Family ties, preconceived images and trust : How local community defines market collaboration in the Dutch fish chain

Valk, Olga M.C. van der; Vos, Birgit I. De


Vertical chain collaboration is a strategy for customers' value creation. However, Dutch fishermen are hardly participating in integrated value chains. While supply chain literature describes factors that contribute to successful chain partnerships, scarce research has been done on the dynamics of the sociocultural context for chain collaboration. In 10 semi-structured interviews, representatives of supply chain parties were asked for their perceptions on chain collaboration, trust, and the role of the local community. The interviews were directed at obtaining so-called 'tacit' knowledge, the non-spoken codified truths of social networks. Without generalizing, this research provides benchmarks to monitor how the different domains, laid out in this study, impact chain collaboration: community values, network participation and company competences. An overview is given of socio-economic factors blocking and enhancing chain collaboration at company and community level. Factors such as the strong bonding of family with business in tightly knit networks, a high level of social control, entrepreneurial autonomy, and loyalty as community norm hamper collaboration within the supply chain.Respondents' discourse demonstrates that cultural codes and identity form the very core of the entrepreneur, driving rather than 'embedding' economic behavior. Kinship, religion and peer pressure determine 'windows on the world' when engaging in chain collaboration. Consequently, any analysis of economics that does not integrate sociological and psychological methodology is flawed from the outset.