Dr. Mike Michalisin studies the "greening" of supply chain management practices

Dr. Michael D. Michalisin, Professor of Management and Business Program Coordinator at Penn State Worthington Scranton, presented a paper he co-authored, Sustained Competitive Advantage through Green Supply Chain Management Practices: A Natural-Resource-Based View Approach, at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management.

Supply chain management (SCM) is playing a more central role in helping firms gain and sustain a competitive advantage in today's increasingly demanding business landscape. One of the demands confronting firms and their supply chain members is the deterioration of the earth's environment and the pace at which society is consuming the planet's finite resources. 

As a result, stakeholders are putting intense pressure on firms to conduct business in ways that promote environmental sustainability. The ability of firms to offer eco-friendly goods and services, and do so in environmentally sustainable ways, will require the cooperation of the firm's supply chain partners, whose supplies (and activities in generating supplies) can significantly affect the environmental impact of the firm's final product. 

Consequently, there is growing pressure for more environmentally sound practices to be integrated into supply chain activities. This paper identifies the types of key resources and capabilities underlying green supply chain management (GSCM) practices for implementing pollution prevention, product stewardship, and sustainable development strategies and then demonstrates why they possess the characteristics of strategic assets and distinctive competencies, respectively, and thus are sources of sustainable competitive advantage.

The study also provides implications for managers.  First, top management should consider greening their firm's supply chain, not only to comply with regulations, but also to be more competitive and further improve their firm's performance. The adoption of comprehensive green supply chain management practices will distinguish the firm and its supply chain partners from other supply chains in the business. 

And second, managers can use the framework developed in this paper as a template in developing best practices. They could refer to this framework to incrementally increase the span of their green practices to incorporate their upstream supply chain partners as well as their downstream partners. In doing so, their firm will engage in system-wide green activities that would benefit every member of the supply chain.

A graduate of Penn State with a BS in accounting, Dr. Michalisin received his MBA in finance from Duquesne University and his Ph.D. in strategic management and macro-organizational theory from Kent State University. He is a licensed CPA and has worked in industry at Ernst and Young LLP, Westinghouse and Finalco Group, Inc.The Academy of Management, founded in 1936, is a leading professional association for scholars dedicated to creating and disseminating knowledge about management and organizations. It is the oldest and largest scholarly management association in the world and has 17,619 members from 105 nations.