Sustainability risk in supply bases: the role of complexity and coupling

Di Fan, Chris K.Y. Lo, Yi Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Health, safety, and environmental (HSE) issues are an emerging concern in sustainable supply chain management. Global brands sourcing from high-risk suppliers in emerging markets affect not only brand reputation but also production schedules and product quality. Based on 198 safety and 458 environmental incidents among 318 manufacturing firms in China, we found that incident firms have higher abnormal unsystematic and systematic risk than matched sustainable suppliers without HSE incidents. Reducing operational complexity and coupling can mitigate both likelihood and abnormal risks. The findings have implications for global supply chain managers assessing supplier risk from an HSE perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102175
Number of pages17
JournalTransportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Health and safety
  • Operational disruption
  • Risk
  • Sustainable supply chain

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