Social capital, power and information sharing: evidence from the Dutch meat processing industry

C. Gelderman*, J. Semeijn, Ferdi ter Avest, E.R.R. Peeters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose–Buying companies in the food industry increasingly recognize the need to cultivate relationshipswith their suppliers. Social capital and power are important to understand buyer–supplier relationships. Maintaining these relationships appears highly dependent on the degree of information sharing.
Design/methodology/approach–The study investigates how power and social capital dimensions arerelated to information sharing. A survey of first-tier suppliers in the Dutch meat processing industry was carried out. The data from 82 suppliers was analyzed using partial least squares.
Findings–It appears that expert power contributes to the cognitive and structural social capital. In contrast,coercive power showed no influence at all. Cognitive and structural social capital dimensions have a direct linkto relational social capital, which significantly improves buyer–supplier information sharing in the foodindustry.Practical implications–Buying companies can encourage supplier information sharing by building uptheir own expertise and cultivating social relationships. They should refrain from strong-handed practices. Originality/value–Companies in the food and food processing industry are dependent on effectiveinformation exchange for their very survival. This study investigates the role of power and social capital inmaking such exchange possible and sustainable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3343-3360
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Food Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2020


  • Information sharing, Social capital, Expert power, Coercive power, Meat processing
  • Information sharing
  • Expert power
  • Coercive power
  • Meat processing
  • Social capital


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