Communicating supply chain sustainability: transparency and framing effects
Purpose: Firms employ various forms of disclosure to demonstrate commitment to and involvement in sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) practices. This research provides guidance to firms employing framing strategies when communicating their SSCM with external stakeholders like consumers as part of their supply chain transparency efforts. Design/methodology/approach: The authors employed a middle-range theorizing approach to understand the context of SSCM practices and mechanisms of variously framed communication methods to disclose sustainability information to consumers. The authors conducted two experiments in an e-waste recycling context, studying how sustainable information disclosed to consumers using attribute framing and goal framing can affect consumers' attitudes. The authors also examined the moderating role of consumers' environmental involvement. Findings: Results suggest that when attribute framing is used, firms should avoid framing the attribute from a negative valence. When goal framing is used, messages with consequences stated as “avoid loss” yield the most substantial effect. Additionally, framing effects are more significant for consumers with higher-than-average environmental involvement. Originality/value: The authors’ results contribute to the ongoing theorization of SSCM by providing contextual understanding of how to communicate sustainability information. Corroborating evidence from marketing, framing effects are found to be context specific, thereby elucidating the framing literature more fully to the SSCM context. The authors extend this literature by studying attribute framing and comparing the effectiveness of all possible goal framing combinations of valence and gain/loss perspective in the SSCM communication context.
International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Duan, Y., Aloysius, J.A. and Mollenkopf, D.A. (2022), "Communicating supply chain sustainability: transparency and framing effects", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 52 No. 1, pp. 68-87. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-04-2020-0107