Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Individual competencies for managers engaged in corporate sustainable management practices
    Wesselink, R. ; Blok, V. ; Leur, S. van; Lans, T. ; Dentoni, D. - \ 2015
    Journal of Cleaner Production 106 (2015). - ISSN 0959-6526 - p. 497 - 506.
    social-responsibility - higher-education - key competences - capabilities - innovation - framework - business - pitfalls
    Corporations increasingly acknowledge the importance of sustainable practices. Corporate social responsibility is therefore gaining significance in the business world. Since solving corporate social responsibility issues is not a routine job, every challenge in corporate social responsibility requires its own approach; and management competencies are crucial for designing appropriate approaches towards the realization of sustainable solutions. On the basis of seven corporate social responsibility competencies synthesized from the extant literature, this research provides an empirical analysis of which of these competencies managers need in order to achieve corporate social responsibility goals within their specific context; and at which specific stage of the implementation process. The data sources are interviews with corporate social responsibility managers – whose positions and circumstances share many similarities – at four large multinational enterprises. The empirical analysis reveals that managers undertake four corporate social responsibility core tasks: I) orientation, II) reaching common ground, III) performing pilot projects, and IV) embedding results. Within the context of the analysis, the competencies: Systems Thinking, Embracing Diversity and Interdisciplinarity, Interpersonal Competence, Action Competence, and Strategic Management were found to be necessary. The Embracing Diversity and Interdisciplinarity competence was identified as the most relevant. This study contributes to the corporate social responsibility (education) literature by introducing an empirical test of which competencies are considered necessary for managers in various stages of corporate social responsibility implementation. Linking these competencies to core tasks makes them more concrete and increases the chances of interpreting them unambiguously, which in turn can aid learning trajectories in both business and education.
    Agroecology as a vehicle for contributive justice
    Timmermann, C. ; Felix, G.F. - \ 2015
    Agriculture and Human Values 32 (2015)3. - ISSN 0889-048X - p. 523 - 538.
    food sovereignty - meaningful work - intellectual property - green-revolution - agriculture - systems - labor - sustainability - need - capabilities
    Agroecology has been criticized for being more labor-intensive than other more industrialized forms of agriculture. We challenge the assertion that labor input in agriculture has to be generally minimized and argue that besides quantity of work one should also consider the quality of work involved in farming. Early assessments on work quality condemned the deskilling of the rural workforce, whereas later criticisms have concentrated around issues related to fair trade and food sovereignty. We bring into the discussion the concept of contributive justice to welcome the added labor-intensity of agroecological farming. Contributive justice demands a work environment where people are stimulated to develop skills and learn to be productive. It also suggests a fairer distribution of meaningful work and tedious tasks. Building on the notion of contributive justice we explore which capabilities and types of social relationships are sustainably promoted and reinforced by agroecological farming practices. We argue that agroecological principles encourage a reconceptualization of farm work. Farmers are continuously stimulated to develop skills and acquire valuable experiential knowledge on local ecosystems and agricultural techniques. Further, generalized ecological studies recognize the significance of the farmer’s observations on natural resources management. This contributes to the development of a number of capabilities and leads to more bargaining power, facilitating self-determination. Hereby farm work is made more attractive to a younger generation, which is an essential factor for safeguarding the continuity of family farms.
    Learning Apart Together: Towards an Integrated Competence Framework for Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Higher Education
    Lans, T. ; Blok, V. ; Wesselink, R. - \ 2014
    Journal of Cleaner Production 62 (2014). - ISSN 0959-6526 - p. 37 - 47.
    opportunity-identification - venture performance - firm performance - management - perspective - growth - exploitation - capabilities - recognition - orientation
    Sustainable entrepreneurs, i.e. those who proactively facilitate latent demands for sustainable development, are now in higher demand than ever before. Higher (business) education can play an important role in laying the foundation for these sustainable entrepreneurs. Traditionally, however, educational scholars focus either on the issue of education for sustainability or on entrepreneurship education. There is little work which explores and/or crosses the boundaries between these two disciplines, let alone work in which an effort is made to integrate these perspectives. In this article, a competence approach was taken as a first step to link the worlds of education for entrepreneurship and for sustainability because we postulate that both, apparently different, worlds can reinforce each other. Based on a literature review, focus group discussions with teachers in higher education (n = 8) and a structured questionnaire among students (n = 211), a set of clear, distinct competencies was developed, providing stepping stones for monitoring students' sustainable entrepreneurship development in school-based environments.
    Rapid analysis of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in hair using direct analysis in real time ambient ionization orbitrap mass spectrometry
    Duvivier, W.F. ; Beek, T.A. van; Pennings, E.J.M. ; Nielen, M.W.F. - \ 2014
    Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 28 (2014)7. - ISSN 0951-4198 - p. 682 - 690.
    synthetic cannabinoids - cocaine - drugs - identification - capabilities - metabolites - validation - samples - abuse
    RATIONALE - Forensic hair analysis methods are laborious, time-consuming and provide only a rough retrospective estimate of the time of drug intake. Recently, hair imaging methods using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) were reported, but these methods require the application of MALDI matrix and are performed under vacuum. Direct analysis of entire locks of hair without any sample pretreatment and with improved spatial resolution would thus address a need. METHODS - Hair samples were attached to stainless steel mesh screens and scanned in the X-direction using direct analysis in real time (DART) ambient ionization orbitrap MS. The DART gas temperature and the accuracy of the probed hair zone were optimized using ¿-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as a model compound. Since external contamination is a major issue in forensic hair analysis, sub-samples were measured before and after dichloromethane decontamination. RESULTS - The relative intensity of the THC signal in spiked blank hair versus that of quinine as the internal standard showed good reproducibility (26% RSD) and linearity of the method (R2¿=¿0.991). With the DART hair scan THC could be detected in hair samples from different chronic cannabis users. The presence of THC was confirmed by quantitative liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. Zones with different THC content could be clearly distinguished, indicating that the method might be used for retrospective timeline assessments. Detection of THC in decontaminated drug user hair showed that the DART hair scan not only probes THC on the surface of hair, but penetrates deeply enough to measure incorporated THC. CONCLUSIONS - A new approach in forensic hair analysis has been developed by probing complete locks of hair using DART-MS. Longitudinal scanning enables detection of incorporated compounds and can be used as pre-screening for THC without sample preparation. The method could also be adjusted for the analysis of other drugs of abuse.
    Beyond fragmentation and disconnect: Networks for knowledge exchange in the English land management advisory system
    Klerkx, L.W.A. ; Proctor, A. - \ 2013
    Land Use Policy 30 (2013)1. - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 13 - 24.
    agricultural extension - innovation systems - consulting firms - services - information - england - farmers - transformation - consultancies - capabilities
    The growing multifunctionality in agriculture, combined with privatisation of previously public agricultural extension services, has resulted in a pluralistic land management advisory system. Despite benefits in terms of increased client orientation and greater advisor diversity, it is argued that these changes have resulted in the fragmentation of the land management advisory system and a reduction of interaction within the advisory system and between the advisory system and science. Hence, concerns have been voiced as regards the capacity of the advisory system to be able to incorporate new knowledge, resulting in a growing interest in how advisors obtain and construct the knowledge necessary for offering adequate advisory services to their clients. In this article we explore how advisors within the English land management advisory system (land agents, applied ecologists and veterinarians) develop and optimise their knowledge by engaging in different kinds of networks (centralised, distributed and decentralised), each of which employs a different type of social capital. Key findings suggest that to obtain the knowledge needed to solve complex queries of clients, advisors use distributed networks and draw upon informal ‘communities of practice’ within their own advisory profession characterised by bonding social capital, but also draw upon broader ‘networks of practice’ involving multiple advisors from different advisory professions, which rely on bridging social capital. The employment of decentralised networks which rely on linking social capital, to solve complex queries or develop new services, for example through contacts with scientific institutes, appears to be less developed, despite brokering activities of the professional associations. Whereas fragmentation and disconnect due to competition and epistemological differences do play a role; they do not appear to prevent overall knowledge exchange among advisors within and across different professions. Assumptions of a collapse of interaction within the land management advisory system are not supported by the evidence, as there appears to be much bonding and bridging social capital. However, to optimise interactions between professions, and between advisors and the science system, either informal brokers or formal brokers in the form of professional associations or other organisations could play a bigger role.
    An Empirical Study on Governance Structure Choices in China's Pork Supply Chain
    Ji, C. ; Felipe, J. de; Briz, J. ; Trienekens, J.H. - \ 2012
    International Food and Agribusiness Management Review 15 (2012)2. - ISSN 1096-7508 - p. 121 - 152.
    transaction-cost economics - resource-based view - or-buy decisions - competitive advantage - vertical integration - firm - uncertainty - information - determinants - capabilities
    China´s pork chain is changing in several ways. Specialized and commercial productions are gaining importance although small scale (backyard) pig production still dominates production. Similarly, small slaughterhouses continue transactions with pig producers in spot market relationships, while big pork slaughtering and processing companies are actively exploring and advancing different forms of integration. This study explains the governance structure choices in China´s pork chain from both transaction cost economics and transaction value analysis perspec-tives using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). It is revealed that governance choices in China´s pork chain are the joint effect of transaction cost and collaborative advantages.
    Managing wicked problems in agribusiness: the role of multi-stakeholder engagements in value creation: Editor's Introduction
    Dentoni, D. ; Hospes, O. ; Ross, R.B. - \ 2012
    International Food and Agribusiness Management Review 15 (2012)B. - ISSN 1096-7508 - p. 1 - 12.
    capabilities - strategy
    Environmental degradation and biodiversity loss, persisting poverty, a mounting obesity epidemic, food insecurity and the use of biotechnology are all examples of wicked problems faced by agricultural and food organizations. Yet, managers and policy-makers often do not recognize that these problems are “wicked”. Wicked problems have cause-effect relationships that are difficult or impossible to define, cannot be framed and solved without creating controversies among stakeholders and require collective action among societal groups with strongly held, conflicting beliefs and values. In contrast to past research, this Special Issue takes an organizational perspective by tackling three key managerial questions: what is the value of managing wicked problems and engaging with multiple stakeholders? What are the human and organizational resources and the strategic conditions needed to engage with multiple stakeholders effectively? How can multi-stakeholder engagements be undertaken? A world collection of empirical case studies conducted by business, NGO and university leaders tackle these questions. For managers, the Issue offers recent and thought-provoking insights on how to recognize and deal with wicked problems. For academics, it proposes an agenda for addressing the topic and promises to fuel a research and education debate for years to come. Keywords: wicked problems, sustainability; agriculture; Stakeholder Theory; multi-stakeholder initiatives
    Group Heterogeneity and Cooperation on the Geographical Indication Regulations: The Case of the 'Prosciutto di Parma Consortium'
    Dentoni, D. ; Menozzi, D. ; Capelli, M.G. - \ 2012
    Food Policy 37 (2012)3. - ISSN 0306-9192 - p. 207 - 216.
    collective action - protected designation - united-states - origin - consumers - organizations - capabilities - information - incentives - producers
    This paper explores the impact of individual group members’ heterogeneous characteristics, resources and strategies on their level of cooperation on defining the future regulation of Geographical Indications (GIs). By following a “grounded theory” approach, this study combines qualitative evidence from an in-depth study on the “Prosciutto di Parma” Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Consortium with quantitative evidence based on data collected from 94 Consortium members and analysed through path modelling. Results confirm that (1) “Prosciutto di Parma” Consortium members have highly and increasingly heterogeneous characteristics, assets and strategies and that (2) higher heterogeneity negatively affects members’ agreement on the future level of restrictiveness of “Prosciutto di Parma” PDO as GI and therefore the effectiveness of the collective action. Overall, these findings give light to another internal barrier that may threaten producers’ opportunity of profiting from the use of established and highly recognized GIs. Managerial and policy implications for both “Prosciutto di Parma” Consortium members and other groups governing established and highly recognized GIs are drawn.
    Proactive environmental strategy in a supply chain context: the mediating role of investments
    Akin, M. ; Bloemhof, J.M. ; Raaij, E.M. van; Wynstra, F. - \ 2012
    International Journal of Production Research 50 (2012)4. - ISSN 0020-7543 - p. 1079 - 1095.
    structural equation models - resource-based view - management-practices - manufacturing performance - operations management - impact - firm - technologies - capabilities - pls
    There is a growing body of knowledge on the link between environmental management and supply chain management, but there is contradicting evidence on the impact of a proactive environmental strategy on environmental performance. Therefore, this paper investigates the impact of proactive environmental strategy on environmental performance as mediated by environmental investments. We also consider the antecedents of the adoption of proactive environmental strategy. We develop and test hypotheses, using data collected from 96 Turkish manufacturers through an online questionnaire. The model was tested using partial least squares (PLS), a structural equation modelling method. The results show that a proactive environmental strategy leads to higher environmental investments; both internally and externally in collaboration with suppliers. Our findings support our hypothesis that environmental investments act as a mediating variable between proactive environmental strategy and environmental performance. The results also show that customer pressure and, particularly, organisational commitment positively impact the extent to which firms adopt a proactive environmental strategy
    Customer orientation and future market focus in NSD
    Hillebrand, B. ; Kemp, R.G.M. ; Nijssen, E.J. - \ 2011
    Journal of Service Management 22 (2011)1. - ISSN 1757-5818 - p. 67 - 84.
    product development - financial services - radical innovation - performance - firms - capabilities - consequences - willingness - cannibalize - perspective
    Purpose – The aim of this paper is to investigate the differential effect of customer orientation and future market focus on organization inertia and firm innovativeness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the business-to-business service industry. It is motivated by the observation that small and medium-sized service firms' proxy to customers may lead to incremental service improvement in response to customer requests for customization and improvement, but may derail programs for more innovative services. Design/methodology/approach – A survey among 217 small and medium-sized service firms is used to test the hypotheses developed. The data are analyzed using a path model and Lisrel software. Findings – The results show that customer orientation breeds inertia, whereas future market focus increases the willingness to cannibalize existing technology, service portfolio and routines, which in turn stimulates firm innovativeness. Research limitations/implications – The results suggest that it is important to distinguish between customer orientation and future market focus, and that particularly small and medium-sized firms may require both orientations for sustained firm performance. Future research may be directed at developing tools for monitoring against inertia and helping managers to decide more objectively when to listen to their current customers and when not to. Practical implications – The results suggest managers should complement customer orientation with activities and management attention geared towards developing future market vision. Originality/value – This study is one of the first to simultaneously investigate the role of customer orientation and future market focus for small and medium-sized firms in the service industry.
    A classification of logistic outsourcing levels and their impact on service performance: evidence from the food processing industry
    Lilly Hsiao, L. ; Kemp, R.G.M. ; Vorst, J.G.A.J. van der; Omta, S.W.F. - \ 2010
    International Journal of Production Economics 124 (2010)1. - ISSN 0925-5273 - p. 75 - 86.
    strategic decision-making - supply chain management - agri-food - organizational performance - environmental uncertainty - manufacturing firms - plant performance - buy decisions - providers - capabilities
    Most studies of logistics outsourcing have focused on cost reduction, while few studies have reported on service benefits. This study empirically examines if outsourcing different logistics activities results in differences in logistics service performance. We identify and analyze the outsourcing of four levels of logistics activities: transportation (level 1), packaging (level 2), transportation management (level 3), and distribution network management (level 4). A research framework was formulated to discuss the effect of the outsourcing decision of different levels on perceived logistics service performance and includes the moderating role that supply chain complexity may play in the proposed relationships. Our findings show that outsourcing has no direct impact on service performance (delivery reliability, flexibility and lead-time) in any of the four levels. However, the performance when outsourcing level 4 activities increases with an increasing degree of demand complexity. Furthermore, chilled foods have higher service performance than non-chilled foods. These findings show the complex relationships between levels of outsourcing, performance and supply chain characteristics.
    Adaptive management in agricultural innovation systems: The interactions between innovation networks and their environment
    Klerkx, L.W.A. ; Aarts, M.N.C. ; Leeuwis, C. - \ 2010
    Agricultural Systems 103 (2010)6. - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 390 - 400.
    technological-innovation - sustainable development - biomedical innovation - complex-systems - perspective - impact - policy - netherlands - capabilities - knowledge
    The purpose of this article is to investigate effective reformism: strategies that innovation networks deploy to create changes in their environment in order to establish a more conducive context for the realization and durable embedding of their innovation projects. Using a case study approach, effective reformism efforts are analyzed in a technological innovation trajectory related to the implementation of a new poultry husbandry system and an organizational innovation trajectory concerning new ways of co-operation among individual farms to establish economies of scale. The findings reinforce the idea, emerging from a complexity perspective on agricultural innovation systems, that interaction between innovation networks and their environment is only steerable to a limited extent. Nonetheless, innovation networks can enhance effective reformism by creating tangible visions that serve as vehicles to create understanding about the innovation and mobilize support for it, and by employing several kinds of boundary spanning individuals that are able to forge effective connections between innovation networks and their environment. Because innovation networks can only partially influence their institutional environment, and because unintended consequences of actions and random events influence the course of the innovation process, innovation network actors need to continuously re-interpret the contexts in which they move. This constant reflection by the innovating actors on their position vis-à-vis their environment needs to be supported by dedicated facilitators and monitoring and evaluation methods aimed at system learning. This implies that agricultural innovation policies should, instead of aiming to fully plan and control innovation, foster the emergence of such flexible support instruments that enable adaptive innovation management
    Developing innovation strategies for covergence - is 'open innovation' imperative?
    Bröring, S. - \ 2010
    International Journal of Technology Management 49 (2010)1/2/3. - ISSN 0267-5730 - p. 272 - 294.
    sustained competitive advantage - research-and-development - technological convergence - firm - industry - capabilities - trajectories - markets
    Industrial change leading to industry convergence can be observed in many industries. This is provoked by the application of new technologies across industry boundaries, changing customer structures and regulations. Convergence presents a particular context for innovation and technology management, as firms face new bodies of technological and market knowledge which may create competence gaps. This paper asks the following question: what kind of innovation strategies do players with different industry backgrounds employ to address new industry segments resulting from industry convergence? By analysing three different industry cases of convergence, this paper explores how firms in different industries address competence gaps they face by positioning themselves in a newly emerging value chain. Empirical findings indicate that the innovation strategies which firms follow in converging industries may create conflicts with existing path-dependencies. Hence, to overcome these conflicts, open innovation built on dynamic capabilities (like alliance building) plays a major role in industry convergence
    Theories of the firm: competitive advantage and government policy
    Elfring, T. ; Man, A.P. de - \ 1998
    Technology Analysis and Strategic Management 10 (1998)3. - ISSN 0953-7325 - p. 283 - 293.
    knowledge - capabilities - technology
    To improve the effectiveness of government policy, it is necessay to develop a good picture of what a firms in a knowledge-intensive economy is and does. In this paper, we have drawn on the recent surge of books and articles on the resource- and knowledge-based theories of the firm and their implications for competitive advantage. We would like to contribute to that discussion summarizing that debate and exploring the implications for government policy. In new theories of the firm, emphasis is placed on the crucial importance of knowledge, a production factor which is not easily imitated. Exampb of government policy which are based on these new inskhts are the recognition of the importance of demanding clients, the emphasis on the unique potential of the local business environment and the stimulation of transfer of knowledge between firms and networks instead of subsidizing project for knowledge development in isolated firms. A more realistic view of business behaviour will improve the effectiveness of policy, thereby generally improving the competitive position of firms
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