Resistance and strategic responses in food supply networks: Metro Cash & Carry in Bangalore

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The transnational expansion of large retail and wholesale companies such as Metro, Carrefour and Wal-Mart has caused changes in the market situation and consequent power shifts, not only in the retail sector but also in the supply networks in host countries. These developments at least potentially endanger the livelihoods of old established retailers, intermediaries and employees of these businesses. Thus, it is not surprising that the investments of the transnational companies can result in resistance from those affected. As an analysis of Metro and its activities in the federal state of Karnataka in India shows, this resistance can influence the activities of the company to develop a modern supply network. This study analyses the way in which the actors of resistance develop and exercise power and how this in turn influences Metro. The global production network (GPN) approach is used as an analytical framework. The results emphasize the importance of networks external to the firm for the analysis of processes of globalization. The company's behaviour cannot be understood unless the resistance is taken into account. The study shows that the GPN framework provides the tools to analyse the influence of actors such as civil society groups, trade unions and associations as part of the production network. However, up to now this option has rarely been used.