Supply chain strategies in an era of natural resource scarcity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

View graph of relations Save citation



Research units


Purpose – The primary objective of this research is to explore the implications of natural resource scarcity for companies’ supply chain strategies. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on resource dependence theory, a conceptual model is developed and validated through the means of exploratory research. The empirical work includes the assessment of qualitative data collected via 22 interviews representing 6 large multinational companies from the manufacturing sector. Findings – When the resources are scarce and vitally important, companies use buffering strategies. Buffering and bridging strategies are preferred when there are a few alternative suppliers for the specific resource and when there is limited access to scarce natural resources. Research limitations/implications – The research focuses on large multinational manufacturing companies so results may not be generalised to other sectors and to small and medium-sized firms. Future research needs to examine the implications of natural resource scarcity for organisational performance. Practical implications – This research provides direction to manufacturing companies for adopting the best supply chain strategy to cope with natural resource scarcity. Originality/value – This paper adds to the body of knowledge by providing new data and empirical insights into the issue of natural resource scarcity in supply chains. The resource dependence theory has not been previously employed in this context. Past studies are mainly conceptual and, thus, the value of this paper comes from using a qualitative approach on gaining in-depth insights into supply chain-related natural resource scarcity strategies and its antecedents.



Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Early online date1 Jan 2018
StateE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jan 2018

Bibliographic note

Copyright: 2018, Emerald Publishing Ltd.


  • Natural Resource Scarcity , Risk Management, Supply Chain Strategy, Qualitative Data Analysis, Case Studies


Download statistics

No data available

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research

Copy the text from this field...