The purpose of this article is to clarify the relation between the power structure of a supply chain and the possibilities to realize supply chain innovations. In an in-depth case study of the faltering start of an innovation trajectory in the Dutch wheat supply chain, we show that supply chain innovations should be in line with the interests of the powerful actors in the chain. The direct interests of the actors in the innovation are naturally relevant, but the less visible, indirect effects of the innovation on the power structure of the chain are also especially important. We show that if a chain innovation is expected to decrease the value of a resource on which the current power position of an actor in the chain is based, this actor is likely to resist it. Furthermore, an actor that derives power from the flexibility to choose among suppliers is likely to resist an innovation that requires collaboration and increased mutual commitment. This article also proposes strategies to overcome the resistance of powerful actors to such innovations.
|Journal||Journal on chain and network science|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|