about fifty percent (Joergens 2006). The use of organic materials puts the sustainable supply chain operations in the Turkish industry in motion. Research indicates that most people in the world are willing to pay more for products that are produced in an environmentally safe way. As such, investing in sustainable supply chain among the textile companies in Turkey allows the industry to grow and overcome the international market barriers. The Turkish textile industry has the potential to grow in a more sustainable way by investing in sustainable supply chain operations.
Sustainable Supply Chain
One of the gains of sustainability in the textile industry is the financial outcome. According to recent statistics, companies that invest in sustainable operations in the textile industry achieve higher financial success in the end. However, the process seems tedious and costly in the short run thus scaring many investors in this industry away. Therefore, there is a need to examine the financial gains that the use of sustainable supply chain can produce for the entire shareholders involved in the operations. The textile industry is consumer driven. Therefore, companies within this industry must ensure that they produce items that match the current consumer needs. Consumers have become green sensitive; and prefer to use products that guarantee the safety of the environment (Fraj & Martinez 2006). Different bodies have also come up to regulate the operations of industries to ensure minimal production of greenhouse gases. As such, there is a need for the people in this industry to understand the various ways that supply chains can be made sustainable to meet the requirements of the world.
The achievement of sustainable supply chain in the textile industry has been hard. Small organizations within the industry do not fully grasp the business benefits of the operations. As mentioned earlier, the operations of a sustainable supply chain seem costly at first considering the use of organic materials and safe energy sources. However, over the years, sustainable development in varied areas of business has proven successful, hence the need to adopt the same mechanism in the textile industry. The dwindling returns of the Turkish textile industry can benefit greatly from the use of sustainable supply chains (Etsy & Winston 2010). The industry has suffered greatly from the increased input costs, but consistency in using sustainable operations at all levels of the supply chain can go a long way in improving the success of the industry.
Sustainable supply chain operations in the textile industry take four steps, including, Eco material production, sustainable manufacturing, green distribution, and green retailing. Unfortunately, many companies within the textile industry do not own a complete distribution system. Therefore, varied companies within the industry control different levels of the supply chain. As such, it is essential for the organizations within the textile industry to world together in an effective sustainable supply chain to succeed. Eco-production entails the production of organic material such as organic cotton by the farmers. Sustainable manufacturing entails the use of sustainable sources of energy and the recycling of the used materials. Green distribution entails the use of transport materials that do not contaminate the environment. Lastly, green retailing involves re-using and the re-cycling of materials that are no longer useful to the consumers (Choi 2013). Additionally, green retailing involves green social marketing and online stores that reduces transportation of goods from the factory to the stores.
The financial outcomes of the Turkish textile industry have suffered over the last few years because of the increasing costs of inputs. Therefore, the industry has invested in the use of various strategies to raise the financial outcomes and the general growth of the industry. Some of the benefits and opportunities that the industry enjoys include the availability of a young population in the nation, flexible production, and new machines in the textile industry and leadership in organic cotton production. The availability of the young generation in the nations ensures that the industry has enough markets to serve. Young people are fashionable and focusing on such a group of people can raise the financial outcome of the Turkish textile industry. Consequently, flexibility in production and the availability of new machinery in the textile industry can help the Turkish industry to triple its financial outcomes (Blackburn 2009). Lastly, leadership in organic production puts the Turkish textile industry in an ideal place in the market where people value sustainable developments.
However, fluctuations in exchange rates, increasing global competitions and higher energy costs have limited the success of the financial benefits of the Turkish textile industry. Currently, multinational companies in the textile industry are pressuring smaller organizations to carry out business activities that meet the minimal environmental and social requirements to chive the expected success in the industry. In addition, tier-1 companies are focusing on ensuring that the success of the Turkish textile industry experienced at the western part of the nation moves to the eastern regions. Equal distribution of success and resources in the industry can help to regulate and increase the financial outcomes among business operators. Innovation has proven a success in changing the financial outcomes of the industry, but there is a need to employ a more permanent solution to the dwindling profitability of the industry (Emmanouilidis, Taisch & Kiritsis 2013).
The Need for Sustainable Supply Chains
A sustainable supply chain in the textile industry is an essential move that can bring the intended results into practice. Environmental management and cleaner production will attract many investors and consumers to collaborate with the Turkish textile industry. Being a consumer led industry, the Turkish textile industry can benefit a great deal in employing sustainable operations in its supply chains. The need for sustainable supply chains in the textile industry arose after the booming success of the industry. The production of greenhouse gases has increased in the recent world, thus affecting agriculture and the natural environment. The textile industry is dependent on agriculture. Most of the raw materials used in all aspects of textile industry production are agricultural products (Tulder 2014). Therefore, unsustainable activities affect the industry negatively both financially and socially. As such, there is a need for the stakeholders and shareholders in this industry to find a balance where sustainability and profitability can co-exist fro the greater good of the industry. Tier-1 companies are among the organizations that have embraced the use of sustainable supply chains in the textile industry (Oliva & Watson 2011). The companies advocate for compliant and transparent supply chains, but this can only be achieved if SMEs in the industry understand the contribution of the approaches to financial outcome.
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