Explicating natural-resource-based view capabilities, a dynamic framework for innovative sustainable supply chain management in UK agri-food

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The natural-resource-based view resonates with significance some twenty years after its conception. The theory features prominently in modern literature where it enjoys links with enhanced competitiveness, and responds to the need for innovative sustainable operations in modern business. However, literature argues that a lack of practical guidance has resulted in a theory-practice gap, which to some extent is typical of resource-based theory research. This study resolves this via definition of dynamic natural-resource-based view capabilities. Exploration of links between natural-resource-based view, sustainable supply chain management and innovation literature identifies implications for capabilities. Categorizing these capabilities according to the four natural-resource-based view resources of pollution prevention, product stewardship, clean technologies and base of the pyramid, dynamic capabilities activities of sensing, seizing and transforming and an internal versus external focus facilitates the creation of a conceptual framework of dynamic capabilities. Employing the UK agri-food sector as a contextual setting, an empirical study comprising of two phases is undertaken. Phase 1 involves seven in-depth interviews with agri-food experts to empirically validate links between the natural-resource-based view, sustainable supply chain management and innovation. Phase 2 involves twenty semi-structured interviews and six observations with UK agri-food companies to empirically define and explain dynamic natural-resource-based view capabilities. In its completion, this study demonstrates the existence of pollution prevention, product stewardship and clean technologies in UK agri-food, confirms their synergies with sustainable supply chain management and innovation and explicates and elucidates their dynamic capabilities. Whilst base of the pyramid did not feature in the empirical study, the resource is not falsified and further investigation is recommended. This study concluded with five contributions: empirical definition of dynamic natural-resource-based view capabilities; dynamic capability and internal-external categorization; the four-resource perspective of the natural-resource-based view; linking the natural-resource-based view, sustainable supply chain management and innovation; and conceptualisation of local philanthropy and proposal of the natural-resource-based view cycle.
Date of Award16 May 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde
SupervisorBeverly Wagner (Supervisor) & Jillian MacBryde (Supervisor)

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