Alliances and Networks: Creating Success in the UK Fair Trade Market

Journal of Business Ethics 86 (S1):109 - 126 (2009)
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Data from a longitudinal study into the key management success factors in the fair trade industry provide insights into the essential nature of inter-organizational alliances and networks in creating the profitable and growing fair trade market in the UK. Drawing on three case studies and extensive industry interviews, we provide an interpretive perspective on the organizational relationships and business networks and the way in which these have engendered success for UK fair trade companies. Three types of benefit are derived from the networks: competitive developments through virtual integration in which the organizations remain flexible and small while projecting size to the market; intellectual developments through the sharing of intellectual capital with a diverse network of organizations in many fields; and ideological developments through an ideological network of like-minded individuals by which the companies can prevent the co-opting of the original purpose of fair trade. However, relative success at leveraging these benefits is influenced by three managerial factors: partner choice, partner use and partner management



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References found in this work

SMEs, Social Capital and the Common Good.Laura J. Spence & René Schmidpeter - 2003 - Journal of Business Ethics 45 (1/2):93 - 108.
Fair Trade: Three Key Challenges for Reaching the Mainstream.Anil Hira & Jared Ferrie - 2006 - Journal of Business Ethics 63 (2):107-118.
Ethical decision making in fair trade companies.Iain A. Davies & Andrew Crane - 2003 - Journal of Business Ethics 45 (1-2):79 - 92.
Ethical consumerism: The case of "fairly–traded" coffee.Kate Bird & David R. Hughes - 1997 - Business Ethics, the Environment and Responsibility 6 (3):159–167.

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