Purpose: Drawing on the social memory literature, we discuss what implications referencing to the past can have for how firms manage their supply chains and communicate about them.
Design/Methodology/Approach: In a conceptual manner, we connect the field of responsible supply chain management to the growing literature on corporate heritage and social memory in organizations.
Findings: We develop seven propositions related to the communication of the past and its connection to responsible supply chain management.
Research limitations/implications: A social memory perspective can inform supply chain management research, by helping to better understand how and with what consequences the past can be used in communication about supply chains. Our paper is conceptual in nature and empirical investigations would be needed to support and/or modify our literature-based findings.
Practical implications: Managers should be aware that both opportunities and risks are associated withcommunicating the past in connection to responsible supply chain management. Deployed in the right way, such communication can be valuable both in marketing and in internal management processes.
Originality/value: This article introduces the social memory perspective to the supply chain management field and shows what implications it can have for research on responsibility in supply chains.
2017. Vol. 29, no 3
supply chain management, sustainable supp ly chain management, corporate social responsibilit y, social memory, corporate heritage, corporate commun ications