Drivers for innovation in niche pork netchains. A study of United Kingdom, Greece, and Spain

R. Nijhoff-Savvaki, J.H. Trienekens, S.W.F. Omta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - This paper aims to provide insight in the set-up and governance of niche (organic, local and/or regional) pork supply chains and networks (netchains) in the UK, Greece, and Spain, characterized by societal embeddedness and differentiation in food production. Design/methodology/approach - The study consists of 29 expert interviews; it compares the different types of netchain innovation trajectories and concludes on each innovation driver and barrier what lessons can be learnt. Findings - The findings clearly demonstrate the influence of the institutional setting on these netchains; whereas in the UK there is a clear focus on operational excellence and leadership, both in Greece and Spain the focus is on preservation of tradition and culture. Research limitations/implications - The paper provides directions for further research based on the conclusion that for niche pork netchains to enjoy market growth, effective netchain driven learning structures are needed to catalyze innovation. Originality/value - Although a lot has been written on the adoption of innovations, the combination of the social network theory with innovation adoption theory seems to be absent in the present literature. So whereas normally theory on innovation adoption is looking at adoption of individual innovations, this study is taking a broader perspective by looking at the adoption of a range of innovations on a netchain level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1106-1127
JournalBritish Food Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • food-supply chains
  • social-structure
  • networks
  • paradigm
  • embeddedness
  • organization
  • performance
  • quality
  • systems


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