Multinational Enterprises and the Challenge of Sustainable Development
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Multinational Enterprises and the Challenge of Sustainable Development

Edited by John R. McIntyre, Silvester Ivanaj and Vera Ivanaj

Transnational corporations play a role in the design, diffusion, and consolidation of sustainable development in the context of globalization and multinational firms. In this timely book European and American contributors analyze this role and explore the complex and dynamic phenomena of economic, political, cultural and legal interactions involved.
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Chapter 14: International Supply Chain Management: Lever for Sustainable Development? An Analysis of Discourses and Applications

Yvette Masson-Franzil


Yvette Masson-Franzil Redefined in 1987 by the WCED (1987), sustainable development (SD) ‘meets the needs for the present without compromising the ability for the future generations to meet their own needs’. Achieving sustainable development requires the often difficult task of striking a balance across three major dimensions: environmental, economic and social, often called ‘the triple bottom line’ (Ficksel, 1996). The environmental dimension has received more attention recently (Skjoett-Larsen, 2000) and people say that their most commonly perceived enemies are manufacturing and production operations (Ficksel, 1996). This awakening has necessitated a change in manufacturing philosophy (Beamon, 1999), and multinational companies have integrated sustainable development into their general strategies and given environmental accounts as an appendix to their annual reports. Sustainable development is very important to logistics because this sector may be particularly environmentally damaging (Welford, 2003). Over the past decade, a time period dominated both by a need to maintain the cost efficiency of logistic activities (Masson-Franzil, 2005) and by a need to make changes with agility (Huang et al., 2005), firms sought to take on these economic challenges using supply chain management (SCM). SCM is the subject of many academic works (e.g. Gardner and Cooper, 2003). As the term is presently defined, SCM covers multiple inter-firm functions and processes, and aims to generate an integrated approach to increasing value for shareholders (Mentzer et al., 2001). According to Woods (2003: 21), many aspects of SCM (e.g. improved logistics, shared information systems, product quality and integrity throughout the chain) contribute to the...

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