Faculté des sciences économiques et sociales

Building industrial networks in the agribusiness sector of China : with a special reference to the broker's role

Li, Jian Jun ; Bircher, Bruno (Dir.)

Thèse de doctorat : Université de Neuchâtel, 2003 ; 1737.

The next 5-10 years will be an important period for China in readjusting its economic structure, and fine-tuning the market economy system and continuing the opening-up process. Key aims described in China's current plan include optimizing its industrial structure, and improving the agricultural, industrial and service sectors nationwide. Among many, one of the challenges is to continue reforming... Plus

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    Summary
    The next 5-10 years will be an important period for China in readjusting its economic structure, and fine-tuning the market economy system and continuing the opening-up process. Key aims described in China's current plan include optimizing its industrial structure, and improving the agricultural, industrial and service sectors nationwide. Among many, one of the challenges is to continue reforming state owned enterprises. Over the last two decades, strategic alliances between organizations have dramatically increased in China. However, most of the alliance studies on China are mainly on the formal forms of cooperative arrangement. Little research in the network domain of China has been undertaken. Furthermore, most research performed emphasized on analyzing the cooperative arrangements between a foreign firm and a local firm. As a result, few research publications are available in international literature on the network form of cooperative arrangement, or strategic alliance in general, between local Chinese firms. In this research, strategic networks have been identified as a suitable form of cooperative arrangement, particularly for those enterprises operating in the context of China's transitional economic environment. This study contributes and expands to the body of knowledge of strategic alliance, and strategic networks in particular, by specifically researching the strategic process of building network form of organizations between different Chinese institutions in the agribusiness sector. Qualitative methods and case study research strategy have been used to investigate selected network organizations (enterprises from both public and private sectors) engaging in activities of research and development, production and distribution of agrochemicals, fertilizers, hybrid seeds and honeybee pollination services which enhance productivity and sustainable development of production of various crops. The data collecting process was executed during March-April and June-August 2001. A total of twenty-eight interviews were conducted in the six-network case sites located in Beijing, Shanghai and Shanxi (five interviews for each case). The investigation of the research questions has been carried out along a framework of selected key variables and the relationships between them. This study has tackled the problems of factors that influenced the strategic conduct of firms in forming strategic alliances - along with the process of design and development of the strategic networks and their performances - particularly, how effective network building strategies are formulated and implemented by the brokers. According to the findings of this research, building strategic networks has important economic implications to the enterprises in the Chinese agribusiness sector. These implications include increasing the efficiency in organizing business activities and the acquisition of a better position in responding to increasingly demanding market conditions in the agribusiness sector. Finally, the dissertation has concluded by recommending a new model of broker - Strategic interactor, for carrying out the network building tasks whose role fits more to the context of China's transitional economies.