Implementation of sustainability in the food and catering supply chains of UK HE institutions

Sayed, Maysara (2016) Implementation of sustainability in the food and catering supply chains of UK HE institutions. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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Both organisations and customers are becoming more aware of the current economic, environmental and social challenges that the world faces today. In this context, it can be argued that universities are amongst the most important organisations that could contribute effectively in sustainability development in any society through producing and teaching sustainability related knowledge. This puts an ethical obligation upon these organisations to introduce and implement sustainability within their premises and operations. The procurement function is one of the main functions that can contribute effectively in the overall sustainability agenda of any university due to the large variety of products and services that this type of organisation procures and the related supply chain issues that they manage. However, the extant literature on Sustainability in Higher Education (SHE) suffers from a significant dearth of studies that specifically address Sustainable Procurement (SP) and Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM) in universities. Thus, this thesis contributes to filling this particular gap through conducting exploratory research in order to investigate the implementation of SP initiatives in the current buying practices of UK based HE Institutions (Universities) and their supply chains, with a particular focus on the food and catering procurement area. This thesis, therefore, has two main overarching research questions, which are: “How are sustainability issues incorporated into the current food and catering procurement practices of UK based HE Institutions?” and “How are food and catering SP practices extended to multiple actors and multiple tiers across the existing supply chains of UK based HE Institutions?”. These two questions have been answered through three inter-related papers that tackle the following three topics: the implementation of SP initiatives through different implementation modes employed by universities (i.e., in-house catering vs outsourced catering); local sourcing as one of the main sustainability initiatives within universities’ sustainability agendas; and the impact of institutional pluralism on the implementation of sustainability initiatives within the university food and catering supply chain. The thesis uses three well-established theoretical lenses, (i.e., Transaction Cost Economics, Legitimacy Theory, and Institutional Theory), in the three papers respectively. Beside their own findings and contributions, the three papers collectively provide important contributions to both the SHE literature and the SSCM literature. In terms of the SHE literature, they: provide insights into the implementation of SP in HE institutions and their food supply chains; compensate for the dearth of studies on SSCM in HE; and enhance the theoretical authentication of the SHE literature. In terms of the SSCM literature, they: provide a new context for three theories; include a real supply chain perspective by including multiple tiers in the data collection and analysis; include the TBL in studying SSCM; and provided a theoretical generalisation of the results for the wider SSCM context.

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24 May 2017 13:28
Last Modified:
12 Oct 2023 23:53