Does Firm Size Influence Sustainable Performance in Supply Chains?

Empirical Evidence from FOOD SMEs AB

Past event — 18 June 2014

Kühne Logistics University
Grosser Grasbrook 17, 20457 Hamburg

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Prof. Michael Bourlakis

Head of the Supply Chain Research Centre

Cranfield School of Management


This paper aims to evaluate the sustainable performance differences of the Greek food supply chain by examining its key members with respect to company size. Our objective is to evaluate this supply chain by using key sustainable performance indicators relevant to agri-food supply chains. We assessed the importance of these indicators based on the relevant perceptions of key chain members. A structured questionnaire was developed for this quantitative study and five indicators evaluated the sustainable performance of this supply chain. These indicators were measured by eighteen items taking into account the perceived importance of supply chain members for those items. Nine hundred ninety seven (997) small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – members of this chain responded to our survey including growers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and ANOVA was used for statistical analysis. Our analysis revealed a clear sustainable performance top performer, the small firms. These firms excel in most sustainable performance measures and appear to be more flexible and responsive.  Our work also identified specific members of this chain who exhibited better results including small growers, small wholesalers, small retailers and medium-sized manufacturers and relevant explanation is provided for these performance differences.

About the presenter

Professor Michael Bourlakis holds the Chair in Logistics & Supply Chain Management at Cranfield School of Management where he is also the Head of the Supply Chain Research Centre. His research interests are in the fields of retail logistics, food supply chain management and the interaction between e-business operations and supply chain management. Michael has been a member of the Academic Committee of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (Logistics Research Network). He is also the joint Editor-in-Chief of a leading logistics journal (International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications) and he is on the Editorial Board of seven other journals. In addition, Michael's work in the field of food supply chain management is highly regarded at an international level and, subsequently, he became a member of the European Technology Platform (Food for Life, European Commission). This is a leading industry-led, public/private partnership supported by the European Commission aiming to unite various stakeholders (food industry, academics, policy makers, etc) and to stimulate European competitiveness across the food supply chain. Michael's work in retail supply chain management has been recognised internationally too and, in 2013, he became a Member of an Expert Panel for the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation) working with leading retailers and other academics on "Retail Innovation".

more info about Prof. Bourlakis

About the Seminar

The KLU research seminar series is a regular meeting of PhD students, Post-Docs and professors who conduct research in the field of logistics and supply chain management. The research seminar is open to the public and we happily welcome guests.