Integrating sustainable supply chain practices with operational performance: An exploratory study of Chinese SMEs

Niraj Kumar, Andrew Brint, Shi Erjing, Arvind Upadhyay, Ximing Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


With growing regulatory and market pressure to implement green practices, SMEs are facing enormous challenges to simultaneously improve operational and green performances of their supply chains. The paper aims to understand the green practices adopted by Chinese SMEs in the packaging sector in order to assess the impact of these practices in improving the operational performance. Case study-based research methodology is adopted and semi-structured interviews are conducted to collect data from seven SMEs in this study. Both in-case and cross-case analyses are performed to understand the green practices being adopted with the focus on improving the operational performance. The findings of this study indicate that although most SMEs understand the importance of green practices, they have limited knowledge to integrate these practices to improve operational performance. Integration and alignment of green activities with the operational improvement measures are identified as critical factors to develop an efficient green supply chain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-478
Number of pages15
JournalProduction Planning & Control: The Management of Operations
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2019


Bibliographical note

This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Production Planning & Control: The Management of Operations. The final authenticated version is available online at:


  • Green supply chain management
  • Operational performance
  • Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
  • Case study
  • Chinese packaging industry
  • small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
  • operational performance
  • case study

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