The paper aims to analyze power balance and collaboration in the value net context and to discuss the role of information as a source of power. The purpose is to find out how power affects information sharing and collaboration between buyers and suppliers. Both demand and supply perspectives are utilized, and the value net approach is combined with research on supply management and market orientation.
The case study method was used in order to analyze relationships and information sharing in the Finnish food industry. A 29 semi‐structured interviews were conducted in four case companies.
The results indicate that value net actors in the supplier role are willing to form collaborative relationships, but when they are in the role of the buyer the willingness to collaborate weakens. The implication is that power increases as the distance from the end‐markets decreases and that power relations affect collaboration and restrict information sharing between the actors in the value net.
A single case study such as this does not purport to produce findings that can be generalized in a statistical sense, but the findings will be valuable in an analytical sense because they extend understanding of the existing theory. Further research should be directed towards comparative studies of value nets, power relations and information sharing in other countries and in other industries.
The paper sheds light on the critical factors that influence value net collaboration, making it possible for managers to focus on relevant issues when developing business relationships and the value net as a whole.
There is a limited amount of research on value nets in the food industry, and because of the changing business environment there is an urgent need for studies focusing on the food business in the context of networks and value nets. In combining the value net approach with purchasing and supply management and market orientation perspectives the study extends the discussion on information sharing with its emphasis on network relations and the complicated nature of collaboration.
Kähkönen, A. and Tenkanen, M. (2010), "The impact of power on information sharing in the Finnish food industry", British Food Journal, Vol. 112 No. 8, pp. 821-835. https://doi.org/10.1108/00070701011067442Download as .RIS
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