IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Drivers and Barriers to Innovation in the Food Processing Industry Continued. A Comparison of the Netherlands and the Shanghai Region in China

Listed author(s):
  • Fortuin, Frances T.J.M.
  • Omta, S.W.F. (Onno)
Registered author(s):

    This paper aims at comparing the innovative potential of leading food processing companies in emerging and developed economies. We asked ourselves how the clearly differing economic and social conditions of two areas that are only comparable in terms of their number of inhabitants (about 16 to 18 million), namely a fast growing emerging economy (the Shanghai area in China) and a developed economy (The Netherlands) affect competitiveness and innovation of their leading prospector companies. Our study population consisted of 31 respondents (CEOs, CTOs and R&D directors) from 18 leading prospector companies in the food processing industry: nine in the Netherlands and nine in Shanghai. We focus on how the combination of external forces exerted by actors in the network (competitors, suppliers and buyers) and internal forces (especially innovation capabilities) affect competitiveness and innovation performance of these companies. A 52-item research questionnaire, based on industrial organization theory and the Resource-Based-View, was designed for this study, including quantitative questions on innovative input and output and business performance, and qualitative questions about competitive pressure and the quality of the innovation process. Interesting findings are that both innovative as well as business performance are predominantly related to the companies’ internal (innovation) capabilities. As expected, clear differences between Chinese and Dutch companies were found regarding the external forces as well as in the internal capabilities they deploy to survive The pressure from the external environment, especially the power of buyers and the threat of new entrants is clearly felt more strongly by the Dutch companies than by their Chinese counterparts. The Chinese companies report to significantly use more KPI’s to monitor the R&D process, whereas the Dutch companies are significantly more active in stimulating an innovative culture. Interestingly, however, neither of these differences leads to significant differences in business or innovation performance between the two groups in our study. The answer to the question whether agri-food companies in developed economies still have a competitive edge compared to those in emerging economies, such as China that emerges from the data collected so far points in the direction of the disappearance of the traditional advantage of the companies from developed economies: no significant differences could be found neither in innovation performance, nor in business performance among the companies from the Netherlands and the Shanghai region in China.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by International European Forum on System Dynamics and Innovation in Food Networks in its series 2009 International European Forum, February 15-20, 2009, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria with number 59198.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Oct 2009
    Handle: RePEc:ags:iefi09:59198
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:iefi09:59198. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.