Partnerships of a feather flock together? An analysis of the emergence of networks of partnerships in the global cocoa sector

Verena Bitzer*, Pieter Glasbergen, Pieter Leroy

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    33 Citations (Web of Science)

    Abstract

    In this article, we move away from the case study approach dominant in the literature on partnerships and explore the emergence of networks of partnerships. Taking the global cocoa sector as our research setting, we examine 55 partnerships to analyse the linkages between them, their evolution over time, as well as the simultaneous occurrence of cooperation and competition. We discover that the partnerships are connected to each other through overlapping memberships of organizations and increasingly also through institutional linkages. The linkages between the partnerships channel the flow of resources and thereby reinforce the capacity of individual partnerships. A meta-governance organization, which steers and coordinates the broader sustainability efforts of the cocoa industry, enhances the impact of the linkages. Our analysis shows that partnerships should be studied not only as autonomous entities but also as networks of partnerships.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)355-374
    Number of pages20
    JournalGlobal Networks-a Journal of Transnational Affairs
    Volume12
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

    Keywords

    • PARTNERSHIPS
    • NETWORKS
    • COOPERATION
    • COMPETITION
    • COCOA SECTOR
    • ALLIANCE FORMATION
    • SOCIAL-STRUCTURE
    • COFFEE CHAIN
    • SUSTAINABILITY
    • GOVERNANCE
    • CERTIFICATION
    • EMBEDDEDNESS

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