Putting the social into commodity chains: what motivates smallholders to opt for inclusion?

Joy S. Clancy, Avinash Narayanaswamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The emergence of the concept of sustainable development has put greater emphasis on economic activities that are socially and environmentally responsible. The social dimension of sustainable development reflects increasing interest in integrating poor people into global supply chains. This article begins with the assumption that to fully understand supply chain integration, one must first understand the relations between chain actors. In particular, one needs to understand smallholder motivation for participation in chains. In this article we use the concept of the value chain to examine, based on a case study from a particular agricultural value chain, the smallholder rationales for inclusion in or exclusion from the chain. Understanding these rationales is important for chain sustainability. Granovetter’s notion of “values” provides an explanation for what motivates opting for inclusion in or exclusion from a chain (Granovetter, 1985). We also present evidence about the role of partnerships in contributing to equitable outcomes for smallholders by participation in supply chains, hence aiding chain sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-104
Number of pages13
JournalSupply chain forum
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • METIS-306661
  • IR-92780


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