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Title: Exploring natural resource scarcity mitigation approaches in supply networks
Author: Yatskovskaya, Ekaterina
ISNI:       0000 0004 9354 3388
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2020
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In recent years multinational organisations have been experiencing significant disruptions in their manufacturing operations due to unexpected resource availability issues. This has led to growing scrutiny on the sustainable use of natural capital, requiring firms to incorporate natural resource scarcity (NRS) risks into their operational strategies. However, as demonstrated in the review of the literature, there is a gap in understanding on how firms with complex and dispersed supply networks (SNs) evaluate and mitigate against NRS challenges. This study addresses this gap, examining sustainable use of water and water scarcity (WS) mitigation through SN reconfiguration and changes in operational capabilities. The research adopts a SN perspective, integrating recent advancements in SN configuration design with resource dependency theory to develop a framework for sustainable SN configuration and capability in the WS context. The framework was applied across multiple case studies spanning 4 sectors, each case demonstrating WS dependencies. Results from content analysis of case study interviews, using descriptive and structural coding, suggest that SSN configuration and capability interventions underpin WS management through 3 archetypal strategic responses. The stable archetype demonstrates limited configurational changes exemplified by low levels of SN coordination. The continuous improvement archetype captures reactive behaviours involving reconfiguration of SNs through enhanced production processes and product design. The progressive archetype captures proactive behaviours redesigning SN structures, and the development of new production and operational processes. Theoretical contributions are made in terms of identification of SSN configuration and capability dimensions and typologies. SSN configurations cover the SSN structure, unit of operation, product architecture, and coordination and governance attributes applied to the NRS context. Capability typologies are classified as static, dynamic, and transformational: static capabilities support evaluation of resource availability risks; dynamic capabilities support adaptability to specific NRS contexts through organisational routines; transformational capabilities are delivered through capability changes influencing SN configuration adjustments. The identification of three WS archetype interventions provides: 1) SN insights to resource dependency theory; 2) new industry categorisations based on WS mitigation; and 3) extends previous work on SN configuration design by integrating NRS perspectives. Practical implications of the work include specific firm and SN level interventions to mitigate against WS, that collectively can also contribute to a strategic approach for sustainable development.
Supervisor: Srai, Jagjit ; Kumar, Mukesh Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: sustainable supply chains ; supply chain design ; natural resource scarcity ; water scarcity ; supply chain capabilities ; supply chain configurations