Governance Structure Choices in Supply Chain Management Evidence from Spanish and Chinese Pork Chain Cases

Ji, Chen (2012). Governance Structure Choices in Supply Chain Management Evidence from Spanish and Chinese Pork Chain Cases. Thesis (Doctoral), E.T.S.I. Agrónomos (UPM) [antigua denominación].


Title: Governance Structure Choices in Supply Chain Management Evidence from Spanish and Chinese Pork Chain Cases
  • Ji, Chen
  • Felipe Boente, Isabel de
Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Read date: January 2012
Faculty: E.T.S.I. Agrónomos (UPM) [antigua denominación]
Department: Economía y Ciencias Sociales Agrarias [hasta 2014]
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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The author participated in the 6 th EU Framework Project ―Q-pork Chains (FP6-036245-2)‖ from 2007 to 2009. With understanding of work reports from China and other countries, it is found that compared with other countries, China has great problems in pork quality and safety. By comparing the pork chain management between China and Spain, It is found that the difference in governance structure is one of the main differences in pork chain management between Spain and China. In China, spot-market relationship still dominates governance structure of pork chain, especially between the numerous house-hold pig holders and the great number of small slaughters. While in Spain, chain agents commonly apply cooperatives or integrations to cooperate. It also has been proven by recent studies, that in quality management at the chain level that supply chain integration has a direct effect on quality management practices (Han, 2010). Therefore, the author started to investigate the governance structure choices in supply chain management. And it has been set as the first research objective, which is to explain the governance structure choices process and the influencing factors in supply chain management, analyzing the pork chains cases in Spain and in China. During the further investigation, the author noticed the international trade of pork between Spain and China is not smooth since the signature of bi-lateral agreement on pork trade in 2007. Thus, another objective of the research is to find and solve the problems exist in the international pork chain between Spain and China. For the first objective, to explain the governance structure choices in supply chain management, the thesis conducts research in three main sections. 10 First of all, the thesis gives a literature overview in chapter two on Supply Chain Management (SCM), agri-food chain management and pork chain management. It concludes that SCM is a systems approach to view the supply chains as a whole, and to manage the total flow of goods inventory from the supplier to the ultimate customer. It includes the bi-directional flow of products (materials and services) and information, and the associated managerial and operational activities. And it also is a customer focus to create unique and individual source of customer value with an appropriate use of resources, leading to customer satisfaction and building competitive chain advantages. Agri-food chain management and pork chain management are applications of SCM in agri-food sector and pork sector respectively. Then, the research gives a comparative study in chapter three in the pork chain and pork chain management between Spain and China. Many differences are found, while the main difference is governance structure in pork chain management. Furthermore, the author gives an empirical study on governance structure choice in chapter five. It is concluded that governance structure of supply chain consists of a collection of rules/institutions/constraints structuring the transactions between the various stakeholders. Based on the overview on literatures closely related with governance structure, such as transaction cost economics, transaction value analysis and resource-based view theories, seven hypotheses are proposed, which are: Hypothesis 1: Transaction cost has positive relationship with governance structure choice Hypothesis 2: Uncertainty has positive relationship with transaction cost; higher uncertainty exerts high transaction cost Hypothesis 3: The relationship between asset specificity and transaction cost is positive Hypothesis 4: Collaboration advantages and governance structure choice have positive relationship11 Hypothesis 5: Willingness to collaborate has positive relationship with collaboration advantages Hypothesis 6: Capability to collaborate has positive relationship with collaboration advantages Hypothesis 7: Uncertainty has negative effect on collaboration advantages It is noted that as transaction cost value is negative, the transaction cost mentioned in the hypotheses is its absolute value. To test the seven hypotheses, Structural Equation Model (SEM) is applied and data collected from 350 pork slaughtering and processing companies in Jiangsu, Shandong and Henan Provinces in China is used. Based on the empirical SEM model and its results, the seven hypotheses are proved. The author generates several conclusions accordingly. It is found that the governance structure choice of the chain not only depends on transaction cost, it also depends on collaboration advantages. Exchange partners establish more stable and more intense relationship to reduce transaction cost and to maximize collaboration advantages. ―Collaboration advantages‖ in this thesis is defined as the joint value achieved through transaction (mutual activities) of agents in supply chains. This value forms as improvements, mainly in mutual logistics systems, cash response, information exchange, technological improvements and innovative improvements and quality management improvements, etc. Governance structure choice is jointly decided by transaction cost and collaboration advantages. Chain agents take different governance structures to coordinate in order to decrease their transaction cost and to increase their collaboration advantages. In China´s pork chain case, spot market relationship dominates the governance structure among the numerous backyard pig farmer and small family slaughterhouse 12 as they are connected by acquaintance relationship and the transaction cost in turn is low. Their relationship is reliable as they know each other in the neighborhood; as a result, spot market relationship is suitable for their exchange. However, the transaction between large-scale slaughtering and processing industries and small-scale pig producers is becoming difficult. The information hold back behavior and hold-up behavior of small-scale pig producers increase transaction cost between them and large-scale slaughtering and processing industries. Thus, through the more intense and stable relationship between processing industries and pig producers, processing industries reduce the transaction cost and improve the collaboration advantages with their chain partners, in which quality and safety collaboration advantages be increased, meaning that processing industries are able to provide consumers products with better quality and higher safety. It is also drawn that transaction cost is influenced mainly by uncertainty and asset specificity, which is in line with new institutional economics theories developed by Williamson O. E. In China´s pork chain case, behavioral uncertainty is created by the hold-up behaviors of great numbers of small pig producers, while big slaughtering and processing industries having strong asset specificity. On the other hand, ―collaboration advantages‖ is influenced by chain agents´ willingness to collaborate and chain agents´ capabilities to cooperate. With the fast growth of big scale slaughtering and processing industries, they are more willing to know and make effort to cooperate with their chain members, and they are more capable to create joint value together with other chain agents. Therefore, they are now the main chain agents who drive more intense and stable governance structure in China‘s pork chain. For the other objective, to find and solve the problems in the international pork chain between Spain and China, the research gives an analysis in chapter four on the 13 international pork chain. This study gives explanations why the international trade of pork between Spain and China is not sufficient from the chain perspective. It is found that the first obstacle is the high quality and safety requirement set by Chinese government. It makes the Spanish companies difficult to get authorities to export. Other aspects, such as Spanish pork is not competitive in price compared with other countries such as Denmark, United States, Canada, etc., Chinese consumers do not have sufficient information on Spanish pork products, are also important reasons that Spain does not export great quantity of pork products to China. It is concluded that China´s government has too much concern on the quality and safety requirements to Spanish pork products, which makes trade difficult to complete. The two countries need to establish a more stable and intense trade relationship. They also should make the information exchange sufficient and efficient and try to break trade barriers. Spanish companies should consider proper price strategies to win the Chinese pork market

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Item ID: 10710
DC Identifier:
OAI Identifier:
DOI: 10.20868/UPM.thesis.10710
Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 26 Apr 2012 07:35
Last Modified: 04 May 2022 10:15
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