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

  • Dorota Jendza University of Gdańsk
  • Piotr Wróbel University of Gdańsk
Keywords: inter-organisational ties, public management, food safety

Abstract

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.

Author Biographies

Dorota Jendza, University of Gdańsk

Faculty of Management
ul. Armii Krajowej 101
Sopot

Piotr Wróbel, University of Gdańsk

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

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Published
2019-12-09
How to Cite
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. https://doi.org/10.15678/ZP.2019.48.2.05