In Research


Year: 2019
Published in: Sinergie: Italian Journal of Management
Cited as: Gigliotti, M., A. Picciotti and A. Runfola (2019). “Social enterprise and market orientation: roles and relationships for the management of sustainable supply chains.” Sinergie Italian Journal of Management 37(2): 167-191.


“This article explores the management of sustainable
supply chains by social enterprises that sell ethical products in the mass market. This
phenomenon is considered part of a growing openness to markets in some nonprofit
organizations. The analysis considers case studies of two social enterprises,
Altromercato and Libera Terra. Results indicate the main mechanisms in the management of supply
chains by a social enterprise, highlighting the need for a hub in the management of
profit-nonprofit relationships. This role is characterized by four main tasks: quality
assurance, training and education, experimentation/coordination, harmonization of
material and information flows.This study addresses two cases, and future research in this
area should extend the analysis to a higher number of nonprofit organizations.This article describes the main dynamics of change for nonprofit organizations in the process of opening towards the mass market, concentrating on the ways in which it is possible to manage supply chains and
downstream markets in line with their social mission. This article shows the existence of a gap in the literature regarding the presence of nonprofit focal actors in the management of ethical product
supply chain.”

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Recommendations from this resource

Future Research

1) More studies should extend empirical investigation to other cases of social enterprises;
2) develop the dynamics of supply chain management in for-profit companies that
enter into a relationship with a social enterprise, as in this study the authors have considered exclusively social enterprise.
3) A study of the implication for the for-profit actor in managing its supply chain that emerges from the relationship with a social enterprise would be of interest;
4) More investigation on the supply chain management with due consideration of the perspective of a nonprofit actor
as a focal actor, offering sustainable products in the mass market.