Measuring chain performance beyond supplier–buyer relationships in agri-food chains

Joanita Kataike*, Lusine H. Aramyan, Oliver Schmidt, Adrienn Molnár, Xavier Gellynck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Measuring chain performance which extends beyond supplier–buyer interface is of paramount importance in tracking and tracing the ineffectiveness and inefficiency of the entire chain. In response to chain inefficiencies, key performance indicators need to be assessed at different chain levels. Knowledge amongst chain members and evident research on the chain members’ assessment of the chain partners’ contribution to their individual chain performance is equivocal. The purpose of this study is to investigate perceived performance contribution of bilateral relationships of each chain member to its chain partners’ performance across the dairy sector. Design/methodology/approach: The research was conducted in a dairy agri-food sector in Uganda. A total of 115 triad chains (three matching chain members) were obtained during the period of January to April 2016. Using simple random sampling, the dairy farmers (first suppliers), the cooperative supply managers (second suppliers) and the processors (buyers) were surveyed. Means and standard deviations presented descriptive findings. Furthermore, Kruskal–Wallis and Mann–Whitney U tests were used to assess the differences and similarities of the perceived performance contribution of the individual chain partners. Findings: The results revealed that each chain members’ perception of chain performance contribution toward the individual chain performance is relatively high. Further, it was found that there were significant differences between the chain members about the perceived chain performance contributions. However, within the internal chain analysis, no significant differences were observed. Research limitations/implications: Although limited to a single agri-food sector within the Ugandan dairy sector, the findings support evidence from similar agri-food chains worldwide. Originality/value: Literature shows shortcomings in measuring chain performance at three chain levels. Therefore, this shift from single or dyad to triad chain analysis provides new insights into the field of agri-food chains and supply chain performance in particular. It also provides important empirical results on how each chain member contributes to the chain partners’ performance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSupply Chain Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2019


  • Food industry
  • Performance
  • Performance measurement


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