Haslam Scholars Projects

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The purpose of this thesis paper is to examine what standards should be used for supply chain product transparency across industries to satisfy the needs of external stakeholders, specifically Gen Z consumers. Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in supply chain management with growing stakeholder pressure, strict government regulations, and scarcity of resources. A scenario-based role-playing experiment is conducted using descriptive vignettes to measure Gen Z consumer reactions to the following factors: timing of transparency, type of product, and type of sustainability.

Online survey methods are used involving 33 students in one of the Honors and Scholars Programs at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and students in classes in the Haslam College of Business. After performing moderation analysis, our results show that social sustainability matters more to Gen Z consumers than environmental sustainability. In addition, after a supply chain scandal, a company will lose sales from Gen Z consumers. Companies must address social sustainability and transparency in their supply chain to meet the expectations of their stakeholders.

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