Perceived environmental uncertainty in the agrifood supply chain.
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Purpose – The paper’s aim is to develop a diagnosis of the environment of the agrifood supply chain based on members’ perceptions of environmental uncertainty. Design/methodology/approach – Environmental uncertainty is defined as the lack of information about the external environment and is obtained by integrating the perceived dynamism and complexity of the environmental variables. The measurements that are used are the result of applying the Rasch methodology to the information obtained by means of a questionnaire completed by the deciders of firms in the Canary Islands (Spain). Those measures permit the complexity and dynamism perceived by the groups of firms in the supply chain together with the levels of perceived dynamism and complexity of the environmental variables to be jointly positioned on a map. Findings – According to the perceptions of the members of the agrifood supply chain (agriculture, agrifood industry and distribution), the main sources of environmental uncertainty are demand and competitors. The agricultural sector perceives somewhat more uncertainty than agrifood industry sector, while the distribution sector perceives a stable environment. Research limitations/implications – The paper presents a useful tool for the business population and public institutions to identify which variables are perceived as the most dynamic and complex and how those variables are perceived by each member of the agrifood supply chain. Originality/value – The paper operationalises the proposal of Duncan by means of a new application of the Rasch methodology. The results reflect the thinking of the members of all sectors of a supply chain. It is one of the first to study the environmental uncertainty perceived in the agrifood supply chain from a strategic perspective as a fundamental antecedent of the promotion of vertical collaboration in the agrifood supply chain