Leveraging competitiveness from sustainable operations: frameworks to understand the dynamic capabilities needed to realise NRBV supply chain strategies

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Purpose: This paper aims to develop frameworks to support implementation and competitive leveraging of distinct sustainable supply chain operations. This derives from conceptual definition of the dynamic capabilities required to support Hart’s (1995) natural-resource-based view resources in the supply chain. Design/methodology/approach: This conceptual study uses qualitative content analysis to extract capabilities from review and analysis of literature related to natural-resource-based view (NRBV) and sustainable supply chain management. Intercoder reliability assessments support conceptual development of such capabilities into dynamic capability frameworks. Findings: Specific interrelations between each NRBV resource and corresponding supply chain strategies are conceptualised. From this, capabilities are categorised to corresponding resources, dynamic capabilities activities and internal–external focus. This results in definition of 107 dynamic NRBV capabilities. Research limitations/implications: Contributions are threefold: distinct frameworks for competitive sustainable supply chain management is offered; the NRBV benefits from enhanced practical guidance via the definition of its dynamic capabilities, addressing the theory-practice gap; and understandings of dynamic capabilities and their role in both the NRBV sustainable supply chain management is advanced. Practical implications: This paper offers four frameworks to allow firms to tailor sustainability strategies to suit their needs and guide competitive leveraging. Definition of capabilities offers practical guidance to operationalise NRBV resources. Originality/value: This is the first holistic interpretation of NRBV capabilities and explicit application of dynamic capabilities. This forms the basis of a broader research agenda for the NRBV in sustainable supply chain management.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalSupply Chain Management: An International Journal
Early online date9 Feb 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Feb 2021


  • competitive strategy
  • sustainability
  • dynamic capabilities
  • natural resource-based view
  • sustainable supply chain management


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