An empirical study on the building blocks of resilience in British food supply chains

Liravi, P 2016, An empirical study on the building blocks of resilience in British food supply chains , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Food is, of course, essential to the continuation of human life, and today’s food supply networks or as they are also known “farm to fork” are becoming more diverse and dynamic. It is an undeniable fact that the changing climate has resulted in more extreme weather conditions than before. Simultaneously, the world has become more interconnected, and the population continues to grow and get richer, thus demand for food is increasing, whilst natural resources are depleting quickly. Risks due to considerable environmental degradation have the potential to spread through the food system and adversely affect access and availability of food. According to the UK Government (2014), food supply chains play a significant role in the country’s economy, accounting for seven percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and food manufacturing is still the largest manufacturing sector in the United Kingdom (UK Government, 2014). It is a sector which is making an important contribution to growth, including through the expansion of exports. However, to fulfil the demand for food by its growing population, the UK also relies significantly on imported food. The aim of this study is to investigate “resilience” as a form of capability for risk mitigation within food supply chains. This research identifies the influencing factors, that can affect supply chain resilience, such as building blocks and their interactions. To achieve this aim, three major food companies, that have an active presence in British food supply chains, have contributed to this study.

This empirical research adapted a multiple case study approach and used qualitative data to interpret answers to the research questions. The main sources of evidence were the interviewee responses to the semi-structured interview questions. The interviewee’s answers relating to each case study company were analysed through a qualitative data pattern matching analysis technique. Furthermore, the findings of the case study companies were compared against each other. To increase the credibility and validity of the research findings, observational studies and document archival reviews were conducted and their findings were triangulated against the findings of interview responses. Finally, this research drew a theoretical framework for resilient food supply chains in which the drivers of resilience and their interactions in food supply chains were identified. It also sheds light onto the common misconceptions between risk management and resilience, and provides an unambiguous definition for resilient food supply chains.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Depositing User: Pouria Liravi
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2018 11:41
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 20:39

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