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Performance in vegetable supply chains: the role of Guanxi networks and buyer-seller relationships


  • Hualiang Lu

    (Management Studies Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands)

  • Shuyi Feng

    (College of Public Administration, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, P.R. China, and Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands)

  • Jacques H. Trienekens

    (Management Studies Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands)

  • S.W.F. (Onno) Omta

    (Management Studies Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands)


Guanxi is the lifeblood of the Chinese society. It also becomes a hot topic for achieving business success in China. The primary goal of this exploratory study is to empirically investigate the effect of guanxi networks on buyer-seller relationships and market performance for the Chinese vegetable sector. We interviewed 167 vegetable farmers (i.e., sellers) and 84 vegetable processing and exporting companies (i.e., buyers) in Jiangsu Province, P.R. China. The path analysis results reveal that guanxi networks in China directly and indirectly affect buyer-seller relationships and market performance; however, guanxi networks have different effects for vegetable sellers and buyers. Results demonstrate that vegetable sellers and buyers follow different approaches to achieve superior market performance. [EconLit citations: L100, Q130]. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Suggested Citation

  • Hualiang Lu & Shuyi Feng & Jacques H. Trienekens & S.W.F. (Onno) Omta, 2008. "Performance in vegetable supply chains: the role of Guanxi networks and buyer-seller relationships," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 253-274.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:agribz:v:24:y:2008:i:2:p:253-274 DOI: 10.1002/agr.20158

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-261, October.
    2. Schurr, Paul H & Ozanne, Julie L, 1985. " Influence on Exchange Processes: Buyers' Preconceptions of a Seller's Trustworthiness and Bargaining Toughness," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 939-953, March.
    3. Nooteboom, B. & Berger, H. & Noorderhaven, N.G., 1997. "Effects of trust and governance on relational risk," Other publications TiSEM 8e83932e-064c-40e8-afe7-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    4. Erin Anderson & Barton Weitz, 1989. "Determinants of Continuity in Conventional Industrial Channel Dyads," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 8(4), pages 310-323.
    5. Dinghuan Hu & Thomas Reardon & Scott Rozelle & Peter Timmer & Honglin Wang, 2004. "The Emergence of Supermarkets with Chinese Characteristics: Challenges and Opportunities for China's Agricultural Development," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 22, pages 557-586, September.
    6. Fredoun Z. Ahmadi-Esfahani & Roland G. Stanmore, 1997. "Demand for vegetables in a Chinese wholesale market," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(5), pages 549-559.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gellynck, Xavier & Kuhne, Bianka & Weaver, Robert D., 2011. "Relationship Quality and Innovation Capacity of Chains: The Case of the Traditional Food Sector in the EU," International Journal on Food System Dynamics, International Center for Management, Communication, and Research, vol. 2(1).
    2. Hualiang Lu & Shuyi Feng & Jacques H. Trienekens & S.W.F. Omta, 2012. "Network strength, transaction-specific investments, inter-personal trust, and relationship satisfaction in Chinese agri-food SMEs," China Agricultural Economic Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 4(3), pages 363-378, August.
    3. Murray, Janet Y. & Fu, Frank Q., 2016. "Strategic guanxi orientation: How to manage distribution channels in China?," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-16.

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