International strategic alliances in the greenhouse horticulture chains.

The aim is mapping and explaining: first the strategic behaviour of individual firms in internationally operating horticultural supply-chains and secondly the incentives that can be implemented successfully in order to increase the performance efficiency of a chain of cooperating firms. The Dutch greenhouse chain can be characterized by its power imbalance between links in the chain, by
its large number of Small and Medium Sized enterprises at producer and wholesaler level and by a growing importance of international trade flows. The influence of product and asset specificity on the structure, conduct and performance of individual actors in a chain will be the focus. Business economic consideration (risk management) will not always be on a par with chain economics. Incentives that are aiming at attaining chain objectives should be embedded in economic and strategic management theories. International trade theories and Transaction Cost Economics among others provide the framework for an overview of the actual state of the internationalisation of horticulture chains. The empirical focus will be on strategic alliance theories and on the wholesalers in the supply chain. The deliverables of the research are peer-reviewed articles and a PhD-thesis.