Cycle of Knowledge in the Management of the Supply Chain of Corn for Human Consumption

Moises Martinez Soto, Carlos Rodriguez Monroy, Joaquin Fuentes-Pila, A. Morris, M. Gil-Araujo, J. Velasco


The objective of this study is to characterize the cycle of knowledge in the supply chain of the industry of corn for human consumption. White corn is cultivated almost exclusively for human consumption and it has a significant value in the food supply in countries whose diet has a high proportion of this variety of corn, such as: Venezuela, México and Colombia in America, and the Republic of South Africa and Sahel countries in Africa. Corn is produced in Venezuela, under rainfed conditions and in a highly mechanized production system.
The cycle of knowledge is defined as a progressive spiral in which knowledge is created, stored, transferred, applied and preserved, in order to increase the competitiveness and  sustainability of organizations and companies in the food supply chain.
This non


experimental and crosssectional research is of a descriptive type. It was conducted in Venezuela during the second semester of 2009 in the supply chain of white corn, specifically, at the level of first tier producers (primary sector). The population is constituted by 1,754 producers of corn in the most important producing regions of the country. The representative sample was selected by the stratified sampling technique with proportional allocation: by association of corn producers and according to the grain yield. A questionnaire was designed and conducted according to the structured survey method. Its validity was verified by discriminant tests of items and its reliability through Bartlett's test, variance factorial analysis, Kaiser/Meyer/Olkin and Cronbach Alpha, achieving the last one a value of 0.9276.
The production units have an average area of 67.17 ha, with 1.97 permanent workers and 4.06 temporary workers. They obtained a physical productivity of 4,210.45 kg/ha. The Knowledge Index (KI) achieved a value of 69.78% and the Perception Index of the results (PI) was 76.06%. The Pearson correlation among these indices was positive and significant with a value of 0.51. The factorial analysis for principal components with rotated factors allows obtaining four factors from the five dimensions originally considered. These factors are: (1) knowledge creation, (2) knowledge storage, (3) knowledge transfer and application, and (4) preservation of knowledge.
The results allow us to conclude that the cycle of knowledge is managed in four stages in an intuitive and predominantly tacit manner which is the reason why those practices related to explicit knowledge become the agents of differentiation. Moreover, the existence of a positive correlation between the Knowledge Index and the Perception Index of the positive results by the producer was also proven.

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ISSN 2194-511X


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