Quality management and strategic alliances in the mango supply chain from Costa Rica : an interdisciplinary approach for analysing coordination, incentives and governance

G. Zuniga Arias

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


Supply chain management is vital for understanding the behaviour of economic agents involved in exchange.  Moreover, it is a way to respond to consumer preferences by integrating the efforts and requirements of all actors involved in transactions.  Agricultural commodities are articulated in demand-driven chains, where most of the power is at the retailer level.  This power is also reflected in terms of revenue distribution and quality requirements.  Producers are - in order to defend themselves against the power executed by the retailers – oriented towards several diversified outlets, they avoid hold-up and vertical integration, and maintain several degrees of quality for their produce. The main concepts involved in this study refer to governance, coordination, quality management and strategic alliances. These concepts are emerged in the analysis of the mango supply chain and interact simultaneously with each other.  The operational analysis focuses on the determinants of market outlet choice, economic incentives for improving quality, bargaining power and revenue distribution, and quality and variability management throughout the chain. This study offers two major contributions at (i) the methodological and (ii) the empirical level.  In methodological terms, a simulation gaming approach is used to understand the bargaining power and the strategic behaviour of different actors in the mango chain, using an interdisciplinary framework for natural and social science.  In terms of the empirical and exploratory analysis, issues related to variability management and bargaining relations are operationalised while relying on both partial and integrated supply chain analysis. This study is based on a quantitative analysis of the transactions and relationships of different agents throughout the mango chain from Costa Rica.  For this purpose, we combine different analytical tools and concepts derived from the structure-conduct-performance framework, institutional economics, the techno-managerial approach, and quality management, while paying particular attention to their interfaces and interactions. The results show the importance of the farm household characteristics, production system organisation and agreement characteristics as key elements for enhancing quality performance, improving bargaining power and selecting better market outlets for the produce.  
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Kuyvenhoven, Arie, Promotor
  • Ruben, Ruerd, Promotor
  • van Boekel, Tiny, Co-promotor
Award date19 Oct 2007
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs9789085047407
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2007


  • mangifera indica
  • mangoes
  • decision analysis
  • quality
  • tropical fruits
  • costa rica
  • agro-industrial chains
  • supply chain management
  • gaming simulation


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