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Supply chain relationships, supplier support programmes and stimulating investment: evidence from the Armenian dairy sector

Liesbeth Dries (Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands)
Matthew Gorton (Newcastle University Business School, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK)
Vardan Urutyan (Agribusiness Department, Armenian National Agrarian University, Yerevan, Armenia)
John White (School of Management, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 7 January 2014



The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the determinants of supply chain relationships, the provision of supplier support measures and the role that support measures play in stimulating investment by suppliers in emerging economies.


The paper draws on survey evidence for 300 commercial dairy farms in Armenia. The identification of potential determinants of supply chain relationships and support programmes is based on literature on supply chain management and transaction cost economics.


Positive determinants of supplier support programmes are the degree of exclusivity of the buyer-supplier relationship, initial capital of the supplier, co-operation between suppliers, and foreign ownership of the buyer. Support programmes are less likely to be offered in very competitive environments. Support measures such as loans, physical inputs and guaranteed prices facilitate supplier investments.

Research limitations/implications

Research is limited to cross-sectional data for a single country and further testing would help assess the generalizability of the findings.

Practical implications

The findings highlight the gains that can be made from openness to international firms. The negative competition effect suggests that buyers are constrained in their ability to monitor use of the provided services in an environment where a lot of buyers are competing for the same supply. Improving the enforcement capability of companies under these circumstances is an important challenge for the industry and policy makers.


The novelty of the study lies in the investigation of the relationships between the nature of supply chain linkages and suppliers' investments.



The data used in this paper were collected in the SIDCISA (Supporting the International Development of CIS Agriculture) research project. This project was funded by EU INTAS. The analysis described in this paper was conducted as part of the COMPETE (International comparisons of product supply chains in the agro-food sectors) research project that is funded by EU FP7. Received 6 December 2012 Revised 9 April 2013 2 August 2013 11 October 2013 Accepted 11 October 2013


Dries, L., Gorton, M., Urutyan, V. and White, J. (2014), "Supply chain relationships, supplier support programmes and stimulating investment: evidence from the Armenian dairy sector", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 98-107.



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