Where to meet?

Clarion Congress & Hotel, Cosmos 3B


Ms Wendy Boyce, AgResearch, New Zealand,  wendy.boyce@agresearch.co.nz

Dr James A Turner, AgResearch, New Zealand,  james.turner@agresearch.co.nz

Dr Jasper de Vries, Wageningen University, The Netherlands,  jasper.devries@wur.nl

Dr Laurens Klerkx, Wageningen University, The Netherlands, Klerkx  laurens.klerkx@wur.nl

Topic: New business and governance models for increasing trust and value equity in digitalised value chains: A review of the literature

keywords: Digitalisation, Trust, Innovation, Value Chains, Agriculture


Digitalisation is deemed essential to the sustainability of agri-food in New Zealand (Shepherd et al, 2018, Callaghan Innovation, 2018). As value chains within this bio-based economy seek to digitalise, they will need to develop a broad interconnected network of actors and digital technologies, including new business models, data management strategies, new business practices, networks and experiences (Dufva & Dufva, 2018; Jakku et al., 2018).

This creates opportunities and challenges regarding the ownership and use of digital technologies and data (Eastwood et al., 2017). One recognised challenge is that the formation of new connections among value chain actors and technologies in this interconnected network involves changes in trust among actors, and between actors and digital technologies (Carolan, 2017; Jakku et al., 2018). In particular, trust may be affected by  concerns regarding transparency – who will have access to data, how they will make use of it (Fleming et al., 2018) and equity – who benefits from access to and use of data (Carolan, 2017; Wolfert et al., 2017; Jakku et al., 2018). This raises questions regarding which new business and data governance models may enable access to and integration of data to provide benefits to value chain actors (Wolfert et al., 2017) and realise transparency and equity (Agyekumhene et al, 2018; de Vries, 2018; Snow et al, 2017), so to build and maintain trust. The relationship between trust in value chains and its connection to digitalisation has however only been explored to a limited extent. This paper aims to explore this connection, and therefore reviews existing literature from three research domains: (i) trust in value chains, (ii) trust and digitalisation, and (iii) digitalisation of agri-food value chains guided by the following questions:

  1. How has trust and changes in trust been conceptualised in value chains?
  2. What are the implications of digitalisation for changes in trust?
  3. How do different value chain business and governance models shape how digitalisation influences value chain trust and vice versa?

We present the literature review and bring together knowledge from these separate research domains to develop insights on the influence of digitalisation on trust in value chains. We explore how trust shapes new business and governance models. Future work will test these insights in case studies of digitalised and non-digitalised value chains.

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