Sustainability culture (Barney, 1986) and reputation (Hart, 1995)

Sustainability
as a firm-capability. The
RBV theory entails performance differentials among firms primarily due to firm
resources and capabilities, especially intangibles, since they are valuable,
rare, costly to be imitated, non-substitutable, and the firm is “organized” to
use them (Barney, 1991). Barney
defines resources as all the assets, capabilities, organizational process, and firm
attributes controlled by the firm and enables to implement strategies that
improve its efficiency and effectiveness. Capability is defined as the capacity
of a team of resources to perform some activities (Grant, 1991). Firm capabilities
are the main source of competitive advantage while resources are the main
source of capabilities (Grant, 1991).

In
addition to being adopted in similar studies, where scholars have grounded
their studies linking environmental/social practices and performance based on
the RBV perspective (Golicic & Smith, 2013; López-Gamero et al., 2009; Russo, 2003; Russo & Fouts, 1997), the
logic behind operationalizing the RBV as a theoretical background in testing
the sustainability-performance relationship in the foodservice industry can be
attributed to three reasons. First, the RBV strongly focuses on performance as
a key outcome variable (Russo & Fouts, 1997), and
performance is an essential aspect of the ongoing debate around the economies
of sustainability implementation in the foodservice industry. Second, in line
with the RBV that highlights the fundamentality of intangible concepts, such as
corporate culture (Barney, 1986) and reputation (Hart, 1995) sustainability
allows firms to exploit internal resources (i.e. human capital, natural
resources) to achieve cost advantage and seize intangible benefits such as reputation
and brand image, which goes in line with the RBV. Third, due to the growing
importance of social and ecological problems, inserting natural and social
concerns into the RBV logic may be helpful for identifying new sources of competitive
advantage (Hart, 1995). Hart
suggested that a firm can develop a capability based on its interaction with
the natural environment. Thus, he offered the natural resource-based view of
the firm in which future competitive advantage is rooted in “capabilities that
facilitate environmentally sustainable economic activity” (p. 991).

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