To Intervene or Not to Intervene? An Evaluation of Strategic Intervention and its Usefulness in the Development of a Value Chain Alliance for the Native Flower Industry

Firrell, Craig (2006). To Intervene or Not to Intervene? An Evaluation of Strategic Intervention and its Usefulness in the Development of a Value Chain Alliance for the Native Flower Industry MPhil Thesis, School of Natural and Rural Systems Management, University of Queensland.

       
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Author Firrell, Craig
Thesis Title To Intervene or Not to Intervene? An Evaluation of Strategic Intervention and its Usefulness in the Development of a Value Chain Alliance for the Native Flower Industry
School, Centre or Institute School of Natural and Rural Systems Management
Institution University of Queensland
Publication date 2006
Thesis type MPhil Thesis
Supervisor Associate Professor Anthony Dunne
Subjects 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Abstract/Summary This thesis is a qualitative examination and evaluation of a process used to develop a value chain in the Australian native floricultural industry. It demonstrates that expert facilitators in strategic intervention can successfully encourage changes in practice by enhancing the knowledge, attitude, skills, and aspirations of a group within the industry. It also provides recent evidence that the formation of a collaborative marketing alliance is a difficult process requiring the development of strong relationships with partners who are capable of achieving results. The study provides detailed descriptions and evaluations of the alliance formation process followed by expert facilitators from the Value Chain Program of the Centre for Native Floriculture at the University of Queensland, Gatton. The research covers the period from October 2003 to August 2005 and focuses on a single case in which the facilitators used strategic intervention to assist in the development of a value chain alliance for marketing the native flower Backhousia myrtifolia in Japan. The research adopted a third party evaluator approach to gather information relating to the process and its impact on participants involved in the project. The purpose of this approach was two fold. First, to avoid facilitator bias in the critical assessment of the alliance development framework used by the Value Chain Program of The Centre for Native Floriculture. Then having conducted the assessment, improvements that could help facilitators in future projects were identified. A two pronged approach was adopted. First, the links between the theories of strategic intervention, value chain management and alliance development were established and key indicators for each stage of the process where monitored. Second, Bennett’s Hierarchy (Bennett 1975) was used as a framework for evaluating the process and its impact on the participants. The findings of the research concluded that although progress in capacity building was achieved, building a strong alliance required the success of the following key indicators: propensity to commit, partner selection, a shift in thinking, relationships and the emergence of a leader. It also revealed the limitations of a genuine strategic intervention process. While these findings alone cannot be used to develop generalized theory, this case study does contain valuable insights that if combined with other experiences should influence policy development and practice aimed at funding strategic intervention to develop value chains in rural industries.

 
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Created: Fri, 21 Nov 2008, 15:02:16 EST