Trust and Transparency in Supply Netchains: A Contradiction?

Trust and Transparency in Supply Netchains: A Contradiction?

Gert Jan Hofstede (Wageningen University, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-231-2.ch005
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Abstract

This chapter analyses the effects of increased transparency in supply netchains. The term netchain refers to both chain and network aspects. Three levels of transparency are distinguished: history transparency (e.g., tracking and tracing), operations transparency (e.g., collaborative logistics planning), and strategy transparency (e.g., joint innovation). Using an example in the Dutch egg sector, the chapter shows how the role of the individual company changes in a netchain and discusses the implications. Though technology push makes transparency feasible and economically attractive, social-psychological barriers exist that should be taken seriously. A brief review of cases from several continents shows that these barriers vary across cultures, depending on prevailing attitudes towards relationships and authority. Transparency may run counter to tradition, to trust, and to entrepreneurial freedom in the netchain, but it also offers opportunities for creating netchains that are profitable to all participants. To grasp these requires vision on behalf of those involved.

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