Network governance evolution and dependency balancing in Australia - Republic of Korea and Australia - Japan agribusiness trade
thesisposted on 05.01.2017, 03:56 by Stone, Sharman Nancy
This thesis investigates the area of agribusiness industry structure, in particular the form and function of Agribusiness Statutory Marketing Authorities (ASMAs) and their influence on relationships and governance in dynamic export networks. The networks examined were involved with the Australia-Japan and Australia-Republic of Korea export trade in wheat and dairy products. Network governance and strategic activity were tracked and the changes analysed from the time of the first cross-border exchanges until 1994. The units of analysis were strategic episodes involving ASMAs and seven of their industries' suppliers. The research proceeds on the premise that the heterogeneous distribution of actors' interests and power asymmetries in agribusiness industrial networks creates imbalances and pressures for change. The research problem is determine how up-stream suppliers in long-established asymmetrical relationships can countervail dependencies, given the potential for the more powerful buyer to retaliate should the less powerful partner seek to shorten the supply channel or expand the network with additional buyers. A particular contribution of this research is the identification of the significance of network culture (ie norms and conventions) in facilitating or constraining evolution in the network governance. An accurate knowledge of corporate histories, cross-ownership linkages and traditional interdependencies was also critical for the selection of appropriate exchange partners. Enculturation and network knowledge is a basis for influence and an important strategic element. Both of these areas of understanding are time and repeated-experience dependent. In 1994, most key personnel in the networks had more than ten years continuous employment with their firm. But the convention of working for the one employer for many years is rapidly changing in the Republic of Korea, Japan and Australia. This paradigm shift may challenge the way norms and conventions have been used to entrench the status quo, and the way relational exchanges have been traditionally established and maintained. Finally, a model identifying the evolution of network governance was developed. The constructs and their interrelationships show strategy stimulated by the macro environment which is in turn a dynamic admixture of interdependent demand-competition, productiondistribution and institutional factors. These are moderated by the micro context, ie the internal characteristics of the firms the experience and skills of the key personnel and their network position. The model of network governance developed also offers a workable framework for collecting data and undertaking analysis of dynamic business relationships using case studies. Using case study method, this research was able to gain insights into complex, dynamic interrelationships, over time and in real life contexts.