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Relationship Quality and Innovation Capacity of Chains: The Case of the Traditional Food Sector in the EU

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  • Gellynck, Xavier
  • Kuhne, Bianka
  • Weaver, Robert D.

Abstract

The purpose of the paper is to explore how the perceived relationship quality is related to the innovation capacity in chains of the traditional food sector. Based on suggestions from theory and previous studies, empirical evidence is drawn from a survey of 90 traditional food chains including 270 companies from 3 European countries in 6 traditional food product categories. Heterogeneity across these chains is first examined based on cluster analysis that identifies three distinct clusters interpreted as reflecting three levels of intensity in innovation capacity: high, medium, and low. Next, we define measures of the chain relationship quality through characteristics such as trust, conflict and reputation. The quality of the chain relationship is then shown for each innovation capacity cluster and compared among the clusters. Results suggest that measures of the chain relationship quality may be important factors in providing both an institutional foundation and a member motivation for innovation. As chain relationship quality fosters sharing of resources necessary for innovation as well as sharing incentives, these results further strengthen the emerging conclusion from the literature that innovation can be catalyzed by policies encouraging firms to build strong relationships.

Suggested Citation

  • Gellynck, Xavier & Kuhne, Bianka & Weaver, Robert D., 2010. "Relationship Quality and Innovation Capacity of Chains: The Case of the Traditional Food Sector in the EU," 2010 Internatonal European Forum, February 8-12, 2010, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 100498, International European Forum on Innovation and System Dynamics in Food Networks.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iefi10:100498
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    1. 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.
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    3. Robert D. Weaver, 2008. "Collaborative pull innovation: origins and adoption in the new economy," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(3), pages 388-402.
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    5. W. Bruce Traill & Matthew Meulenberg, 2001. "Innovation in the food industry," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 1-21.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zander, Katrin, 2012. "How to Defend Market Shares against Foreign Competitors: The Case of Organic Apples in Germany," 2012 International European Forum, February 13-17, 2012, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 144948, International European Forum on Innovation and System Dynamics in Food Networks.
    2. Kuhne, Bianka & Gellynck, Xavier & Weaver, Robert D., 2010. "Network connections and innovation capacity in traditional agrifood chains," 116th Seminar, October 27-30, 2010, Parma, Italy 95050, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Dirksmeyer, Walter (Ed.) & Theuvsen, Ludwig (Ed.) & Kayser, Maike (Ed.), 2015. "Aktuelle Forschung in der Gartenbauökonomie: Tagungsband zum 1. Symposium für Ökonomie im Gartenbau am 27. November 2013 in der Paulinerkirche Göttingen," Thünen Reports 22, Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries.
    4. Vera Belaya & Jon Henrich Hanf, 2016. "The dark and the bright side of power: implications for the management of business-to-business relationships," Agricultural and Food Economics, Springer;Italian Society of Agricultural Economics (SIDEA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-17, December.
    5. Lamprinakis, Lampros, 2012. "Organizational Innovation and Institutional Change: The Case of Valio in Finland," International Journal on Food System Dynamics, International Center for Management, Communication, and Research, vol. 3(2).
    6. Zander, Katrin & Beske, Philip, 2014. "Happy Growers! Relationship Quality in the German Organic Apple Chain," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 17(3).
    7. Jozsef Toth & Aron Torok, 2011. "Innovation Profile of the Hungarian Food SMEs," MIC 2011: Managing Sustainability? Proceedings of the 12th International Conference, Portorož, 23–26 November 2011 [Selected Papers], University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper.

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    Keywords

    Innovation capacity; Chain relationship quality; Traditional food products; SMEs; Agribusiness; Agricultural and Food Policy; Farm Management; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods;

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