Exit and voice : a study of the New Zealand pip fruit industry (1980)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Thesis DisciplinePolitical Science
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This is a study of change within the pip-fruit industry. More specifically it is a study of the New Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing Board's performance on the domestic market. The pip-fruit industry in unusual in this country because both the local and export sectors are controlled by the Apple and Pear Board. The Board is a statutory corporation having monopoly control over the sale and distribution of fruit to the retailer and over the export of apples and pears. The thesis looks at the problem of the Board's performance on the local market which is characterised by a steady decline in its share of local market sales of fresh apples and pears. The focus of the thesis was on the activities of the grower for effectively controlling the Board's performance. Grower activities were discussed within Hirschman's model of 'Exit and Voice' and portrayed as either demands for change or actions in the form of exit from Apple and Pear Board channels for the marketing of their fruit. Part II of the thesis analysed from an historical perspective the Board's reaction to these grower activities with emphasis on attempts by the Board to improve its performance on the local market and in doing so retain the viability of the controlled marketing system. The objective of the thesis was to deter.mine to what extent recent major changes by the Board to its local market operation can be attributed to pressure from growers and to what extent others must be considered responsible. The historical analysis demonstrates that the Apple and Pear Board attempted to improve its performance in two ways. Foremost in its strategies, the Board chose to restrict the freedom of the grower to market his fruit through alternative channels. This strategy dominated Board action during the 1960's and early 1970's. On the whole, however, this strategy did not work and can be seen as an attempt by the Board to get tougher rather than noticeably better. Secondly, the Board made some changes to its marketing techniques. There was, however, no concerted effort in this direction until late in the 1970's. The reason behind this move was shown to be the impact of retailer and consequent government pressure on the Board to improve its performance. Government action was seen to be the determining factor in the Board's decision in 1979 to undertake major changes to its marketing operation and thereby improve its performance. Only now is the Board acting like a professional and aggressive marketing organisation. It is more determined than ever to improve its performance and ensure once and for all the viability of the controlled marketing system. From a theoretical perspective the thesis demonstrates that simply analysing the relationship between growers and the Board is not enough to successfully explain the Board's performance on the local market. It may indeed be necessary for actors outside the normal management-member relationship which Hirschman talks about, to push an organisation into action and to effectively improve its performance.
KeywordsNew Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing Board; Apples--New Zealand--Marketing; Pear--New Zealand--Marketing
RightsAll Rights Reserved
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