This article employs a multiple-case study research design to unpack the complex relationship between digital transformation, agility, and environmental sustainability in the agri-food industry. Our findings show that to achieve a cleaner food production that does not compromise the natural life cycle, firms need to deploy nature-driven agility, a novel type of agility. We conceptualized nature-driven agility as the firm ability to flexibly and effectively utilize natural resources to adapt the full production process to market changes and capture new value-creation opportunities within nature constraints. This study found that nature-driven agility relies on digital technologies to make predictions about natural resource dynamics that may impact the critical steps of the agri-food production process. We also identify some factors that clarify how the benefits of nature-driven agility on cleaner food production strongly depend on managers' commitment to environmental sustainability and the pressure of customers for new products aligned with ecological sustainability purposes. Finally, we synthesized the findings in the Nature-driven Agility (NaDrA) framework, which practitioners can use to design proper operations that capture value-creation opportunities while improving agri-food firms' environmental performance.

Time to clean up food production? Digital technologies, nature-driven agility, and the role of managers and customers

Moi, Ludovica;Cabiddu, Francesca;
2022-01-01

Abstract

This article employs a multiple-case study research design to unpack the complex relationship between digital transformation, agility, and environmental sustainability in the agri-food industry. Our findings show that to achieve a cleaner food production that does not compromise the natural life cycle, firms need to deploy nature-driven agility, a novel type of agility. We conceptualized nature-driven agility as the firm ability to flexibly and effectively utilize natural resources to adapt the full production process to market changes and capture new value-creation opportunities within nature constraints. This study found that nature-driven agility relies on digital technologies to make predictions about natural resource dynamics that may impact the critical steps of the agri-food production process. We also identify some factors that clarify how the benefits of nature-driven agility on cleaner food production strongly depend on managers' commitment to environmental sustainability and the pressure of customers for new products aligned with ecological sustainability purposes. Finally, we synthesized the findings in the Nature-driven Agility (NaDrA) framework, which practitioners can use to design proper operations that capture value-creation opportunities while improving agri-food firms' environmental performance.
2022
Nature-driven agility; Cleaner food production; Agri-food; Environmental sustainability; Multiple-case study
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/345493
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