Nutritious food intake: A new competitive advantage for organizations?

Jeffery Houghton, Christopher Neck, Kenneth Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to suggest that nutritious food intake is a somewhat overlooked yet essential aspect of corporate wellness that has the potential to help provide organizations with a sustainable competitive advantage. Design/methodology/approach - The paper first discusses the resource-based view, identifying ways in which nutritious food intake across an organization may serve to create rare and inimitable organizational resources leading to a competitive advantage. It then presents a basic overview of the fundamentals of nutritious food intake. It proceeds to review the transtheoretical stages of change model in the context of tailored nutrition interventions in organizations, providing a detailed overview of key individual behavior focused and environmental focused change strategies along with a discussion of types of technical delivery systems. Findings - The paper suggests that an organization may be able to use a tailored stage-based nutrition intervention as part of a comprehensive wellness program in order to help create a sustainable competitive advantage based on the nutritious food intake of its members. Research limitations/implications - Future researchers should continue to examine the effectiveness of stage-based computer tailored nutrition interventions and their delivery systems, particularly in the context of comprehensive corporate wellness plans and the extent to which this serves to create a competitive advantage through lower direct healthcare costs and higher worker productivity. Practical implications - Organizational leaders should carefully consider the strategies and methodologies presented in this paper when designing and implementing nutrition interventions as part of a broad corporate wellness program. Originality/value - This paper makes a valuable contribution to the organizational literature by recognizing the potential for the application of the transtheoretical stages of change model from the field of nutrition education within the context of the resource-based view of organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-179
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Workplace Health Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 26 2009


  • Competitive advantage
  • Employee assistance programmes
  • Employees
  • Nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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