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This paper proposes a research framework of the design and configuration of agrifood chains where the focal firm is a second-tier cooperative (group of affiliated cooperatives) in order to assess the alignment of (relational) governance structures and coordination mechanisms in these chains with supply chain management (SCM) principles. The theoretical framework proposes an integrative approach by drawing on the Relational View of inter-organisational competitive advantage and the Theory of Networks as inter-cooperative vertical relationships are embedded in horizontal ties between firms (first-tier cooperatives) of social rather economic nature. The conceptual framework developed herein will help theory building in SCM, but most importantly it would advance current knowledge on the scope of SCM in the agrifood cooperative sector.


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