Effect measurement of Sustainable Supply Chain Governance - Systems: The development and test of a valid, reliable and manageable measurement system
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Since the year 2000 a rapid rise in interest for addressing sustainability issues is visible within supply chains. In the second generation of certification initiatives market and non-market actors cooperate in Sustainable Supply Chain Governance-systems (SSCG-systems) to realize sustainable production throughout the value chain. In order to control for the behaviour of different actors within these SSCG-systems control mechanisms are in place. Their focus is in general on controlling firm behaviour and the organisation of their productive activities (1st order effects). Direct ecological and socio-economic (2nd order effects) and structural and side effects (3rd order effects) hardly seem to be taken into account. Therefore, the focus in this thesis is on the development of a measurement system in order to measure these 2nd and 3rd order effects. The goal of the measurement system is to be valid, reliable and manageable. The characteristics that such a measurement system should posses are presented. Based on a literature study into scientific research approaches and lessons from practice the measurement system was created. Subsequently, it was tested on organic cotton certification in Paraguay. Based on these results the characteristics that a valid, reliable and manageable measurement system should have are as following. Construct validity is in part realized through a strong theoretical foundation of the concepts used and multiple questions. Besides, profound testing and adjusting of the questionnaire to local perceptions and crosschecking during the interview further address this aspect. The characteristics to address internal validity are respondent validation, reflexive and rigour practice by the researcher, triangulation via key-person interviews and documented data, and the use of a target and control groups, before and after questions and causal explanation questions. External validity should be addressed via random sampling and thick description of contextual factors. Reliability is addressed via a well documented, consistent, systematic and logical research design in which cross-checking plays an important role. Besides, the data should be analyzed before filing into SPSS. The issue of manageability can be addressed by making use of likert-scale questions. The use of this type of questions makes the questionnaire easy to conduct, non-time consuming, offers the opportunity of asking many questions and clear representation because of the quantitative data acquired. Furthermore, structure is provided to the research through providing a six step research schedule. Nonetheless, the positive test-results from Paraguay the mayor shortcoming of the measurement system is the lack of statistical significance. Addressing this issue by increasing the sample size will have its negative impact on the manageability of the system. If the system remains manageable enough and how to exactly deal with this issue is material for future research.