Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Technology Leadership and Innovation

First Advisor

Edie Schmidt

Committee Chair

Edie Schmidt

Committee Member 1

Michael Dyrenfurth

Committee Member 2

Edward Sweeney

Committee Member 3

Kathryne Newton


Schliep, Colton M. M.S., Purdue University, May 2013. A Qualitative Perspective of Sustainability Across a Supply Chain. Major Professors: Dr. Edie K. Schmidt and Dr. Edward Sweeney.

Using a qualitative approach, this investigation examines perspectives of sustainability concepts and industry experiences from people in various supply chain roles, attempting to answer the question, "How does sustainability, as a practice and definition, differ across a supply chain; and what are its benchmarks?" Participants in the study included 5 working professionals across different industries. Using systems analysis, in depth interviews elicited 12 common themes of the research. Outcomes of the research discuss the importance of: social, environmental, and economic aspects to sustainability, continuous improvement programs and technological investments, long term focus and planning, and organizational cultures. The contribution includes implications of the research, as well as, recommendations for further research.