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Practical applications to sustainability study results

eye on commerce

When it comes to triple bottom line sustainability, consumer interest and involvement extend beyond the brand itself to include a company’s operations, stakeholder management, employee relations, community involvement, and other areas not directly related to the actual product.

This expansion creates expectations which, in turn, can influence how confident consumers are in a brand’s quality promise. Supply chain and marketing managers who downplay or ignore this expanded role may not be in a position to detect potential damage once consumer perceptions of poor quality begin to impact brand performance.

Thus, this Spillover Effect Studies research can help supply chain managers better understand the potential impacts of negative news, encouraging them to mitigate negative news with recovery initiatives as quickly as possible.

The results of this research also offer some practical implications for supply chain design and control. If managers better understand both the unexpected and the unintentional spillover effects of negative news, they can strategically design supply chains to avoid risks related to poor operations oversight.

Negative news will eventually reach consumers, since there are many risks and opportunities for operational failures, including some that global supply chains may not even be aware of.

When negative news does emerge, firms need to be prepared to reinforce positive consumer perceptions about their brands and product quality, even those that may not be directly impacted by triple bottom line sustainability tied to economic, environmental, or social failures.

This is an excerpt from the most recent Produce Blueprints quarterly journal. Click here to read the full version.


Hannah Stolze, PhD, is associate professor of marketing and supply chain management at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. Dr. Stolze earned her PhD in business administration with a concentration in logistics and marketing from the University of Tennessee.