The impact of transaction costs and institutional pressure on supplier environmental practices

Wendy L. Tate, Lisa M. Ellram, Kevin Dooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Purpose: Suppliers play a more significant role in the environmental footprint of supply chains than most final manufacturers. The purpose of this paper is to apply transaction costs and institutional theory to help understand why the more conservative, or reactive suppliers may or may not be likely to adopt environmental practices. Design/methodology/approach: This research builds on a prior conceptual paper and uses the results of a survey to test whether transaction costs and institutional theory can provide insight into supplier's adoption of environmental practices. Findings: This research finds that perceived transaction costs affect supplier cooperation in adopting environmental practices. Suppliers are more likely to adopt an environmental practice if information-seeking costs are low or the cost of adoption is considered necessary to maintain the relationship. Data did not support the hypotheses concerning institutional pressures. Originality/value: There is much research in the area of proactive adoption of environmental business practices. This research looks specifically at what influences the adoption of environmental business practices by suppliers that are more reactive or hesitant to be leaders in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-372
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Environmental
  • Institutional theory
  • Purchasing
  • Transaction cost theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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