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Exploring the impact of institutional forces on the social sustainability of logistics service providers: insights from a high terrorism-affected region

Khan, Muhammad, Muhammad Rafi-ul-Shan, Piyya, Akhtar, Pervaiz, Khan, Zaheer, Shamim, Saqib (2023) Exploring the impact of institutional forces on the social sustainability of logistics service providers: insights from a high terrorism-affected region. Corporate Governance, . ISSN 1472-0701. (doi:10.1108/CG-05-2023-0214) (KAR id:104287)

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Purpose: Achieving social sustainability has become a critical challenge in global supply chain networks, particularly during complex crises such as terrorism. The purpose of this study is to explore how institutional forces influence the social sustainability approaches of logistics service providers (LSPs) in high terrorism-affected regions (HTAR). This then leads to investigating how the key factors interact with Institutional Theory.

Design/methodology/approach: An exploratory multiple-case study research method was used to investigate six cases of different-sized logistics LSPs, each in an HTAR. The data was collected using semistructured interviews and triangulated using on-site observations and document analysis. Thematic analysis was used in iterative cycles for cross-case comparisons and pattern matching.

Findings: The findings interact with Institutional Theory and the three final-order themes. First, management processes are driven by coopetition and innovation. Second, organizational resources, structure and culture lead to an ineffective organizational design. Finally, a lack of institutionalization creates institutional uncertainty. These factors are rooted in many other first-order factors such as information sharing, communication, relationship management, capacity development, new process developments, workforce characteristics, technology, microlevel culture and control aspects.

Originality/value: This study answers the call for social sustainability research and enriches the literature on social sustainability, Institutional Theory and LSPs in HTARs by providing illustrations showing that institutional forces act as driving forces for social sustainability initiatives by shaping the current management processes. Conversely, the same forces impede social sustainability initiatives by shaping the current organizational designs and increasing institutional uncertainty.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/CG-05-2023-0214
Additional information: This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact
Uncontrolled keywords: Institutional theory, Logistics service providers, Multiple case studies, Social sustainability, Terrorism
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and International Business
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Muhammad Khan
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2024 21:13 UTC
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2024 15:48 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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