Supply chains under resource pressure: Strategies for improving resource efficiency and competitive advantage


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the implications of supply chain strategies that manufacturing companies can use to minimise or overcome natural resource scarcity, and ultimately improve resource efficiency and achieve competitive advantage. The relationship between resource efficiency and competitive advantage is also explored. Design/methodology/approach: The proposed research model draws on resource dependence theory. Data were collected from 183 logistics, purchasing, sustainability and supply chain managers from various manufacturing companies and analysed by applying the partial least squares structural equation modelling technique. Findings: The results indicate that both buffering and bridging strategies improve resource efficiency; however, only bridging strategies seem to lead to firm’s competitive advantage in terms of ownership and accessibility to resources. The relationship between resource efficiency and competitive advantage is not supported. Research limitations/implications: Future research could confirm the robustness of these findings by using a larger sample size and taking into account other supply chain members. Practical implications: This research provides guidance to managers faced with the growing risk of resource scarcity to achieve a resource efficient supply chain and an advantage over competitors. Originality/value: Studies have explored the appropriate strategies for minimising dependencies caused by the scarcity of natural resources in the field of supply chain management; however, there is limited empirical work on investigating the impact of these strategies on resource efficiency and competitive advantage.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Engineering Systems and Supply Chain Management
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Logistics and Systems Institute
Additional Information: Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited. This AAM is deposited under the CC BY-NC 4.0 licence. Any reuse is allowed in accordance with the terms outlined by the licence. To reuse the AAM for commercial purposes, permission should be sought by contacting
Uncontrolled Keywords: Competitive advantage,Natural resource scarcity,Resource efficiency,Supply chain management,Decision Sciences(all),Strategy and Management,Management of Technology and Innovation
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
https://www.eme ... -0137/full/html (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2019-12-10
Accepted Date: 2019-10-13
Authors: Kalaitzi, Dimitra (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-1057-1697)
Matopoulos, Aristides (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-5083-0534)
Bourlakis, Michael
Tate, Wendy


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