Catching the "Third Wave" : a comparative institutional analysis on the evolution of trade and New Zealand's food and fibre sector : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business Studies in Management at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand
Over the last 80 years three key institutional events have significantly changed the way New Zealand trades – the signing of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1948; the establishment of the World Trade Organization in 1995; and, and the breakdown of the rules-based trading system from 2017. Despite these shifts, New Zealand remains a globally competitive exporter, particularly in terms of its food and fibre products. The aim of this research is to determine and explain, in depth, the specific reasons that New Zealand’s food and fibre sector has remained successful relative to its competitors, despite the dominant trade theory predicting the contrary. This comparative institutional analysis was done by re-examining key trade and domestic policy. The emergence and identification of the resultant institutions and the accompanying institutional logics was then developed into a predictive tool through which future behaviours, opportunities, and outcomes may be identified. This tool is referred to as the dominant logic matrix and in it, these key events are used as bookends for three dominant logic waves: Wave One (1948-1995), Wave Two (1995-2017), and Wave Three (2017- current), with two identifiable transition periods between each. The dominant logic in New Zealand’s food and fibre sector has already evolved three times in the last eight decades, which can only be observed with the benefit of hindsight. To remain successful for the next 80 years, and beyond, New Zealand’s food and fibre sectors will need to use the signals of change observed today, and the retrospective observations from Waves One and Two, to accelerate the whole food and fibre sector’s transition to a Wave Three world.