Graduate Project


Working relations and marketing channels in the seafood industry: a multi-sector analysis Public Deposited

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  • With indications that fisheries production has plateued at a global capacity of 85 million metric tons in the 1990's, further exploitation of marine stocks on a sustainable basis is unrealistic. Economic development of coastal and regional economies will benefit from new approaches to maximizing benefits from harvested products that include adding value through additional processing, improving product characteristics, and improving marketing efforts. Each of these strategies require improved working relationships between captureharvest/aquaculture, processing, and marketing sectors. This presents an organizational challenge for a culture that has traditionally valued independence and does not have a successful history of joint marketing efforts. New models for organizational development of the seafood industry must ultimately be identified with greater levels of goal achievement of industry participants A model of factors affecting industry working relationships and goal realization was developed to clarify what elements of inustry's task environment could constrain the development of better working relationships. The model proposed that uncertainty and organizational involvement were key elements of working relationship and goal realization. These factors could also be tied to the amount of conflict between channel partners and have an impact on the length of a firm's planning horizon. Satisfaction with working relationships and goal realization among capture-harvesters, aquaculturists, and first buyers were tested using data gathered from a mail survey instrument. The response rate was relatively low, under 25% for all sectors. This limited our capabilities to to make inferences for the entire U.S. seafood industry. Incremental modeling of the full model through covariance (ANCOVA) and multivariate analysis of covariance (MANGOVA) supports hypotheses that the degree to which a firm is invovled in multiple sectors is a significant factor in determining levels of goal realization, uncertainty, and conflict behavior. Regression analysis was supportive of the hypothesis that a firm's planning horizon would be inversely proportional to a firm's uncertainty, and that differences in perceptions of uncertainty exist between sectors. Testing using MANGO VA also supported the notion that different sectors in the seafood industry would percieve different levels of conflict behavior, and that there would be differences in their satisfaction with working relationships. Generally, these sectoral differences indicate that aquaculturists are not as challenged by uncertainty, conflict, and work relationships as capture-harvesters. Tests using canonical correlation analysis (CCA) supports the hypothesis that working relationships and goal realization are associated and suggested several dimmensions along which canonical variate pairs were correlated. Development of marketing channels in the seafood industry are constrained by uncertainty and psychocultural characteristics of individuals that promote independence as an adaptive behavior. Changing conditions in the task environment of small scale operators suggest that new ways of working together will be more productive in the future. An important role exists for fisheries managers and regional governments in removing of the constraints to relationship marketing that currently exists.
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