The barriers to co-operation in the food safety system in Poland


Objectives: The official food safety system in Poland is divided between a number of specialised inspection bodies. The effective implementation of the entire inspection and supervision process requires multi-direction co-operation. The aim of the study presented was the identification of the barriers to and boundaries of the inter-organisational cooperation between the inspection bodies involved in the official food safety process.

Research Design & Methods: Qualitative research methods: analysis of organisational documentation, industry reports, post-audit reports and in-depth interviews with employees of five inspection bodies.

Findings: The co-operation between the inspection bodies should be multi-threaded and multi-lateral. In fact, the mechanisms that encourage co-operation are relatively weak and there are numerous barriers between them. The lack of the inter-organisational co-operation is caused by various factors: cultural, social, political, legal, and organisational norms and values. The key source of the barriers is the fragmentary perception of the food safety supervision process by employees, which results from the lack of a systematic approach to this process. The employees of the inspection bodies perceive the remaining inspections as external entities and not co-workers taking part in a common process aimed at common good.

Implications/Recommendations: This article suggests some policy implications. The evolutionary solutions may include measures to eliminate the differences between inter-organisational co-operation postulated in legal regulations and real practices. The revolutionary activities may consist of building a comprehensive system of official food safety which will lead to consistent supervision over the entire food chain, and not only over the individual stages thereof. The construction of such a system may require changes in the number and the scope of tasks of the existing inspections.

Contribution/Value Added: The inter-organisational co-operation problems as part of the official food safety process are not specific to only the system in Poland: similar difficulties are found in many countries. Therefore these research findings have potentially wide application.


inter-organisational ties; public management; food safety

Adamik, A. (2009). Bariery wdrażania koncepcji międzyorganizacyjnych więzi współpracy. In M. Matejun & M. Szczepańczyk (Eds.), Współczesne metody zarządzania w praktyce gospodarczej. Łódź: Wydawnictwo Politechniki Łódzkiej.

Adamik, A. & Matejun, M. (2010). Regionalne uwarunkowania rozwoju przedsiębiorstw opartego na współpracy z otoczeniem okołobiznesowym. Zeszyty Naukowe Uniwersytetu Szczecińskiego. Ekonomiczne Problemy Usług (Marketing przyszłości. Trendy. Strategie. Instrumenty. Partnerstwo i komunikacja w regionie ed. by G. Rosa & A. Smalec), 56: 11–22.

Ansell, C. & Vogel, D. (2006). The contested governance of European food safety regulation. In C. Ansell, D. Vogel (Eds.), What’s the Beef? The Contested Governance of European Food Safety (pp. 3–32). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Barling, D., Lang, T. & Caraher, M. (2002). Joined-up food policy? The trials of governance, public policy and the food system. Social Policy & Administration, 36(6): 556–574.

Bryła, P., Jurczyk, T. & Domański, T. (2013). Klasyfikacja barier podejmowania współpracy z otoczeniem gospodarczym przez uczelnie wyższe. Marketing i Rynek, 5: 10–16.

Casalino, N., Cavallari, M., Marco, M., Gatti, M. & Taranto, G. (2014). Defining a model for effective e-government services and an inter-organisational cooperation in public sector. In: ICEIS 2014 Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems, Vol. 2 (pp. 400–408). Lisbon.

Cyran, K. (2015). Bariery współpracy sfery biznesu z jednostkami naukowymi z perspektywy małych i średnich przedsiębiorstw. Modern Management Review, 22(3): 23–33.

Czakon, W. (2007). Dynamika więzi międzyorganizacyjnych przedsiębiorstwa. Prace Naukowe Akademii Ekonomicznej im. Karola Adamieckiego w Katowicach, Katowice.

Ernst, D. (2000). Inter-organisational knowledge outsourcing: What permits small Taiwanese firms to compete in the computer industry? Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 17(2): 223–255.

Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) (2016). Understanding Food Safety. Facts and Background. Berlin: Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

Geisler, E. (1995). Industry–university technology cooperation: a theory of inter-organizational relationships. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 7(2): 217–229.

Gilardi, F. (2004). Institutional change in regulatory policies: Regulation through independent agencies and the three new institutionalisms. In J. Jordana, D. Levi-Faur (Eds.), The Politics of Regulation. Institutions and Regulatory Reforms for the Age of Governance (pp. 91–112). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Hatch, M.J. (2002). Organization Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Jemielniak, D. (2012). Badania jakościowe. Vol. 1. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.

Jendza, D. (2010). Doskonalenie współdziałania jednostek inspekcyjnych warunkiem skutecznego nadzoru nad bezpieczeństwem żywności w Polsce. In M. Chrabkowski (Ed.), Bezpieczeństwo 2. Zeszyty Naukowe WSAiB im. Eugeniusza Kwiatkowskiego w Gdyni, no. 15. Gdynia: Wydawnictwo WSAiB.

Jendza, D. (2015). Nieformalne bariery współpracy między jednostkami inspekcyjnymi nadzorującymi bezpieczeństwo żywności w Polsce. Zarządzanie Publiczne (UJ), 3: 255–263.

Jordana, J. & Sancho, D. (2004). Regulatory design, institutional constellations and the study of the regulatory state. In J. Jordana, D. Levi-Faur (Eds.), The Politics of Regulation. Institutions and Regulatory Reforms for the Age of Governance (pp. 296–319). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Kamiński, P. (2017). Bariery i potencjały współpracy sektorów kultury i edukacji, 29.03.2017, (accessed: 23.07.2018).

Klimas, P. (2015). Przesłanki i bariery zawiązywania więzi międzyorganizacyjnych. Problemy Zarządzania, 13(1): 29–46.

Kopeć, N. (2013). Bariery współpracy uczelni i przedsiębiorstw w lubelskim środowisku naukowym. Zagadnienia Naukoznawstwa, 3(197): 235–245.

Kożuch, B. (2007). Nauka o organizacji. Warszawa: CeDeWu.

Kożuch, B. & Sienkiewicz-Małyjurek, K. (2016). Paradoksy współpracy międzyorganizacyjnej w systemie zarządzania bezpieczeństwem publicznym. Prace Naukowe Uniwersytetu Ekonomicznego we Wrocławiu, 421: 289–300.

Knechtges, P.L. (2012). Food Safety. Theory and Practice. London: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Leoński, Z. (2004). Zarys prawa administracyjnego. Warszawa: LexisNexis.

Lie, A. (2010). Coordination Processes and Outcomes in Norway and New Zealand: The Challenge of Inter-Organisational Coordination of Food Safety Issues. Oslo: University of Oslo.

Lie, A. (2011). Coordination processes and outcomes in the public service: the challenge of inter‐organisational food safety co-ordination in Norway. Public Administration, 89(2): 401–417.

Mattessich, P.W., Murray-Close, M. & Monsey, B.R. (2001). Collaboration: What Makes It Work. Saint Paul, MN: Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.

Osborne, S.P. (2010). The New Public Governance: Emerging Perspectives on the Theory and Practice of Public Governance. New York: Routledge.

Plawgo, B., Szpak, A. & Radziwon, P. (2006). Zarządzanie relacjami organizacji publicznych z ich otoczeniem. In B. Kożuch (Ed.), Problemy zarządzania organizacjami publicznymi. Kraków: Fundacja Współczesne Zarządzanie, Instytut Spraw Publicznych UJ.

Polanyi, M. (1997). Knowledge in Organizations. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann. Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and the Council of 29 April 2004 on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules.

Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin.

Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety.

Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 laying down specific rules for the organisation of official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption.

Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs.

de Rond, M. & Bouchkhi, H. (2004). On the dialectics of strategic alliances. Organization Science, 15(1): 56–69.

Santarek, K. (ed.), Bagiński, J., Buczacki, A., Sobczak, D. & Szerenos, A. (2008). Transfer technologii z uczelni do biznesu. Tworzenie mechanizmów transferu technologii. Warszawa: PARP, (accessed: 23.07.2018).

Sienkiewicz-Małyjurek, K. (2014). Strategic approach and initiatives streamlining emergency operations in Poland. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 3(1): 385–392.

Smircich, L., Morgan, G. (1982). Leadership: The management of meaning. Journal of Applied Behavioural Studies, 18(3): 257–273.

Thomson, A.M. & Perry, J.L. (2006). Collaboration process: Inside the black box. Public Administration Review, 66(s1), pp. 20–32.

Tung-Mou, Y. & Maxwell, T.A. (2011). Informationsharing in public organizations: A literature review of interpersonal, intra-organizational and inter-organizational success factors. Government Information Quarterly, 28(2): 164–175.

Ujda-Dyńka, B. (2013). Współdziałanie gospodarcze jako element strategii rozwoju małych i średnich przedsiębiorstw. Nierówności Społeczne a Wzrost Gospodarczy, 34: 289–300.

Ustawa o bezpieczeństwie żywności i żywienia, 25.08.2006 r., Dz. U. 2006, No. 171, poz. 1225.

Veugelers, R. & Cassiman, B. (2005). R&D co-operation between firms and universities. Some empirical evidence from Belgian manufacturing. International Journal of Industrial Organisation, 23(5–6): 355–379.

Wiatrak, A. (2006). Sektor publiczny jako system. In B. Kożuch (Ed.), Problemy zarządzania organizacjami publicznymi. Kraków: Fundacja Współczesne Zarządzanie, Instytut Spraw Publicznych UJ.

Wojciechowski, P. (2014). Organy urzędowej kontroli żywności w Polsce. Kontrola i Audyt, 1: 49–65.

Zeng, S.X., Xie, X.M. & Tam, C.M. (2010). Relationship between co-operation networks and innovation performance of SMEs. Technovation, 30(3): 181–194.


Published : 2019-08-30

Jendza, D., & Wróbel, P. (2019). The barriers to co-operation in the food safety system in Poland. Public Governance / Zarządzanie Publiczne, (48(2), 45-57.

Dorota Jendza 
University of Gdańsk  Poland

Faculty of Management
ul. Armii Krajowej 101

Piotr Wróbel 
University of Gdańsk  Poland

Faculty of Management
University of Gdańsk
ul. Armii Krajowej 101, Sopot