The Idea of Transport Independence in the Russian Arctic: A Scandinavian Institutional Approach to Understanding Supply Chain Strategy

Antonina Tsvetkova, Britta Gammelgaard

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore how supply chain strategies emerge and evolve in response to contextual influence.
Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative single-case study presents the journey of a supply chain strategy, conceptualised as the idea of transport independence in the Russian Arctic context. Data from 18 semi-structured interviews, personal observations and archival materials are interpreted through the institutional concepts of translation and editing effects.
Findings: The study reveals how supply chain strategies evolve over time and can affect institutional factors. The case study further reveals how contextual conditions make a company reconsider its core competencies as well as the role of supply chain management practices. The findings show that strategy implementation through purposeful actions can represent a powerful resistance to contextual pressures and constraints, as well as being a facilitator of change in actual supply chains and their context. During the translation of the idea of transport independence into actions, the supply chain strategy transformed itself into a form of strategic collaboration and thereby made supply chains in the Russian Arctic more integrated than before.
Research limitations/implications: More empirical studies on strategy implementation in interaction with contextual and institutional factors are suggested. An institutional process perspective is applied in this study but the authors suggest that future research should include a human dimension by an exploration of day-to-day routines and challenges that employees face when strategising and the actions they take.
Originality/value: The study provides an understanding of how a new supply chain strategy emerges and how it changes during implementation. In this process-oriented study – merging context, process and strategy content – it is further shown that a supply chain strategy may affect the context by responding to contextual and institutional challenges.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management
Udgave nummer9
Sider (fra-til)913-930
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - 2018


  • Case study
  • Supply chain management
  • Strategy implementation
  • Arctic shipping
  • Process perspective
  • Translation theory