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Conflict minerals and supply chain due diligence: an exploratory study of multi-tier supply chains

Hofmann, Hannes; Schleper, Martin C.; Blome, Constantin


Hannes Hofmann

Martin C. Schleper

Constantin Blome


As recently stakeholders complain about the use of conflict minerals in consumer products that are often invisible to them in final products, firms across industries implement conflict mineral management practices. Conflict minerals are those, whose systemic exploitation and trade contribute to human right violations in the country of extraction and surrounding areas. Particularly, supply chain managers in the Western world are challenged taking reasonable steps to identify and prevent risks associated with these resources due to the globally dispersed nature of supply chains and the opacity of the origin of commodities. Supply chain due diligence (SCDD) represents a holistic concept to proactively manage supply chains reducing the likelihood of the use of conflict minerals effectively. Based on an exploratory study with 27 semi-structured interviews within five European industries, we provide insights into patterns of implementation, key motivational factors, barriers and enablers, and impacts of SCDD in mineral supply chains. Our results contribute to both theory and practice as we provide first insights to SCDD practices and make recommendations for an industry-wide implementation of SCDD. Altogether, this study provides the basis for future theory testing research in the context of SCDD and conflict mineral management.


Hofmann, H., Schleper, M. C., & Blome, C. (2018). Conflict minerals and supply chain due diligence: an exploratory study of multi-tier supply chains. Journal of Business Ethics, 147(1),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 19, 2015
Online Publication Date Nov 26, 2015
Publication Date Jan 31, 2018
Deposit Date Jan 10, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jan 10, 2018
Journal Journal of Business Ethics
Print ISSN 0167-4544
Electronic ISSN 1573-0697
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 147
Issue 1
Keywords Exploratory case study; Conflict minerals; Corporate social responsibility; Dynamic capabilities; Supply chain due diligence; Standards; Supply chain management
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of Business Ethics. The final authenticated version is available online at:


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