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The hiearchical resource nature of green logistics competency

Frank G. Adams (Department of Marketing, Quantitative Analysis and Business Law, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi, USA)
Colin B. Gabler (Department of Marketing, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA)
V. Myles Landers (Department of Marketing, Quantitative Analysis and Business Law, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi, USA)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 14 January 2021

Issue publication date: 13 August 2021




This paper aims to examine the common roots of both logistics and sustainability phenomena in supply chains to derive a new potential construct, green logistics competency.


Theoretical synthesis and conceptualization of new construct.


Based on Madhavaram and Hunt’s (2008) resource hierarchy concept, the key to successfully competing with a sustainable supply chain may lie in whether the resources enabling both sustainability and effective supply chains are interdependent, as opposed to merely co-existent.

Research limitations/implications

Most current theory regarding sustainable supply chains regards environmentally-friendly factors as resources that are additively bundled with supply chain resources. To determine if competitive performance differentials exist between truly green supply chains, and supply chains that merely adopt green practices, measurement must account for both the interdependence of green and supply chain resources, and their common cultural antecedents.

Practical implications

The study indicates that it is not sufficient for firms to have expertise in both sustainability and in supply chain practices; managers in each of those areas must develop the cultural antecedents of both supply chain and sustainability excellence if firms are to achieve meaningful competitive capabilities through sustainable supply chains.


This conceptual study addresses a paucity of theory describing how and why organizations build a genuinely green supply chain, as opposed to simply adapting supply chains to green practices.



Adams, F.G., Gabler, C.B. and Landers, V.M. (2021), "The hiearchical resource nature of green logistics competency", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 36 No. 8, pp. 1474-1485.



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