Fontana, E., Öberg, C., Poblete, L. (2021). Nominated procurement and the indirect control of nominated sub-suppliers: Evidence from the Sri Lankan apparel supply chain. Journal of Business Research, 127, 179-192.


This article describes and discusses nominated procurement as a means through which buyers select sub-suppliers to achieve sustainability compliance upstream in emerging economies’ supply chains. Hence, it critically examines the ways buyers articulate nominated procurement and the unfolding supply chain consequences. Based on in-depth interviews and fieldwork in the Sri Lankan apparel supply chain, the findings indicate that buyers accomplish sustainability compliance among their sub-suppliers while prioritizing their own business agenda. In doing so, however, buyers perpetuate “suboptimal compliance” of raw material suppliers and “sandwiching” of direct suppliers as harmful consequences on the supply chain. These consequences link theoretically with commercial, geographical, compliance and extended-compliance pressure. This article contributes to the advancement of the Sustainable Supply Chain Management literature by theorizing about nominated procurement, direct and indirect pressure, and pointing to the supply chain consequences beyond achievements in sustainability compliance.