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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    Potato breeding in the Netherlands: successful collaboration between farmers and commercial breeders
    Almekinders, C.J.M. ; Mertens, L. ; Loon, Jan van; Lammerts Van Bueren, E. - \ 2016
    Farming Matters 32 (2016)Special Issue April. - ISSN 2210-6499 - p. 34 - 37.
    potatoes - table potatoes - plant breeding - netherlands - cooperation - farmers - genetic diversity - firms - agricultural law - new variety - organic farming - aardappelen - consumptieaardappelen - plantenveredeling - nederland - samenwerking - boeren - genetische diversiteit - firma's - agrarisch recht - nieuwe variëteit - biologische landbouw
    The Dutch potato breeding model, which involves a partnership between farmers and commercial breeding companies in a modern, Western context, is unique. While there are other examples of collaborative relationships between farmers and breeders in Europe, the Dutch potato breeding model stands out in terms of its long track record, the involvement of the private sector, and the institutional integration of the relationship which up to today facilitates access to genetic materials and financial benefit sharing.
    Designing hybrid learning configurations at the interface between school and workplace
    Cremers, P.H.M. - \ 2016
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Martin Mulder; Arjen Wals, co-promotor(en): Renate Wesselink. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462576322 - 156
    intermediate vocational training - education - education programmes - higher education - organization of education - practical education - postsecondary education - vocational training - firms - companies - knowledge transfer - knowledge - netherlands - middelbaar beroepsonderwijs - onderwijs - onderwijsprogramma's - hoger onderwijs - onderwijsorganisatie - praktijkonderwijs - vervolgonderwijs - beroepsopleiding - firma's - kapitaalvennootschappen - kennisoverdracht - kennis - nederland

    In today’s knowledge society there is a demand for professionals who are able to create knowledge across boundaries of disciplines, professions and perspectives. Increasingly, challenges have to be addressed by experts from different fields who collaborate across different contexts. In addition, given the fast pace with which society changes, experts must continually construct and reconstruct their expertise in a process of lifelong learning. Institutions for higher and vocational education are challenged to educate these ‘knowledge workers’. They are responding, among others, by developing novel hybrid practices at the interface between school and workplace, the so-called hybrid learning configurations. By connecting education, research and professional practice they aim to address complex problems in society by fostering interprofessional collaboration and learning. We define a hybrid learning configuration (HLC) as ‘a social practice around illdefined, authentic tasks or issues whose resolution requires transboundary learning by transcending disciplines, traditional structures and sectors, and forms of learning’.

    While many educational institutions and other organizations are co-developing and experimenting with HLCs, the process followed is often one of trial and error. Practical expertise is becoming available but only in an ad hoc and fragmented way. Although research on situated and social learning offers relevant theories and concepts that are useful when designing an HLC, not much research has addressed the design of HLCs in a comprehensive way. This PhD research aims to address this lacuna. We investigate HLCs from an educational design research (EDR) perspective, which involves framing the HLC as a complex intervention. We are interested not only in the features or designed elements of such interventions, but also in the underlying principles or conjectures that are embodied in those features. In addition, we intend to provide support for interprofessional HLC design teams, which consist of, for instance, educational consultants, researchers, lecturers and other practitioners. In order to address these aims we studied six HLCs in the context of Dutch higher vocational education. One of the cases is a joint project of two Dutch institutions for senior secondary vocational educational (which are called ‘MBO’ in Dutch) and two universities of applied sciences (‘HBO’ in Dutch) in collaboration with two companies. The other cases are HLCs in different settings within the context of a university of applied sciences in the Netherlands.

    The aims mentioned above led to the following general research questions: 1. Which heuristics can underpin the design of a hybrid learning configuration? 2. In which ways can interprofessional teams be supported when designing hybrid learning configurations? Chapters 2 and 3 address the first research question and chapters 4 and 5 address the second question.

    Design principles for HLCs

    Chapter 2 focuses on the HLC as a whole. The central research question is: “Which set of principles can underpin the design of a hybrid learning configuration for educating the knowledge worker?” Based on a literature search and designers’ craft knowledge, a set of initial design principles was developed for an HLC at the interface between school and workplace. The intention was that four learning processes would be enabled by the HLC: self-directed learning, authentic learning, the development of a professional identity and collaborative creation of knowledge across the boundaries of disciplines, professions and perspectives.

    These initial design principles were evaluated from the perspective of the participants by analysing interview data from students, lecturers, educational consultants and business representatives. This resulted in the following set of seven refined principles that underpin the design of an HLC: fostering authenticity; creating a learning community; utilizing diversity; inter-linking of working and learning; facilitating reflexivity; enabling organization; enabling ecology. These principles can be used as heuristics for guiding the design and development of hybrid learning configurations in contexts that have similar goals and aligned tenets.

    Fostering self-directed lifelong learning in HLCs

    Chapter 3 elaborates further on the design principle ‘facilitating reflexivity’. Since knowledge workers have to redefine and reconstruct their own expertise in an on-going fashion, they should be able to reflect on and pro-actively develop their professional competence. This capacity for self-directed lifelong learning is an essential asset for them and should therefore be developed or enhanced in an HLC. The main research question in this chapter is: “Which design guidelines underpin an intervention that would foster students’ capacity for self-directed lifelong learning while working on ill-structured, authentic professional tasks?”

    An intervention was designed, implemented and evaluated during two iterations of a hybrid learning configuration, which was embedded in a one-semester elective course at a university of applied sciences in the Netherlands. Evaluation methods included interviews with students and the course facilitator, questionnaires, and students’ logs and reports. This resulted in the following five intervention design guidelines: provide opportunities to engage in two or more cycles of self-directed learning; provide educational support; pay attention to emotional and motivational aspects; treat self-directed lifelong learning as a social learning process; position self-directed lifelong learning as a self-evident and integrated part of the course.

    The intervention appeared to be usable and effective. At a basic level, the students developed their capacity for self-directed lifelong learning. We concluded that further research is needed to investigate conditions for realizing higher levels of proficiency in self-directed lifelong learning throughout the curriculum and beyond.

    Utilization of design principles for HLCs

    The focus of chapter 4 is the utilization of the set of design principles that was generated in chapter 2. Research has shown that while knowledge of design heuristics can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of design work, design teams often have difficulty articulating the rationale for their design. In addition, it is important to facilitate ideation and nourish creative spirit while utilizing the design heuristics to create a novel learning environment. In this study we explored an intervention for supporting the creative utilization of the set of design principles for HLC. The intervention was based on boundary-crossing theory and design thinking methods, with a particular focus on prototyping. It consisted of a ‘guidebook’ in which the design principles were explained, and a workshop. The corresponding research question was: “What is the perceived effectiveness of a boundarycrossing intervention (based on a set of research-based design principles) for (re)designing hybrid learning configurations?”

    Four design teams of different HLCs in the context of a university of applied sciences used the guidebook and attended the workshop while (re)designing their HLC. The intervention was evaluated by way of questionnaires that were filled out by members of the design teams. The results show that the design teams perceived this intervention as being relevant, consistent, practical and effective. The intervention appeared to provide a conceptual framework for understanding and designing features of a hybrid learning configuration and a vocabulary to communicate design ideas. It, thereby, supported the creative utilization of the design principles. Further research could explore other, complementary ways of facilitating the design of hybrid learning configurations.

    Cross-boundary learning during the design and implementation of an HLC

    Chapter 5 concerns cross-boundary collaboration and learning processes within an interprofessional design team of an HLC. These teams often consist of actors from different educational institutions and other organizations, such as companies or (non) governmental institutions. When team members bring their different perspectives into the collaboration, they are likely to experience boundaries. Boundaries can be defined as ‘discontinuities in action or interaction’. They can hinder cooperation, but they can also provide opportunities for learning. This led to the following research question: “In which ways could a better understanding of boundaries enhance learning?”

    In this study, transcripts of interviews with members of an HLC-design team were analysed using concepts of boundary crossing theory. This theoretical framework provided a lens through which different ways of boundary crossing, learning mechanisms and processes became visible. We established that boundaries are highly personal and subjective constructs. We found that if boundaries are detected and if the related practices are made explicit, this allows for further analysis of these boundaries. Our analysis yielded a number of possible ways to enhance trans-boundary learning in HLC design teams. We also concluded that boundary objects and brokers can play an important role in transboundary learning processes.

    Conclusions in a broader perspective

    In chapter 6 we frame our conclusions from the four studies in a broader perspective. The first aim of our research was the development of heuristics for the design of HLCs. Given this aim, we developed a set of design principles for an HLC and guidelines for an intervention that fosters the capacity for self-directed lifelong learning. We positioned these principles and guidelines in a ‘conjecture map’ (Sandoval 2014), which shows the relationships between design heuristics, their embodiment in features of an intervention, the intended mediating processes, and the desired outcomes. Our overall conclusion is that framing the set of design principles or guidelines in multiple conjecture maps, rather than representing them as causal chains of design propositions, can provide guidance and support for designing and researching complex educational interventions such as HLCs.

    Our second aim was to provide support or ‘design knowledge’ for interprofessional HLC design teams. We addressed that aim by developing and testing an intervention that supported the creative utilization of a set of design principles for HLC. In addition, we provided guidance for enhancing learning across boundaries that could be experienced in an interprofessional design team. We positioned this design knowledge in a broader framework, the ‘ecological framework for conceptualizing teacher knowledge for technology-enhanced learning design’. This framework seems to be useful in contexts beyond technology-enhanced learning, and, so, we consider it relevant to the design of HLCs. We conclude that design teams of HLCs can be supported by using an appropriate framework for design knowledge and by adjusting or expanding this framework for the design of complex interventions by interprofessional design teams.

    Further research and practical implications

    Our studies led us to the following recommendations. While we focused mainly on learning processes that should occur within HLCs, further research could be directed towards the students’ learning outcomes. Moreover, our findings suggest that selfdirected lifelong learning should be developed and practiced throughout an education programme. To achieve this, curricula in higher education should offer opportunities for students to experiment and follow their own path, alongside prescribed activities with fixed learning outcomes. In the six HLCs that we studied, student learning was foregrounded. However, an HLC also involves other stakeholder types, such as lecturers, researchers, citizens, and entrepreneurs. Therefore, further research could shed light on supporting and evaluating multi-stakeholder learning processes and learning outcomes of all types of stakeholders. Our research on supporting interprofessional design teams focused on the utilization of design knowledge in early stages of (re)design of an HLC. Further research and development could yield ways of support in further stages of the design. In light of this we recommend crossing the boundaries of areas of design science outside the educational context. This will allow us to learn from each other and capitalize on what is already known.

    In our study, design principles for HLC were ‘reified’ and disseminated by way of a guidebook. Further investigations could reveal other ways of documenting and communicating design knowledge, for instance via the construction of a database containing principles or guidelines and their associated features in different contexts. Boundary crossing theory appeared to provide a lens through which boundaries and related learning processes became visible. The elements of boundary crossing theory can be translated into guidelines or tools for enhancing cross-boundary learning in interprofessional HLC design teams and, perhaps, for other types of ‘hybrid teams’ as well.

    This thesis intends to contribute to the knowledge base for designing hybrid learning configurations. This is done with the intention that this contribution will be utilized and developed further by researchers and practitioners who are committed to educating future professionals in an ever-changing world.

    DairyBISS Baseline report
    Buizer, N.N. ; Berhanu, Tinsae ; Murutse, Girmay ; Vugt, S.M. van - \ 2015
    Wageningen : Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation
    dairy farms - firms - businesses - profitability - extension - training - private sector - development - ethiopia - melkveebedrijven - firma's - bedrijven - rentabiliteit - voorlichting - opleiding - particuliere sector - ontwikkeling - ethiopië
    This baseline report of the Dairy Business Information Service and Support (DairyBISS) project presents the findings of a baseline survey among 103 commercial farms and 31 firms and advisors working in the dairy value chain. Additional results from the survey among commercial dairy farms are described in an additional report. The findings validate the main strategies of the project. Farms and firms are interested in joining a dairy business platform that includes members from the entire value chain. While currently there is gap between the demand and supply of good quality business information and advisory services, there is a willingness to pay for advisory services. Among advisors there is a need for training on technical topics along the dairy value chain and there is an interest in forming an advisor network to share experiences.
    Taking profit from the growing use of mobile phone in Benin: A Contingent Valuation approach for market and quality information access
    Arinloye, D.D.A.A. ; Linnemann, A.R. ; Hagelaar, J.L.F. ; Coulibaly, O. ; Omta, S.W.F. - \ 2015
    Information Technology for Development 21 (2015)1. - ISSN 0268-1102 - p. 44 - 66.
    asymmetric information - econometric-analysis - developing-countries - technology adoption - farmers - determinants - africa - firms - communication - smallholders
    An information systems-adapted Contingent Valuation survey was used to assess smallholder farmers' perceptions and the premium they are willing to pay (WTP) to get mobile phone-based information on market prices and product quality to overcome the recurrent information asymmetry issues in the chain. The investigations, consisting of an exploratory case study in Ghana followed by a survey with 285 observations in Benin, demonstrated that market information asymmetry indeed leads to lower prices for farmers. In Ghana, market price alerts through mobile phone messaging allowed decreasing transaction costs for farmers from US $2 to US $150 per transaction. In Benin, most farmers who are using mobile phones are WTP a premium of up to US$2.5 per month to get market price and quality information. Econometric models showed that decisive factors for the premium to be paid include farm location, market channel, profit margin, contact with agricultural extension services and technical support from buyers. The study suggests a multi-stakeholders' platform for an efficient and sustainable mobile phone-based market information system in agri-food chains.
    Environmental innovation in chains and networks : assessing determinants and performance implications in Dutch food and beverage firms
    Grekova, E. - \ 2014
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Onno Omta, co-promotor(en): Harry Bremmers; Jacques Trienekens. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462572232 - 150
    milieubeheer - ketenmanagement - firma's - bedrijven - prestatieniveau - innovaties - voedselindustrie - dranken - nederland - environmental management - supply chain management - firms - businesses - performance - innovations - food industry - beverages - netherlands

    Challenged by the increasing scale of environmental degradation and corresponding stakeholders’ pressure, firms are increasingly integrating environmental concerns into their operations and into the relationships with external partners. Mainly through the theoretical lens of the Resource-based view and its spins-offs, this dissertation focuses on environmental innovation and environmental management (EM) that involves supply chain partners as means of promoting sustainable industry growth, using the Dutch food and beverage processors as a subject of the study. In–house environmental innovation and supply chain-oriented EM have a promising potential to induce sustainable growth in the industry because they are increasingly connected not only to improved environmental but also to an improved economic performance. However, the implications of environmental innovation and supply chain-oriented EM for the firm performance are not clear-cut and require further investigation. Prompted by the promising potential of environmental innovation and supply chain-oriented EM, the current research agenda focuses on their determinants: internal organizational capabilities and external factors (such as the roles of public policies, consumer demand, and other stakeholder pressures). Therefore, the present dissertation aims to investigate determinants of environmental innovation and of supply chain-oriented EM and their impact on firm performance.

    Chapter 2 illustrates in a dynamic perspective how changing institutional pressures and internal organizational factors influence the development of chain-oriented EM. Overall, institutional pressures are proven to be an important determinant. However, pressures on different levels vary considerably with respect to their impact. We found that pressures from supply chain partners and increasingly from long-term public–private environmental covenants significantly influence the implementation of supply chain-oriented EM. Interestingly, regulative institutional pressure from public authorities appeared to have no impact on supply chain-oriented EM. These findings are of particular interest as they suggest that Dutch public policy has chosen to rely on a responsibility culture, initiative, and self-organization, rather than on direct steering. This policy setting seems to work since our data evidence a progress in the implementation of supply chain-oriented EM. Furthermore, the findings show that food processors with more developed EM systems, associated with the presence of continuous improvement capabilities, are more likely to advance their EM by implementing supply chain-oriented EM. In course of time, as firms increasingly consider the implementation of supply chain-oriented EM as appropriate behaviour, institutional pressures become less influential and internal organizational factors become crucial to enable the implementation of supply chain-oriented EM.

    Chapter 3 offers further insights into organizational capabilities for supply chain-oriented EM. Prior research rarely considered how firms use their existing capabilities and the capabilities developed within their environmental strategy to come up with new and better ways to reduce the environmental impact. We investigate whether the integration of environmental concerns within the firm can provide an additional impetus to the implementation of supply chain-oriented EM, when combined with innovative orientation. In this context, we assess performance implications of capabilities for supply chain-oriented EM. Compared with the past research, we consider supply chain-oriented EM as an organizational capability for the integration of supply chain partners into EM, not as a set of environmental practices. The findings show that the development of supply chain-oriented EM is supported by both capabilities of innovative orientation and environmental integration and is accelerated by their combination. Furthermore, integration capabilities on in-house and supply chain levels appeared to be interconnected. The capability to integrate environmental concerns within the firm induces the integration of environmental concerns in the supply chain relationships. Finally, it is shown that the overarching capability to engage supply chain in EM pays off. This capability is induced by the implementation of interconnected environmental practices that involve supply chain partners (green purchasing, environmental collaboration with customers, and eco-design).

    Chapter 4 advances the understanding of the impact of supply chain-oriented EM on firm performance by introducing in environmental research the problem of appropriation of benefits created by the partners. Grounded in the Resource based view spin-offs, we claim that supply chain-oriented EM can enhance the performance of the focal firm not only directly, but also indirectly. The indirect relationship implies that supply chain-oriented EM stimulates the focal firm to implement more environmentally sustainable processes that in turn contribute to firm's performance. We found that supply chain-oriented EM involving customers can induce in-house environmental innovation that results in strong performance improvements. Interestingly, supply chain-oriented EM involving suppliers brings about weak performance improvements as a result of appropriation of the advantage realized by suppliers. Therefore, supply chain-oriented EM involving suppliers has a limited value and potential for Dutch food processors. Possibly, supply chain-oriented EM involving suppliers can induce process changes among suppliers, not focal firms. In this context, Chapter 4 illustrates the necessity to integrate the characteristics of supply chain actors into the research on the implications of supply chain-oriented EM. The findings regarding the impact of supply chain-oriented EM on the sustainability of internal operations have a link with firm performance. Supply chain-oriented EM that involves suppliers was shown to induce no significant improvements in environmental sustainability of operations among food processors. Unlike supply chain-oriented EM involving suppliers, supply chain-oriented EM involving customers has an indirect effect on the firm performance via environmental innovation.

    Firm’s network can be seen as a rich source of knowledge. Having access to knowledge and resources of the partners in supply chains and networks does not imply that a firm can appropriate (i.e. capture) corresponding benefits that could enhance environmental sustainability of in-house operations and performance. The exploitation of external knowledge requires the development of organizational capability to realize the value of new external knowledge, assimilate it and ultimately exploit it – absorptive capacity. Chapter 5 brings absorptive capacity into the discussion regarding the role of external partners in environmental innovation. Environmental innovation can also rely on internal knowledge sources. Development and accumulation of internal knowledge can be supported by the continuous improvement capability vested in the EM system. Therefore, Chapter 5 informs the discussion of the roles of internal and external knowledge for environmental innovation by considering organizational capabilities for knowledge sourcing: absorptive capacity to exploit external knowledge and continuous improvement to develop and accumulate internal environmental knowledge. The findings demonstrate that Dutch food processors develop environmental innovations relying on both external knowledge in their network tapped with the help of absorptive capacity and on internal knowledge built within the EM system with the help of continuous improvement capabilities. These findings challenge the presence of a substitution effect between internal and external knowledge. We expand the research on the determinants of environmental innovation by considering not only different knowledge sources but by providing insights into the knowledge sourcing process.

    Overall, the dissertation evidences an increasing importance of internal organizational capabilities to enable sustainable industry growth. Internal organizational capabilities appeared to be decisive to induce environmental innovation and supply chain-oriented EM. Also the appropriation of benefits created in cooperation with external partners and exploitation of external knowledge require certain organizational capabilities. In the earlier periods of corporate environmentalism, external pressures were of primary importance to induce the reduction of the environmental impact. Nowadays, the increasing role of organizational capabilities implies that a lot of power is concentrated in the hands of managers. For public policy, these findings suggest a focus on the development of instruments to stimulate the accumulation of organizational capabilities and capacity building.

    Key Success Factors of Innovation Projects of Vegetable Breeding Companies in China
    Liu Zhen, Zhen ; Kemp, R.G.M. ; Jongsma, M.A. ; Huang, Caicheng ; Dons, J.J.M. ; Omta, S.W.F. - \ 2014
    International Food and Agribusiness Management Review 17 (2014)4. - ISSN 1096-7508 - p. 177 - 204.
    research-and-development - product development teams - seed industry - technological innovation - performance - communication - management - firms - perspective - determinants
    The vegetable breeding industry is generally recognized as an innovation-driven industry. However, innovation is costly, time-consuming and uncertain. This study aims to identify the key success factors of innovation project performance of vegetable breeding companies (VBCs) in China. Based on empirical data that was collected from 53 innovation projects in 38 VBCs, it was found that integrative capabilities play an important role in the novelty and newness of the innovation to enhance product potential (superiority) and also in improving functional capabilities and in gaining market potential. Furthermore, market competition is a positive factor for inspiring innovation in the breeding industry.
    Color green for dollars: constraints and limitations for establising Chamaedorea palm firms in Veracruz, Mexico
    Musalem Castillejos, N. - \ 2014
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Leontine Visser, co-promotor(en): Gerard Verschoor. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462570207 - 200
    bosproducten anders dan hout - marketing - vercommercialisering - firma's - chamaedorea - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - plattelandsontwikkeling - bosbeleid - mexico - non-wood forest products - marketing - commercialization - firms - chamaedorea - sustainability - rural development - forest policy - mexico
    Interest in Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) has grown with increasing awareness of tropical forest deforestation and amplified recognition for the need to add value to forest resources. However, NTFPs continue to be regarded by many as marginal goods incapable of competing with timber as a viable economic alternative use of tropical and subtropical forests. In Mexico, several NTFPs are exploited in various ecosystems helping conserve forested areas, providing “the poor” access to cash in moments of uncertainty and relieving pressure on timber resources. Nonetheless, the benefit for conservation is highly debated and remains undecided as yet. NTFP proponents suggest that the development of commercial enterprises can be of significant benefit for forest users by providing a direct link between producers and markets, organizing markets as well as the development of infrastructure. This thesis explores actors’ practices to understand the different forms of organization, processes of interaction and negotiation between actors involved in the use and commercialization of NTFPs. The analysis of these practices seen through observation and accounts of the actors’ life-histories, everyday practices, the arrangement of individual actions within different production and commercial activities, serve to elucidate the multiple facets/aspects of different actors in the market for NTFPs in diverse commercial, social, economic and political arenas. By doing so, this thesis captures the experiences of actors in the Chamaedorea market; an important NTFP product marketed worldwide. These experiences are fundamental in answering the main research question: How are Chamaedorea palm commercial initiatives built in Veracruz, Mexico, and what are the main limitations for their consolidation and access to the markets? Focusing primarily on the analysis of key actors in the Mexican market, from production up until the export market, this thesis offers a detailed account of how diverse efforts to access markets are constructed and argues that it is important to focus on organizing practices and problem-solving capabilities of actors, needed to circumvent bottle-necks in the design and development of NTFP firms, a point often ignored or taken for granted in the literature on NTFPs. Taking on an actor-oriented perspective, detailed ethnographies and actor’s life-stories introduce actors’ struggles and various arrangements/strategies in establishing firms, yielding an interesting insight that would be unnoticeable if these processes developed smoothly. The contribution of this thesis to the debate on how NTFPs firms are constructed and maintained, proposes a reconsideration of NTFPs policy initiatives in developing markets and enhancing benefits to forest users, a major nuisance of current NTFPs policies worldwide.
    Open innovation in the Food Industry: An Evidence Based Guide
    Omta, S.W.F. ; Fortuin, F.T.J.M. ; Dijkman, N.C. - \ 2014
    Wageningen : Food Valley (1 1) - ISBN 9789082221206
    innovaties - voedselindustrie - firma's - netwerken - economische samenwerking - kleine bedrijven - bedrijven - europa - europese unie - richtlijnen (guidelines) - bedrijfsmanagement - innovations - food industry - firms - networks - economic cooperation - small businesses - businesses - europe - european union - guidelines - business management
    Supply chain relationships, supplier support programs and stimulating on-farm investment: evidence from the Armenian dairy sector
    Dries, L.K.E. ; Gorton, M. ; Urutyan, V. ; White, J. - \ 2014
    Supply Chain Management : an International Journal 19 (2014)1. - ISSN 1359-8546 - p. 98 - 107.
    foreign direct-investment - business relationships - vertical integration - contract enforcement - transition - credit - coordination - performance - firms
    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the determinants of supply chain relationships, the provision of supplier support measures and the role that support measures play in stimulating investment by suppliers in emerging economies. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on survey evidence for 300 commercial dairy farms in Armenia. The identification of potential determinants of supply chain relationships and support programmes is based on literature on supply chain management and transaction cost economics. Findings – Positive determinants of supplier support programmes are the degree of exclusivity of the buyer-supplier relationship, initial capital of the supplier, co-operation between suppliers, and foreign ownership of the buyer. Support programmes are less likely to be offered in very competitive environments. Support measures such as loans, physical inputs and guaranteed prices facilitate supplier investments. Research limitations/implications – Research is limited to cross-sectional data for a single country and further testing would help assess the generalizability of the findings. Practical implications – The findings highlight the gains that can be made from openness to international firms. The negative competition effect suggests that buyers are constrained in their ability to monitor use of the provided services in an environment where a lot of buyers are competing for the same supply. Improving the enforcement capability of companies under these circumstances is an important challenge for the industry and policy makers. Originality/value – The novelty of the study lies in the investigation of the relationships between the nature of supply chain linkages and suppliers' investments.
    Multifunctional agriculture meets Health Care: applying the Multi-level Transition Sciences Perspective to Care Farming in the Netherlands
    Hassink, J. ; Grin, J. ; Hulsink, W. - \ 2013
    Sociologia Ruralis 53 (2013)2. - ISSN 0038-0199 - p. 223 - 245.
    strategic niche management - facilitator perceptions relate - institutional entrepreneurship - innovation networks - implementation - dynamics - policy - firms - organizations - embeddedness
    Care farming is a promising example of multifunctional agriculture: it is an innovation at the crossroads of the agricultural and healthcare sectors. Our objective is to develop a framework for understanding the success of initiatives in this field. We link empirical data with the multi-level perspective from the transition sciences and extend this perspective with insights from the literature on entrepreneurship, alliance management and organisational attributes. This framework allows us to explain the success of the three major types of initiatives: (1) individual care farms; (2) regional foundations of care farmers; and (3) care institutions collaborating with groups of farmers at a regional level. We propose that the main factors responsible for the success of initiatives are the commitment and competences of the entrepreneur, the creation of alliances, the quality of the new regional organisations and the implementation of the care farm services in care organisations. The relative importance of the factors varies between the different types of initiatives and local and regional levels.
    Corruption and Economic Activity: Micro Level Evidence from Rural Liberia
    Beekman, G. ; Bulte, E.H. ; Nillesen, E.E.M. - \ 2013
    European Journal of Political Economy 30 (2013)june. - ISSN 0176-2680 - p. 70 - 79.
    foreign-aid - political-economy - investment - growth - institutions - indonesia - africa - firms
    We study how corruption affects economic activities of households in rural Liberia. A proxy of corruption of community leaders is obtained by directly monitoring the diversion of inputs associated with a development project. We measure quantities of these inputs twice; before and after the chief stored them, and interpret any ‘gaps’ between these measurements as indicative of diversion by the chief (or corruption). We use this ‘gap’ proxy to explain variation in economic behaviour across respondents, and find that corrupt community leaders cause reduced levels of income generating activities that are economically important: corruption leads to a 50% reduction in rice planted and to nearly equally large reductions in trade activity.
    Which Cooperative Ownership Model Performs Better? A Financial-Decision Aid Approach
    Kalogeras, N. ; Pennings, J.M.E. ; Benos, T. ; Doumpos, M. - \ 2013
    Agribusiness 29 (2013)1. - ISSN 0742-4477 - p. 80 - 95.
    agricultural cooperatives - marketing cooperatives - firms
    In this article the financial/ownership structures of agribusiness cooperatives are analyzed to examine whether new cooperative models perform better than the more traditional ones. The assessment procedure introduces a new financial decision-aid approach, which is based on data-analysis techniques in combination with a preference ranking organization method of enrichment evaluations (PROMETHEE II). The application of this multicriteria decision-aid approach allows the rank ordering of cooperatives based on the most prominent financial ratios. The financial ratios were selected using principal component analysis. This analytical procedure reduces the dimensionality of large numbers of interrelated financial performance measures. We assess the financial success of Dutch agribusiness cooperatives for the period 1999–2010. Results show that there is no clear-cut evidence that cooperative models used to attract extra members’ investments and/or outside equity perform better than the more traditional models. This suggests that ownership structure of cooperatives is not always a decisive factor for their financial success.
    Decomposing the member relationship in agricultur cooperatives. Implications for commitment
    Cechin, A.D. ; Bijman, J. ; Pascucci, S. ; Omta, S.W.F. - \ 2013
    Agribusiness 29 (2013)1. - ISSN 0742-4477 - p. 39 - 61.
    organizational commitment - trust - governance - authority - firms - participation - determinants - coordination - antecedents - evolution
    Agricultural cooperatives increasingly operate in strictly coordinated supply chains. It is important that members of a cooperative are committed to a customer-oriented strategy, otherwise vertical coordination can be costly and the loss of autonomy at the farm level might negatively affect the members’ commitment to collective action. In this context, how can both types of commitment be strengthened? This study decomposes the member–cooperative relationship into four organizational mechanisms—market, hierarchy, community and democracy, which all play a role in generating commitment. Data originate from 148 farmers, all members of the same agricultural cooperative in Brazil. The results suggest first, that it is possible to disentangle commitment to collective action from commitment to a customer-oriented strategy. Second, although members’ commitment to a customer-oriented strategy might be affected by market and hierarchy mechanisms only, commitment to collective action might depend on the four organizational mechanisms.
    Strategic Value Assessment and Explorative Learning Opportunities with Customers
    Nijssen, E.J. ; Hillebrand, B. ; Jong, J.P.J. de; Kemp, R.G.M. - \ 2012
    Journal of Product Innovation Management 29 (2012)Suppl. S1. - ISSN 0737-6782 - p. 91 - 102.
    product development - lead users - innovation - orientation - competence - alliances - firms - conceptualization - exploitation - antecedents
    This study recognizes that collaboration with customers for new product development may bring important financial benefits to firms, but at the same time may seriously hamper explorative learning. Many firms are approached by customers with requests to develop new products for them. While such requests may strengthen customer relationships and result in short-term financial gains, it may force a firm in technologically undesirable directions. As a result, many firms struggle with the dilemma of, on the one hand, responding to customer requests, and on the other hand, safeguarding the long-term competitive position of the firm. Firms with strong customer ties are particularly prone to this dilemma. Drawing on opportunity recognition literature, capability monitoring literature as well as goal setting theory, the authors have developed a framework arguing that Strategic Value Assessment (SVA) can help resolve this. SVA is defined as an a priori business evaluation of the value of a particular innovation collaboration, based on anticipated long-term strategic benefits. It helps innovative firms to focus on collaboration with customers with lead user status and to develop intense relationships, allowing for more effective knowledge transfer and learning. The framework is tested using data collected from a sample of 136 business-to-business firms in the Netherlands. The sampling frame was a panel of small and medium-sized high-tech enterprises. The study finds positive direct and indirect effects of SVA on explorative learning. In addition, the findings show that the intense collaboration/learning relationship is positively moderated by customer lead user status, and negatively moderated by customer dependence. The findings suggest that SVA is a useful heuristic for managers to utilize opportunities for innovation involving collaboration with customers.
    Consumenten en voedselveiligheid; Wat is acceptabel en wie is verantwoordelijk?
    Wagenberg, C.P.A. van; Mihaylov, E.S. - \ 2012
    Den Haag : LEI, onderdeel van Wageningen UR (LEI-nota : Onderzoeksveld Markt & ketens ) - 29
    voedselveiligheid - consumenten - regering - voedselketens - voedingsmiddelenwetgeving - risicofactoren - firma's - Nederland - food safety - consumers - government - food chains - food legislation - risk factors - firms - Netherlands
    Consumenten in Nederland lijken de huidige risico's voor voedselveiligheid acceptabel te vinden, omdat het vertrouwen in de voedselveiligheid al jaren stabiel hoog is. Ze maken zich vooral zorgen over chemische risico's, zoals residuen van hormonen, pesticiden en antibiotica. Daarnaast zien consumenten een kleinere rol en minder verantwoordelijkheid voor zichzelf voor voedselveiligheid, dan de rol en verantwoordelijkheid zoals overheid en bedrijfsleven die aan consumenten toedelen.
    Spatial Collocation and venture capital in the US biotechnology industry
    Kolympiris, C. ; Kalaitzandonakes, N. ; Miller, D. - \ 2011
    Research Policy 40 (2011)9. - ISSN 0048-7333 - p. 1188 - 1199.
    research-and-development - geographic localization - knowledge spillovers - empirical-evidence - founding rates - innovation - networks - clusters - firms - entrepreneurship
    Biotechnology firms operate in a high-risk and high-reward environment and are in a constant race to secure venture capital (VC) funds. Previous contributions to the literature show that the VC firms tend to invest locally in order to monitor their investments and to provide operating assistance to their target firms. Further, biotechnology is a knowledge-based industry that tends to exhibit spatial clusters, and the firms in such industries may collocate to benefit from gaining access to local markets for specialized inputs (e.g., skilled researchers) and from local knowledge spillovers and network externalities. If such gains exist, we expect that the collocated firms should exhibit positively correlated performance, including in their ability to attract venture capital funds. The purpose of this paper is to empirically measure the strength and spatial extent of the relationships among the amount of funds raised by proximate biotechnology firms. We model these relationships with a spatial autoregression (SAR) model, and we control for characteristics of the biotechnology firms and the VC firms that provide their funds as well as site-specific factors. Based on our fitted SAR model, we find that the amount of venture capital raised by a particular biotechnology firm is significantly influenced by the number of VC firms and the VC funding levels raised by biotechnology firms located within a 10-mile radius, but these relationships are not statistically significant beyond this range.
    Inleiding Groningen. Ruimte voor innoverende ondernemers.
    Kooij, P. - \ 2011
    In: Nederlandse ondernemers 1850-1950. Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe en Overijssel Zutphen : Walburg Pers (Nederlandse Ondernemers 1850-1950. Serie van 6 opeenvolgende delen (van 2009 t/m 2014 jaarlijks in het najaar te verschijnen) over de 300 kleurrijkste Nederlandse ondernemers. ) - ISBN 9789057306587 - p. 24 - 28.
    ondernemerschap - nederland - geschiedenis - biografieën - firma's - particuliere sector - industriële samenleving - regio's - entrepreneurship - netherlands - history - biographies - firms - private sector - industrial society - regions
    Zesdelige reeks waarin per regio de biografieën van de 50 belangrijkste ondernemers en ondernemersfamilies worden gebundeld. Leidende figuren uit de periode dat Nederland omschakelde naar een industriële samenleving.
    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.
    Value added of Cluster Membership for Micro Enterprises of the Handloom Sector in Ethiopia
    Ali, M.A. ; Peerlings, J.H.M. - \ 2011
    World Development 39 (2011)3. - ISSN 0305-750X - p. 363 - 374.
    economic-geography - agglomeration economies - industry - selection - productivity - countries - growth - firms
    By contrasting the performance of clustered micro enterprises with that of dispersed ones in the handloom sector in Ethiopia, this study shows that clustering significantly increases profit. To correct for selection bias, we match clustered and dispersed micro-enterprises that share similar observable characteristics except for being clustered both in urban and rural areas. Results show that clustering is more profitable in urban than rural areas. It is also found that regional-specific factors determining clustering of micro enterprises are different in urban and rural areas, highlighting the need to focus on local circumstances when formulating policies to promote clusters
    Product and Process Innovation in the Italian Food Industry
    Capitanio, F. ; Coppola, A. ; Pascucci, S. - \ 2010
    Agribusiness 26 (2010)4. - ISSN 0742-4477 - p. 503 - 518.
    research-and-development - empirical-analysis - sectoral patterns - firms - determinants - organization - networking - behavior
    The driving factors of innovation in the Italian food sector could be identified either in internal and in external dynamics. On one hand, the responses to the competition with new actors coming from emerging countries and the reaction to high-tech products demand evolution. On the other hand, endogenous dynamics appear to become more important for the strategic behaviour of the firms: a higher qualification of the human capital, a more clear orientation for high quality products, organization changes, and relation capacity development. Starting from these considerations, this paper developed an econometric analysis using information from one of the most important national dataset for innovation analysis. The results pointed out that a determinant to successfully develop and introduce product innovation is the capacity to built relationships on the product markets (i.e., with the modern distribution), while the territorial context determines a higher/lower relevance of each of the driving factors of innovation.
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