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Diffusion of agile supply chains attributes: a study of the UK upstream oil and gas industry cluster

Dauda, Mohammed


Mohammed Dauda


Yahaya Yusuf

Tim Butcher


This study examines agile supply chain capabilities in oil and gas clusters, in the light of cluster and industrial district theory. The aim is to provide evidence of their potential impact on competitiveness and business performance within the UK upstream oil and gas cluster. Agility is the ability of organisations to operate and prosper in market conditions characterised by dynamism and constantly changing customer tastes. Clusters and industrial districts refer to the geographic concentration of firms in an industry that enables the firms to benefit from competition and cooperation as well as enhanced productivity within the cluster.

A review of past theoretical and empirical studies on supply chain management, agility and clusters identifies four dimensions of agility: customer enrichment, cooperating to compete, mastering change and uncertainty, and leveraging the impact of people and information. The cluster theory points to the competitive advantage of being in geographic proximity to the members of a supply chain, including enhanced productivity, easy access to enriched and high quality factors of production, reduction of transaction and transportation costs as well as increased innovativeness. These all contribute to improving the competitive capability of a firm as well as having impact on the business performance of organisations. A survey of 880 firms in the UK upstream oil and gas cluster was conducted to determine the specific impact of cluster location attributes on the agility of supply chains. Six case studies involving the three tiers of the supply chain and supporting organisation were carried out.

Structural equation modelling revealed strong impact of clusters on competitive objectives but weak impact on business performance. Results from the survey show that cluster agility has strong impact on both competitive objectives and business performance. The case study revealed that agility is a strategic tool adopted by the smaller organisations within the supply chain to mitigate the scale of large organisations. Equally, SMEs consider that being in UK oil and gas cluster enhances their responsiveness.


Dauda, M. (2008). Diffusion of agile supply chains attributes: a study of the UK upstream oil and gas industry cluster. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Aug 15, 2011
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2023
Keywords Business
Public URL
Additional Information Business School, The University of Hull
Award Date Jan 1, 2008


Thesis (2.5 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2008 Dauda, Mohammed. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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