The declining competitiveness of the Sri Lankan tea industry is an example of shifting competitive advantage in agribusiness. This research uses a case study approach to identify the specific role of information and communication on exporter/importer relationships within the tea supply chain, and the impact on value addition, channel member performance and competitive advantage in the Sri Lankan tea industry. The main primary data collection was conducted through thirty face-to-face executive interviews in Sri Lanka using an extensive semi-structured interview guide. Analyses of the information from the interviews were qualitative in nature. Results demonstrated how good information and communication between exporters and importers promote joint decision making, commitment and loyalty. In turn these affect relationship quality in respect of concepts such as trust, commitment, satisfaction and opportunism. Relationship quality was also shown to have impacts on value creation. Results indicated that this approach leads to inimitable strategic advantages for supply chain players whereby it is difficult for competitors to duplicate such relationships.


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