Natural Resource Scarcity

In their recently published JBL paper, A natural resource scarcity typology: Theoretical foundations and strategic implications for supply chain management, Bell et al. (2012) rightly note: “Scarcity of critical natural resources such as oil, water, food, and precious metals has the potential to greatly impact commercial activity as the twenty-first century progresses”. In deed, avoiding waste of resources has become a top priority for many supply chain practitioners. However, in view of the importance of the topic, it is baffling that supply chain management research has almost completely neglected resource scarcity. Our theories are concerned with resources (e.g., resource-based theory, resource-dependence theory), but resource scarcity does not really play a big role. Therefore, the article by Bell et al. is certainly a step in the right direction. The authors position natural resource scarcity as a supply chain risk factor, and prescribe strategies for its mitigation. Particularly, they offer a natural resource scarcity typology.

John E. Bell, Chad W. Autry, Diane A. Mollenkopf, & LaDonna M. Thornton (2012). A natural resource scarcity typology: Theoretical foundations and strategic implications for supply chain management Journal of Business Logistics, 33 (2), 158-166 DOI: 10.1111/j.0000-0000.2012.01048.x

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About Andreas Wieland

Andreas Wieland is an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management at Copenhagen Business School. His current research interests include resilient and socially responsible supply chains.

5 responses to “Natural Resource Scarcity”

  1. Navdeep Sidhu says :

    Supply chain sustainability should be a top ranked priority for every company, especially those that operate on a global scale. Even small hiccups such as gas rising a few cents rebound backwards and impact the whole supply chain.

  2. silver account says :

    With a growing population, increasing GDP levels and improving lifestyles, we’re consuming more and more. Renewable and non-renewable resources—energy, water, land, minerals—are in ever-higher demand. And since the relationships between these resources are strong, both the causes of, and the solutions to scarcity are complex. Which, for a manufacturing organisation with a global supply chain, can spell trouble.

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