Title: Innovation capacity of food chains: a novel approach

Authors: Xavier Gellynck, Bianka Kuhne, Robert D. Weaver

Addresses: Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Division Agro-Food Marketing, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Gent, Belgium. ' Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Division Agro-Food Marketing, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Gent, Belgium. ' College of Agricultural Sciences, Penn State University, 201E Armsby Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA

Abstract: Our study aims at being the starting point for a novel approach of investigating the innovation capacity of and the relationships in the whole chain. We combine the analyses of the innovation process and the innovation system, thereby, following the theory of the new economy. Extensive data collection was conducted in the traditional food sector with SME-food manufacturers (FMs) and their suppliers and customers, in order to compare a large number of individual chains by applying multivariate statistical methods. Our study reveals that the comparison of individual chains delivers valuable results. It is shown that chains with three different types of innovation capacity exist in the traditional food sector: low, medium and high. These chains differ according their chain relationship quality in terms of trust, reputation and conflict. For future research, we suggest to gradually increase the degree of complexity of the studied system.

Keywords: innovation capacity; food chains; supply chain management; SCM; partner relationships; relationship quality; novel approach; traditional food products; new economy; small and medium sized enterprises; SMEs; agrifood industry.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIRD.2011.038919

International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development, 2011 Vol.3 No.2, pp.99 - 125

Published online: 07 Mar 2011 *

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