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Disruptive Technologies and Sustainable Supply Chain Management: A Review and Cross-Case Analysis

Khadija Ajmal, Nallan C. Suresh and Charles X. Wang

Journal of Management and Sustainability, 2021, vol. 11, issue 2, 77

Abstract: This study examines the relationship between disruptive technologies and their potential impacts on sustainable supply chain management (SSCM), with a focus on the following technologies- Big Data Analytics / Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning, Blockchain, Industry 4.0 / Internet of Things (IoT), 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing, and P2P / Sharing Economy. Based on a comprehensive literature review on both theoretical and practical roles of these disruptive technologies in SSCM, we conduct a cross-case study to analyze the impacts of disruptive technologies on sustainability performance. From 100 application cases of 41 companies in key supply chain management and sustainability journals, we develop a classification scheme based on implementation complexity and sustainability performance of disruptive technologies. The implementation complexity and sustainability performance matrix show that all the cases examined have a positive overall sustainability performance score which indicates that investment in disruptive technologies improves the sustainability performance of firms. However, the impact of each disruptive technology on sustainability performance varies with the types of technology and sustainability dimensions. We also utilize the cases to illustrate how disruptive technologies are applied to key areas of SSCM and identify opportunities for future research.

Date: 2021
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