The Role of Inter‐Organisational Relations and Networks in Agribusiness: The Case for the Polish Fruit and Vegetable Industry

Joanna A. Wiśniewska‐Paluszak, Grzegorz T. Paluszak


This paper contributes to the ongoing discussions on the benefits of inter‐organisational networks (IONs) in agribusiness. It is based on the field of inter‐organisational relations (IORs) and network approaches that are applied in the framework of the Activities‐Resources‐Actors (ARA) model. The aim of this paper is to recognise and evaluate the distinguishing features of network relationships, which lead to better defined networks in agribusiness. Polish fruit and vegetable producers, processors and traders were investigated in this study. The study reveals that the main objectives of network relationships are to increase profits, this is linked to the optimisation of supplies and provisions, the building of communities and relationships and sustainable development. The outcomes of network relationships have been recognised as the non‐transactional exchange of knowledge and information, mutual adaptations, adjustments and standardisations. They are led by strong transactional relationships in the supply chain, which are based on pricing conditions, terms of payments, formal contracts and cooperation. This study distinguishes five categories of inter‐organisational network relationships they are: very strong operational, strong sustainable, moderate social, weak innovative and very weak shared resources. The paper concludes that the studied networks are characterised by strong activity and actor ties and weak resources bonds. Specifically the lack of shared resources might negatively influence the networks innovation and sustainability in the future.


inter‐organisational network relationship; network approach; agribusiness network; fruit and vegetable processing industry

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ISSN 1869-6945


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