Examining the role of top management in corporate sustainability: Does supply chain position matter?

Zhasmina Tacheva, Natalie Simpson, Anton Ivanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A burgeoning stream of sustainability research explores the role of companies' top management team (TMT) characteristics in corporate sustainability efforts, while another stream investigates the effect of a company's supply chain position on its likelihood of engaging in sustainability. This study shows the importance of integrating the two research streams by demonstrating that supply chain position moderates the relationship between TMT characteristics and sustainability and thus establishes boundary conditions for this relationship. By matching 758 corporate sustainability initiatives with control observations, our results show that the size of the top executive team and the average age of its members, two well-known predictors of corporate sustainability, are distinctly moderated by supply chain position. While business-to-business (B2B) companies are less likely to report a sustainability initiative compared to business-to-consumer (B2C) organizations, we found that B2B TMT size has a greater positive effect on sustainability initiative likelihood than B2C TMT size. Conversely, average B2C TMT age has greater predictive power in explaining sustainability initiative likelihood than average B2B TMT age. The implications of these findings in advancing corporate sustainability and organizational change are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7518
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Supply chain
  • Sustainability
  • Top management team

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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