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

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

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.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/100498
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Paper provided by International European Forum on Innovation and System Dynamics in Food Networks in its series 2010 Internatonal European Forum, February 8-12, 2010, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria with number 100498.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ags:iefi10:100498
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.fooddynamics.org/

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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.
  2. W. Bruce Traill & Matthew Meulenberg, 2001. "Innovation in the food industry," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 1-21.
  3. Arend, Richard J. & Wisner, Joel D., 2005. "Small business and supply chain management: is there a fit?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 403-436, May.
  4. repec:inr:wpaper:155753 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Varsakelis, Nikos C., 2006. "Education, political institutions and innovative activity: A cross-country empirical investigation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1083-1090, September.
  6. 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.
  7. Fischer, Christian & Hartmann, Monika & Reynolds, Nikolai & Leat, Philip M.K. & Revoredo-Giha, Cesar & Henchion, Maeve M. & Gracia, Azucena, 2008. "Agri-food chain relationships in Europe – empirical evidence and implications for sector competitiveness," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44265, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
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