Despoudi, Stella, Papaioannou, Grammatoula and Dani, Samir (2015) The promise of supply chain collaboration: a myth or reality? An empirical analysis of fruit producers' perceptions. In: 20th International Symposium on Logistics (ISL 2015), 5th - 8th July 2015, Bologna, Italy. (Unpublished)

Purpose of this paper:
In the last few years it has been observed that there is a change in the relationships among supply chain partners from arms-length transactions to collaborative relationships. Supply chain partners started to realise that working in a collaborative way can offer them substantial gains. Literature suggests that there are many benefits for supply chain partners achieving supply chain collaboration. However, achieving supply chain collaboration with partners does not always have the expected benefits. There are a number of challenges mentioned in the literature as the drawbacks of collaboration. Also, enhancing collaboration levels in agricultural supply chains is seen as a source of competitiveness. This research aims to evaluate the impact of collaboration on the business performance of the fruit producers.
The research is based on the analysis of key literature in order to explore the concept of supply chain collaboration in the area of agricultural supply chain management. Additionally, a structured questionnaire was developed to measure supply chain collaboration and its impact on producers’ business performance.
The data is being analysed and some of the findings will be discussed in this paper. The 220 responses collected are analyzed using structural equation modelling techniques. The findings of this study will show whether collaborative relationships of fruit producers help them to achieve better business performance or not. Also, the analysis of the results will suggest whether other organisational characteristics have an impact on collaborative relationships in the agricultural sector.
This research is expected to provide new insights into how collaboration impacts business performance in the agricultural sector. Through this research the collaborative practices that lead to successful or not business performance will be ascertained. The findings of this study will be useful for agricultural producers, but also for SMEs operating in the agricultural and food sector.
Research limitations & future research:
This research provides an analysis of supply chain collaboration and business performance from the producers’ perspective. Future research should evaluate supply chain collaboration from other supply chain actors’ point of view. Also, another suggestion for future research is to identify the environmental factors that might impact a collaborative relationship.

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