This paper explores the impact of individual group members’ heterogeneous characteristics, resources and strategies on their level of cooperation on defining the future regulation of Geographical Indications (GIs). By following a “grounded theory” approach, this study combines qualitative evidence from an in-depth study on the “Prosciutto di Parma” Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Consortium with quantitative evidence based on data collected from 94 Consortium members and analysed through path modelling. Results confirm that (1) “Prosciutto di Parma” Consortium members have highly and increasingly heterogeneous characteristics, assets and strategies and that (2) higher heterogeneity negatively affects members’ agreement on the future level of restrictiveness of “Prosciutto di Parma” PDO as GI and therefore the effectiveness of the collective action. Overall, these findings give light to another internal barrier that may threaten producers’ opportunity of profiting from the use of established and highly recognized GIs. Managerial and policy implications for both “Prosciutto di Parma” Consortium members and other groups governing established and highly recognized GIs are drawn.
- collective action
- protected designation