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  • Sustainable Purchasing Strategy in the Food Industry

    DISSERTATION

    of the University of St. Gallen,

    Graduate School of Business Administration,

    Economics, Law, and Social Sciences (HSG)

    to obtain the title of

    Doctor of Business Administarion/Oeconomics

    submitted by

    Jens Hamprecht

    from

    Germany

    Approved on the application of

    Prof. Dr. Daniel Corsten

    and

    Prof. Fritz Fahrni, PhD

    Dissertation No 3132

    Difo Druck GmbH, Bamberg 2005

  • The University of St. Gallen, Graduate School of Business

    Administration,Economics, Law, and Social Sciences (HSG) hereby

    consents to the printing of the present dissertation, without hereby

    expressing any opinion on the views herein expressed.

    St. Gallen, November 17, 2005

    The President:

    Prof. Ernst Mohr, PhD

  • SUSTAINABLE PURCHASING STRATEGY IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY I

    Preface

    This thesis has one author but numerous people who supported its development.

    Throughout the past years, I have enjoyed tremendous support by academics,

    industry partners, and my friends and family.

    Without the guidance of Prof. Dr. Daniel Corsten this thesis would not have been

    marked by the theoretical aspirations that have been motivating me throughout the

    entire research process. He has encouraged me to follow new paths in the process of

    theory development while ensuring academic rigueur. Prof. Fritz Fahrni supported

    me in a research methodology linking theory development with in-depth studies of

    the industry. My choice of a thesis addressing corporate sustainability also reflects

    his valuation of long-term oriented value creation.

    Prof. Dr. Volker Hoffmann of ETH Zurich and Prof. Dr. Sanjay Sharma of Wilfrid

    Laurier University each contributed to the development of my thesis at decisive

    moments. Dr. Jost Hamschmidt of the oikos foundation enabled me to establish

    contact with the world-leading scholars of my research field and to discuss my ideas

    and results with them. Nadine Darmadi of the Rotterdam School of Management

    provided great support in conducting the Migros and Nestl case studies.

    Dr. Hans Jhr of Nestl provided me with an invaluable opportunity of gaining

    hands-on experience in the management of sustainability. Throughout my entire

    collaboration with him, I have benefited from a steep learning curve of what

    sustainability means in a specific industry and how it can be firmly integrated in

    existing management systems. I am also very thankful to his colleagues at Nestl,

    particularly Eduard Bruckner, Patrick Leheup, Evelyn Meier, and Manfred Noll who

    have each supported my work significantly.

    Prof. Dr. Frank Straube and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Stlzle provided me with the time

    and the resources for writing this thesis.

    Dr. Jrg Hofstetter provided me with important guidance regarding the presentation

    of my results. All my colleagues at the Kuehne Institute for Logistics made my time

    in St.Gallen a pleasant experience.

    Finally, I want to say thank you to my parents, to Fred, to my four grandparents and

    to my friends for their caring support throughout my entire education. Thank you to

    Tanja for helping me in the finalization of this thesis.

    St. Gallen, December 2005 Jens Hamprecht

  • II SUSTAINABLE PURCHASING STRATEGY IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY

    Index

    I INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................................1

    I.1 RELEVANCE OF THE RESEARCH: MANAGERIAL PERSPECTIVE ...............................................................1

    I.2 RELEVANCE OF THE RESEARCH: THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE...............................................................2

    I.3 EMPIRICAL SETTING AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS..................................................................................4

    I.4 STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY ..................................................................................................................5

    I.5 DEFINITION OF A SUSTAINABLE PURCHASING STRATEGY ......................................................................8

    II THEORETICAL BASIS......................................................................................................................11

    II.1 INSTITUTIONAL THEORY ...............................................................................................................11

    II.1.1 Introduction to institutional theory.........................................................................................11

    II.1.2 Introduction to institutional entrepreneurship .......................................................................14

    II.2 RESOURCE-BASED VIEW ...............................................................................................................17

    II.2.1 Introduction to the resource-based view (RBV) .....................................................................17

    II.2.2 The problem of defining value in resource-based research ...................................................18

    II.2.3 Complementary strategies ......................................................................................................21

    II.2.4 Non-linearities........................................................................................................................24

    II.2.5 Exogenous contingencies........................................................................................................26

    II.2.6 Summary of the resource-based approaches to value maximization......................................28

    II.3 INTEGRATION OF INST. ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND A CONTINGENT RESOURCE-BASED VIEW............29

    II.4 INTEGRATION OF A SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY ............................................................................35

    II.4.1 Scope of institutional and normative research streams..........................................................40

    II.4.2 Definition of normative legitimacy: perspective of institutional theory and institutional

    entrepreneurship ....................................................................................................................41

    II.4.3 Definition of normative legitimacy: perspective of a normative theory .................................43

    II.4.4 Critique of ISCT .....................................................................................................................44

    II.4.5 Integration of a moral evaluation in institutional research ...................................................45

    III RESEARCH MODEL .........................................................................................................................49

    III.1 SPECIFICATION OF THE RESEARCH MODEL ....................................................................................49

    III.2 ADOPTION OF A SUSTAINABLE PURCHASING STRATEGY ................................................................52

    III.3 OUTCOME OF A SUSTAINABLE PURCHASING STRATEGY.................................................................56

    IV THEORY VERIFICATION - CASE STUDIES................................................................................70

    IV.1 METHODS .....................................................................................................................................70

    IV.1.1 Case study design ...................................................................................................................72

    IV.1.2 Case selection.........................................................................................................................74

    IV.1.3 Data collection .......................................................................................................................76

    IV.1.4 Data analysis ..........................................................................................................................77

  • SUSTAINABLE PURCHASING STRATEGY IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY III

    IV.2 MIGROS CASE STUDY....................................................................................................................78

    IV.2.1 Narrative account...................................................................................................................78

    IV.2.2 Analysis ..................................................................................................................................91

    IV.3 UNILEVER CASE STUDY ................................................................................................................96

    IV.3.1 Narrative account...................................................................................................................96

    IV.3.2 Analysis ................................................................................................................................107

    IV.4 FROSTA CASE STUDY .................................................................................................................112

    IV.4.1 Narrative account.................................................................................................................112

    IV.4.2 Analysis ................................................................................................................................117

    IV.5 NESTL CASE STUDY .................................................................................

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