Quality Management in Supply Chain Networks - The Case of Poland


In this article we suggest that rising quality requirements are key factors for the redesign of food chains. We argue that the food supply proceeds through pyramidalhierarchical strategic networks coordinated by powerful focal firms. These firms choose a quality strategy and employ chain quality management concepts by exerting managerial discretion to achieve the super-ordinate network aims. We introduce and elaborate upon two types of chain quality management: strategic and operative. The theoretical findings have been tested using evidence from the Polish dairy market. Semi-structured interviews were conducted across the various hierarchical levels of the 19 largest Polish dairy cooperatives during the spring of 2006. The results show that the firms’ activities are generally aligned with current market opportunities for optimal enterprise performance. Thus, we determined that manufacturers of well-branded products create an advanced network structure and apply strategic quality management. Networks that have a focal company acting as an external customer of a processor use operative quality management. Some Polish dairies are still not embedded in any supply chain networks; no chain quality management concepts can be installed in these chains because they have no powerful focal firm.chain quality management, dairy cooperatives, network theory, Poland, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Demand and Price Analysis, Farm Management, International Development, Livestock Production/Industries, Production Economics,

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