Socially responsible supplier development: Construct development and measurement validation

Rainy X.A. Lu, Ka Chun Lee, Edwin Tai Chiu Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


Chinese manufacturing has recently been plagued by a raft of product safety problems such as melamine-tainted milk, lead-tainted toys, toxic toothpaste, defective tyres, and fake medicines. A probable cause of these incidents is a lack of business ethics in the suppliers concerned. In the literature much has been suggested on the use of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to improve firms' ethical behaviors and on the use of supplier development (SD) to improve suppliers' capabilities. This research integrates the literature on CSR and SD to develop a new approach, called socially responsible supplier development (SRSD), to address suppliers' ethical problems. SRSD suggests leveraging a buying firms concerted supplier development efforts to improve its important suppliers' capabilities in CSR implementation. We develop and validate scales for measuring SRSD practices. In addition, we provide empirical evidence on the validity of existing CSR scales for Chinese manufacturing firms. Our results are based on analysis of the data of 160 pairs of buyer-supplier relationships in four manufacturing industries in China. The results indicate that all the scale items possess adequate reliability and validity to reflect SRSD and CSR. We also discuss the implications of our findings for research and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-167
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012


  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Scale development and validation
  • Supplier development
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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