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Key determinants of effective partnerships: The case of partnerships between lead firms and farmers in pineapple value chains in Uganda and Kenya


  • Robert Goedegebuure

    (Associate Professor International Business at Maastricht School of Management MsM)

  • Kennedy Ssejjemba

    (DBA candidate at MsM and lecturer at Makerere University, Uganda)

  • André de Waal

    (Associate Professor at MsM and director of HPO Center, Netherlands)


Over the last decades partnerships have become a pervasive element in studies on the organization of social and economic activities at both national and international levels. It is worthy of note that notwithstanding the popularity of the concept as evidenced by the vast amount of articles on the topic, Barnes & Brown (2011) recently described partnerships as of poor theoretical appeal, under-defined, and poorly scrutinized. Their conclusion is mainly inspired by experiences in the area of economic development, as partnerships are explicitly mentioned in the Millennium Development Goals (goal eight refers to “global partnerships for development”). A loose definition of partnerships as linkages between independent organizations for achieving economic and social objectives includes partnerships that widely differ in terms of size, scope and complexity. Partnerships may range from the UN/Nike foundation for adolescent girls in developing countries; to multi-stakeholder approaches (between NGOs, local governments, multinational companies and farmers); and relatively simple agreements at local levels (Toyota’s partnerships with suppliers; farmers partnering with agricultural lead firms). It is striking that most of the literature focuses on the logic of types of partnerships while neglecting the effectiveness and its key determinants of partnerships. In this article we try to contribute filling this void by focusing on relatively simple bilateral partnerships between farmers and lead firms in the value chains of pineapples in Uganda and Kenya. Rather than focusing on the logic of the (type of) partnership per se, we use data on (i) the assessment of relevant partnership characteristics, (ii) the organizational strength of the partner, and (iii) the outcomes of the partnership in terms of their capacity to upgrade the farmers.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Goedegebuure & Kennedy Ssejjemba & André de Waal, 2013. "Key determinants of effective partnerships: The case of partnerships between lead firms and farmers in pineapple value chains in Uganda and Kenya," Working Papers 2013/27, Maastricht School of Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:msm:wpaper:2013/27

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. André de Waal, 2011. "Characteristics of High Performance Organizations," Working Papers 2011/04, Maastricht School of Management.
    2. André de Waal & Leo Kerklaan, 2013. "Developing an evidence-based management approach for creating high performing higher education institutions," Working Papers 2013/18, Maastricht School of Management.
    3. Marco Ferroni & Paul Castle, 2011. "Public-Private Partnerships and Sustainable Agricultural Development," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(7), pages 1-10, July.
    4. Oecd, 2010. "Competition in Bidding Markets," OECD Journal: Competition Law and Policy, OECD Publishing, vol. 10(1), pages 69-151.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets

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