Sustainable development in small and medium enterprises: The role of entrepreneurial orientation in supply chain management

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Organizations are under increased pressure to improve their sustainable performance through the adoption of green supply chain management (GSCM) practices. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have lagged behind larger corporations due to a number of factors. Chief among these factors is the lack of resources and capabilities. In this study, we investigate whether entrepreneurial orientation as a distinctive firm-level resource contributes to the successful implementation of GSCM practices within SMEs. We use primary data obtained from 316 manufacturing SMEs and analyze the data by using a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA). Our findings show four equifinal configurations of GSCM practices and the components of entrepreneurial orientation (EO) that lead to high environmental performance. Two practices, “eco-design” and “internal environmental management”, are present in all configurations, with the latter being the single core condition. The components of EO are present in all the configurations. Three distinct configurations lead to the simultaneous achievement of high environmental performance and high economic performance. Some noticeable differences appear in these configurations: “internal environmental management” is no longer a core condition, instead external practices (“green purchasing,” “cooperation with customers including environmental requirements,” and “investment recovery”) and “risk-taking” become core conditions. We exptrapolate our findings into a set of propositions that expand theory on the link between entrepreneurial orientation and sustainable performance. Our study provides insights for managers who seek to infuse entrepreneurial thoughts and actions into their green supply chain initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3804-3820
JournalBusiness Strategy And The Environment
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • economic performance
  • entrepreneurial orientation
  • environmental performance
  • green supply chain management
  • qualitative comparative analysis (QCA)
  • sustainable development


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