Assessing the Impact of Sustainability Improvement Options on the Agri-food Supply Chain Governance Structures: Development of an Evaluation Tool

Cosimo Rota, Cesare Zanasi, Nikolai Reynolds


The competitiveness of a supply chain is driven by the ability of supply chain governance structures to adapt to the chains’ continuously changing technical and organizational characteristics. The present study addresses the adoption of sustainability improvement options in the area of organization and management in the agri-food sector; within this framework the study proposes a tool for assessing the impact of sustainability oriented processes on the supply chain governance structures, in turn influencing the competitiveness of the supply chain. Two different approaches, proposed by (Gereffi et al., 2005) and (Hobbs and Young, 2000) have been linked to provide a theoretical framework for the tool development. The proposed new conceptual framework links the dimensions defining five different governance structures complexity of transaction, ability to codify and capabilities in the supply-base (Gereffi et al.,) to the product characteristics, regulatory and technology aspects defined by Hobbs and Young as drivers influencing the vertical coordination of supply chains. The method suggested for measuring the relations between improvement options and the chain governance structure is the adoption of experts’ evaluations. This method improves the tool capacity to provide a context-related supply chain governance structure assessment and management.


supply chain governance; agri-food; assessment tool; sustainability

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ISSN 1869-6945


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