Sustainability within the relationship between the trading house and its suppliers - A case study of a Swedish trading house and its supplier’s relationship

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Graduate School

Sammanfattning: The nature of trading houses is ever changing which indicates an adaptive industry. Prior research has focused on this changing nature and evolution of trading houses but there is a research gap when it comes to trading houses and their relation to sustainability. Additionally, Swedish trading houses act in an industry that appears to be supplier-driven, yet the trading house-supplier relationship is not covered from a sustainability perspective in the contemporary literature. Therefore, this thesis attempt to provide greater knowledge about the relationship between a Swedish trading house and its suppliers from a sustainability perspective. Additionally, the thesis investigates what role competitive advantage has for the trading house. In order to answer these questions, a single case study was conducted focusing on one Swedish trading house and five of its most important suppliers. The results showed that there is a limited incorporation of sustainability in the relationship between the trading house and its suppliers. From the trading house perspective, they do not have explicit policies regarding the subject today and the suppliers do not have extensive requirements towards the trading houses. However, the trading house have a desire to develop and integrate sustainable solutions, and the findings show that the suppliers are positive to value alignment regarding sustainability with their partners i.e. trading houses. This indicates that the relationship will probably evolve into greater sustainability integration between trading houses and its suppliers in the future. The results also indicate that being in the forefront of sustainability inclusion and having strong value alignment through the value chain can increase the trading house’s competitive advantage. Conclusively, this thesis contributes to the contemporary literature in the fields of International Business through the Swedish trading house cluster, Corporate Sustainability and Strategic Management considering potential competitive advantages.

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