Leveraging Technologies in Milk Traceability to Improve Supply Chain Performance: A Qualitative Study of the Saudi Dairy Industry

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Alessa, Afyaa (2023) Leveraging Technologies in Milk Traceability to Improve Supply Chain Performance: A Qualitative Study of the Saudi Dairy Industry. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


Challenges related to food safety and fraud have caused a decrease in consumer confidence, emphasising the need for trustworthy and efficient traceability technologies to prevent and rapidly address these issues. In an industry intrinsically linked to public health, the dairy sector has a lot to gain from adopting such technologies. However, the dimensions that influence firms' intentions to adopt these technologies remain under researched. This study investigates the Technological, Organisational, and Environmental (TOE) aspects that encourage dairy companies in Saudi Arabia to adopt traceability technologies into their operations and supply networks. It further delves into the role of firm's culture, which is significantly influenced by top management, in potentially affecting the intention to adopt these technologies. The use of the TOE framework and in-depth interviews with senior production and distribution managers, and the analysis that was conducted using NVivo revealed that government policies primarily drive the intention for technology adoption. Conversely, employee resistance emerges as a significant barrier, and surprisingly, the complexity of the technology was not seen as an obstacle. The study also uncovered that workforce localisation initiatives, such as the "Saudization" policy, could hinder the adoption of such technologies. Findings indicate a gap in the adoption of new traceability technologies within the Saudi dairy sector, a stance that is inconsistent with the ambitions of Saudi Vision 2030. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic had a minor influence on the decisions made by companies regarding the adoption of these technologies, likely due to governmental support and a sense of satisfaction with their current technologies. From a practical standpoint, this study enhances industry practices, improves policymaking, and promotes sustainable development goals. It provides critical insights for industry practitioners and policymakers and contributes to several United Nations' SDGs by advocating sustainable production, reducing environmental impact, and identifying areas for improvement in the dairy supply chain. From a theoretical perspective, this research functions as a form of theory elaboration. It strengthens the Technological, Organisational, and Environmental (TOE) framework by offering empirically grounded insights gained through semi-structured interviews with senior managers in the Saudi dairy industry. Additionally, the research introduces the concept of workforce localisation and probes the pivotal yet often overlooked role of cultural factors in influencing the adoption of traceability technologies.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/48111
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3006 Food sciences
Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3509 Transportation, logistics and supply chains
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords dairy sector; Saudi Arabia; tecnology adoption; supply chain; traceability technologies; COVID-19
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