Purpose – This study aims to examine the management of food supply chains in complex and volatile business environments, where the sustainability requirements of customers and legislation are increasing. This challenging situation gives rise to the question as to how a logistics company can achieve and sustain competitive advantage through environmentally-oriented sustainability. Design/methodology/approach – This empirical study gathers insights on emerging practices in European food service supply chains from two parallel Delphi surveys conducted with 145 industry experts from 27 countries. The long-term industry expectations of a leading provider in food service logistics are compared with an industry-wide external panel. The questions were designed to understand how managers perceive the emerging domain of sustainability in supply chains. Findings – Environmentally oriented sustainability will remain a key driver of success in the field. However, after applying the dominant logic concept for analyzing results, it becomes apparent that managers have to continuously challenge internal existing expectations to translate an emerging domain into strategy. We show how the senior management team under investigation was challenged in its dominant logic and how it tried to overcome this situation during strategy development. Originality/value – The study shows how managers perceive and cope with the emerging domain of environmentally oriented sustainability, how they translate it into strategy, and utilize resources for creating customer value. The research supports managers in adapting to new competitive environments. Furthermore, the study contributes by visualizing the dominant logic of a firm and the approach of top management for adjustment.
Supply Chain Management: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 9, 2015