Chapter 25 Strategic alignment of purchasing for sustainability: a multi-level framework
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Purchasing can play a multitude of roles in contributing to successful implementation of business sustainability strategies, such as finding sustainable suppliers, identifying supplier sustainability risks, and engaging in sustainable supplier development. However, a precondition for achieving such benefits is the alignment of the purchasing function with corporate goals and other business functions. In this chapter, we investigate purchasing alignment for sustainability by adopting a multi-level framework, and distinguishing between (i) vertical alignment (between the top management team and the purchasing function), (ii) horizontal alignment (between the purchasing function and other functions), and (iii) internal alignment (between the individual members of the purchasing function). We provide an integrative review of the literature, and introduce a tool from the strategy literature to assess and visualise purchasing alignment for sustainability at multiple levels. We illustrate the use of this tool via a single case study. The implications for theory and practice are discussed.

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