The aim of this chapter is to characterize sustainable supply chain management as a complex adaptive system (CAS) and develop an evolutionary game theory-based model to understand how cooperation emerges from interactions among companies to adopt sustainable management practices. We consider two interacting populations 1 and 2, each one with heterogeneous companies belonging to the same supply chain. One population is expected to behave cooperatively in adopting sustainable management practices while the other is expected to behave uncooperatively. The mathematical model we propose is game-dynamical replicator equations for multiple populations in the prisoner´s dilemma (PD) game and we implement it using NetLogo software. The proportion of cooperative companies in each population that adopt sustainable management practices evolves positively over time as companies only imitate the adoption of sustainable management practices in their own population and in the populations of their partners when the benefit obtained by cooperating is maximum. The spatial patterns observed help us to clarify the preconditions for the emergence of cooperation among companies in managing material, information and capital flows in a sustainable way. Finally, our simulation results show that the sustainable management of supply chains needs to be studied as CASs, in order to take into account the social side of sustainability.
Part of the book: Sustainable Supply Chain Management