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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    Step-change: how micro-entrepreneurs enter the upcoming middle-class market in developing and emerging countries
    Babah Daouda, Falylath - \ 2017
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): J.C.M. van Trijp, co-promotor(en): P.T.M. Ingenbleek. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436298 - 225
    marketing - developing countries - entrepreneurship - small businesses - medium sized businesses - economic development - economic situation - gender relations - gender - marketing - ontwikkelingslanden - ondernemerschap - kleine bedrijven - middelgrote bedrijven - economische ontwikkeling - economische situatie - man-vrouwrelaties - geslacht (gender)

    In developing and emerging (D&E) countries, the large number of poor people, most of whom are female, earn a living based on small-scale self-employed units established in subsistence marketplaces in the large informal sector. With the recent rise of middle-classes in developing and emerging countries, micro-entrepreneurs, can potentially lift themselves out of poverty by seizing the opportunities provided by the new upcoming middle-class (UMC) customers. To exploit these opportunities micro-entrepreneurs have to make a step-change away from their current customers in subsistence marketplaces to create higher value propositions for UMC customers. As a strategic marketing decision, the step-change inherently comes with challenges in developing resources and capabilities required to cater to UMC customers. It hosts potential conflicts between informal- and formal-sector stakeholders as it requires both new resources and continued access to existing resources. The findings suggest that step-change is a three-step process consisting of three market entries, into, “passing-by customers”, UMC, and business markets. The value propositions associated with these markets are also hierarchical in terms of quality, quantity, consistency, and complexity. Although the processes within the steps (motivations, opportunity recognition, assessing the need of resources, resource accumulation and (re-)integration, value proposition, and market entry) have a similar structure, their content differs between steps. The findings also indicate that gender issues vary by step. Whereas, in step 1 and 3 gender differences are less remarkable, they are more pronounced in step 2, where women mainly use their relationships with individuals to access resources whereas men use both individuals and groups to access resources. The thesis suggests that to initiate and sustain step-changes, both female and male entrepreneurs have to invest in capability-building.

    Opportunity identification competence : explaining individual and exploring team opportunity identification by employees
    Baggen, Yvette - \ 2017
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Martin Mulder, co-promotor(en): Harm Biemans; Thomas Lans. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462579682 - 182
    entrepreneurship - professional competence - competences - education - businesses - small businesses - medium sized businesses - employment opportunities - netherlands - portugal - europe - ondernemerschap - vakbekwaamheid - bevoegdheden - onderwijs - bedrijven - kleine bedrijven - middelgrote bedrijven - kansen op werk - nederland - portugal - europa

    Opportunities and their identification are of significant importance for competitiveness in today’s complex and turbulent business environment because they serve as a key influencing factor for new value-creation. Opportunity identification (OI) is interesting not only from the perspective of new business start-ups, but also from the perspective of employees in existing organisations. Each entrepreneurial process starts with an imagined, rudimentary idea in the mind of an individual. The further exploration and development of such opportunities by employees can lead to the realisation of all kinds of corporate entrepreneurship outcomes, such as innovation, strategic renewal, and internal or external venturing.

    This dissertation reports on the capability of employees to identify opportunities, referred to as opportunity identification competence (OIC). The importance of OI by employees is widely recognised in practice, and scholars have contributed significantly to understanding what opportunities are, how opportunities come into being, and how OIC can be measured. Nevertheless, substantial research challenges still need to be addressed. More specifically, based on both entrepreneurship literature and literature on organisational learning and entrepreneurship education, three overarching research issues have been identified:

    The OI process has not been fully mapped out, including the role of individuals and teams.

    Defining and explaining OIC is problematic because scholars tend not to agree whether opportunities are discovered in the economic environment or created by individuals.

    Existing measurements of OIC have been criticised, because most of them include self-perceptions or the recall of earlier identified opportunities.

    The main goal of this thesis was to contribute to the literature by addressing these three overarching research issues. Accordingly, the central research question was: What characterises opportunity identification by employees on the individual and team level?

    In the dissertation, OIC is both conceptually mapped and empirically explored. A performance instrument to measure OIC is developed and tested in higher education. As well, 12 businesses, including 234 employees in 51 teams, participated in this research project. Most companies were in the category known as small and medium-sized enterprise (SME). The participating companies have in common that they felt an urgent need for entrepreneurship as a driver of competitiveness. Furthermore, they aimed to commit and stimulate their employees to contribute to the entrepreneurial process, without having formal mechanisms or structures for doing so.

    Main conclusions

    In light of the central research question of this dissertation, What characterises opportunity identification by employees on the individual and team level?, the results suggest that OI deserves attention in existing businesses, both as a meaningful process leading towards new value-creation and as a relevant capability of employees. OIC is a multi-phased phenomenon consisting of two main competencies, namely business idea generation and business idea evaluation. In business idea generation, individuals generate all kinds of (business) ideas that may have the potential to become a real opportunity. In business idea evaluation, those ideas are selected that actually have potential success. Employees can have one of the competencies (business idea generation or business idea evaluation) to a greater extent, or both of them. Organisations need employees that are able to generate business ideas and employees that are able to evaluate the potential success of business ideas. The results of this thesis suggest that, just like independent entrepreneurs, employees mainly acquire such competencies by a process of learning by doing; this means that employees should become involved in entrepreneurial activities on the shop floor. Creating teams can be a solution, bringing together the competencies needed for the successful identification of opportunities. Moreover, the results suggest that the commitment of teams in the early stages of the entrepreneurial process is highly relevant, because the team cognitive framework for identifying opportunities seems more effective than the individual cognitive framework.

    Taken together, at the defining, initial stage of the entrepreneurial process opportunities are identified by individuals or, preferably, by teams – in a process by which business ideas are generated and evaluated for their potential success. When studying opportunities and their identification, scholars should take into account the differences in OIC between SMEs, employees, and even within OIC itself (i.e., between business idea generation and business idea evaluation). In practice as well, these differences should be considered in the selection and management of employees, in assessing OIC and in composing teams, because teams need both business idea generators and business idea evaluators.

    Dat smaakt naar meer! Innovatie in het Nederlandse levensmiddelen-mkb
    Galen, M.A. van; Logatcheva, K. ; Oosterkamp, E.B. - \ 2014
    Den Haag : LEI Wageningen UR (Nota / LEI 14-082) - 36
    voedselindustrie - innovaties - kleine bedrijven - middelgrote bedrijven - food industry - innovations - small businesses - medium sized businesses
    De levensmiddelenindustrie bestaat uit voedingsmiddelen- en drankenproducenten: een veelzijdige bedrijfstak die vaak ongemerkt een heel belangrijke rol speelt in vrijwel ieders dagelijks leven. De levensmiddelenindustrie bestaat voor 98% uit micro-ondernemingen en mkb-bedrijven. In dit onderzoek is met behulp van een dataset over innovatie bij bedrijven (CIS 2008-2010 van CBS) bekeken hoe innovatief mkb-bedrijven in de levensmiddelenindustrie zijn ten opzichte van grote bedrijven en of er verschillen zijn tussen branches en regio’s.
    The making of quality : a technography of small-scale women's groups and a medium-scale firm processing oil palm in Ghana
    Adjei, B.E. - \ 2014
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Paul Richards, co-promotor(en): Sietze Vellema. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462571143 - 162
    palmoliën - kwaliteit - verwerking - vrouwen - groepen - kleine bedrijven - middelgrote bedrijven - agrobiodiversiteit - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - ghana - palm oils - quality - processing - women - groups - small businesses - medium sized businesses - agro-biodiversity - sustainability - ghana

    Summary

    Palm oil is an important product in local diets and domestic markets in the South. The current attention for market quality standards and certification schemes in the palm oil sector has the risk to marginalise the role of palm oil in local food security and to direct public and private investments exclusively to industrial and export-oriented production systems. The rise of a variety of standards in the oil palm sector in recent times particularly the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has impacted on agricultural practices and the social and ecological environments of oil palm production worldwide. In this way, standards shape the way food provision is governed, with a consequence for how to organise production.

    This thesis was motivated by the dominance of a technological trajectory organised around hybrid oil palm varieties, the strong focus on standards as instruments for sustainable development, and the formation and inclusion of organised farmers in the Ghanaian oil palm sector. The widespread use of red palm oil in local diets, processed from Dura oil palm fruits, and the employment and income opportunities for grouped women are less present in policy documents and scholarly literature. Oil palm sector policy in Ghana is largely biased towards the use of the high yielding hybrid planting materials and industrial processing. This raises a question how small-scale processors are able to make quality red palm oil, which utilises the unique traits of Dura? Starting point for this thesis is the array of opportunities for employment and income generation, especially for small-scale processors in Ghana, grounded in the making of oil with specific quality traits from a specific oil palm (elaeis guineensis).

    The original assumption of the research was to explore whether a niche market for the specific traits of red palm oil, particularly in the diaspora, would offer new opportunities to combine sustainable livelihoods for women and the conservation of agro-biodiversity. Preliminary field work, however, showed that such a linear relationship does not exist. Hence, the research shifted attention to an important interface in the chain of red palm oil, namely the groups of women processing the fruits. The focus of the research shifted to first understand how women processors actually make this quality and how they organise around this process of material transformation. This is in line with the research program that takes a strong interest in developing a theory of practice, wherein the actual process of material transformation is linked to matters of social organisation, i.e. individual women working jointly in a group formation. This led to the question how the women’s groups processing oil palm organise and stay intact for longer periods (> 10 years), despite fluctuations in the availability of fruits, uncertainties in the market, and different social positions and organisational roles of the women members.

    The objective of the thesis was to investigate social organisation and technological choices in the practices of material transformation in small-scale palm oil processing, and to assess to what extent and in what ways these practices, grounded in changeful natural and socio-economic environments, are reshaped or constrained by public policy, quality standards and value chain governance. This thesis investigates the making of quality with the aim i) to unravel the interactions between social action and organisation and material transformation processes in the making of quality; ii) to examine how non-localised rules and routines (e.g. in public policy and chain governance) affect collective performance. The thesis adopted a case study around the performance of groups of women processing palm oil and how they performed the tasks of milling, cooking and sourcing practices. It is through the performance of such tasks that the groups relates to its social, the natural and institutional environments. The findings were generated by using a technographic line of inquiry to unravel the socio-technical and institutional arrangements in the making of palm oil.

    Contrasting the case study of how the women’s groups organise to perform the making of oil with the normative organisational model for organising value chains and production helped to put in context the observed threats posed by the market and policy environments.

    The introductory chapter introduces the palm oil, the oil palm sector, as well as the dominant role of women in small-scale processing. Next the thesis investigates how women organise and manoeuvre changeful natural and institutional environments in two empirical chapters (2&3). The thesis makes a shift to a meso level analysis of standards based on a single case study (chapter 4). The concluding chapter discusses the additional value of the main findings from separate empirical chapters and their theoretical implications and policy recommendation for the wider oil palm sector.

    Chapter 2: analyses everyday practices of the women’s groups, revealing how they organise to perform different tasks in processing. The practice of processing includes descriptions of how women join together in milling the fruits, ensure quality, and manage risks, transfer skill, techniques, and know-how leading to learning and inclusion of new members. The chapter questions why the women combines collectivity and individuality which underlies the performance of tasks and persist? It substantiate that the group form, structure and functioning responds to the making of quality. Consequently, group organisation is considered as a continuous process based on evolving practices rather than as an organisational fix based on technicalities and incentives. The case study reveals collection action as an emergent outcome which does not resemble more formal perspectives on how an organisation is supposed to work. The performance of tasks also links the groups to agro ecological conditions which are investigated in chapter 3.

    Chapter 3 investigates the stability of the groups in relation to seasonal fluctuation in the supply of fruits. It argues that group persistence lies in the capacity of the groups to manoeuvre changeful institutional and material environments within which they perform. The chapter provides insight into how the practice of processing is linked to agro-ecological conditions and the mixture of crops grown on the farms. It identifies strategies and arrangements used in sourcing by individual women within the groups and network relationships. It documents the different institutional arrangements for securing fruits all year round and how they are managed. The chapter shows how the differentiation within the groups provides the flexibility and capacity to handle fluctuation in raw material supply.

    A complementary focus of the research is on two processes that may enable or constrain collective performance. Chapter 4 analyses a case study of a medium-scale firm which processes palm oil for the local and the diaspora market. It argues that market standards may create a hidden imbalance in favour of better endowed (oil palm) firms while those with internal strength for developing products with unique qualities may be stifled. The chapter investigates how firm manages quality in the market, sourcing and cooking different recipes of palm oil of specific quality. The analytical question underlying this chapter is to unravel how firms respond to trade ad industrial standards. The data show that fluctuation in fruit supply required the use of different strategies to source both fruits and oil from other sources to ensure regular supply of product on the market. The evolving practices in cooking different recipes also required the use of skill, techniques, and know-how in processing to make palm oil with certain consistency in taste, colour, and texture that consumers require similar to the practices of the groups of women. The study shows that evolving practices in the making of quality palm oil may contradict prescribed standards. The case studies (2,3 &4) reveal diversity in the way firms and groups targeting different end use markets manage skilful tasks, use skill, tools and techniques which draws upon endogenous capabilities to manoeuvre changeful environments to make quality. The chapter opens a discussion on the RSPO, that its form of governance lacks the flexibility exhibited by the women’s groups and the firm to handle changeful environments in the making quality oil palm.

    Chapter 5 explores how small-scale groups continue to perform with regards to policies focusing on hybrid varieties and industrial production of palm oil. The chapter argues that policies which tend to rely strongly on single recipes, e.g. expansion of hybrids or certification may have a lower level of flexibility to handle unpredicted situations. The chapter substantiates this by re-visiting the original assumption of the thesis that the unique qualities of Dura will translate into its conservation. It shows that market-led strategies which primarily considers mono-cropping systems and aims to realise biodiversity conservation outside the boundaries of local production systems may constrain the capacity of farmers to navigate in changeful natural and economic conditions. It underscores preference for Dura in food preparation, threats to the conservation Dura, and the different configurations: based on small-scale processing embedded in diverse farming systems and agro-ecological conditions, which supports Dura conservation.

    The general discussion (Chapter 6) builds upon the main findings from the empirical to conclude that it is the diversity in groups, firms, and plant material that explains quality as an emergent property. It synthesises the technographic insights and findings and critically discusses the linear explanation of collective action. It shows why an evolutionary and processual perspective, related to task performance and materiality, should be brought into the discussion. This insight has important implication for methodologies, policies, and development interventions, which are more inclined to strive for uniform practices rather than building on the nitty-gritty details of the making of quality by small, female processors or medium, processing firms. The thesis relates the social analysis of performance and collectivity in the making of palm oil to the wider pattern of declining agro-biodiversity, and, accordingly, contributes to a broader discussion on organisational processes and management of development in agricultural food systems/ systems of food provision.

    Innovatie in de levensmiddelenindustrie : de rol van het mkb
    Logatcheva, K. ; Bakker, T. ; Oosterkamp, E.B. ; Galen, M.A. van; Bunte, F.H.J. - \ 2013
    Den Haag : LEI Wageningen UR (LEI-rapport : Markt & ketens ) - ISBN 9789086156221 - 76
    voedselindustrie - innovaties - productontwikkeling - nieuwe producten - concurrerend vermogen - middelgrote bedrijven - kleine bedrijven - werkgelegenheid - nederland - food industry - innovations - product development - new products - competitive ability - medium sized businesses - small businesses - employment - netherlands
    In een Europese vergelijking staat Nederland op drie als het gaat om innovatie in de levensmiddelenindustrie. Nederland investeert veel tijd en middelen in onderzoek en innovatie, maar genereert minder omzet uit nieuwe producten. De belangrijkste focus van Nederlandse bedrijven ligt op procesefficiëntie en kostenverlaging in plaats van productvernieuwing en marketing; op den duur een doodlopende weg. Innovatie van het MKB is belangrijk voor de concurrentiepositie en werkgelegenheid. Wel wordt het MKB belemmerd door hoge kosten, gebrek aan middelen en onvoldoende gekwalificeerde werknemers.
    Innovatie in de levensmiddelenindustrie : een internationale benchmarkstudie
    Galen, M.A. van; Logatcheva, K. ; Bakker, T. ; Oosterkamp, E.B. ; Jukema, G.D. - \ 2013
    Den Haag : LEI Wageningen UR (LEI-rapport : Markt & ketens ) - ISBN 9789086156337 - 81
    voedselindustrie - innovaties - concurrerend vermogen - nieuwe producten - middelgrote bedrijven - kleine bedrijven - internationale vergelijkingen - nederland - landen van de europese unie - food industry - innovations - competitive ability - new products - medium sized businesses - small businesses - international comparisons - netherlands - european union countries
    Doel van het onderzoek is innovatie in de Nederlandse levensmiddelenindustrie te benchmarken met Europese concurrenten aan de hand van een reeks beschikbare kernindicatoren.
    Sturen op innovatie in de levensmiddelenindustrie – wat levert het op? Meten en evalueren in een internationale context
    Galen, M.A. van; Logatcheva, K. ; Bakker, T. ; Oosterkamp, E.B. - \ 2011
    Den Haag : LEI, onderdeel van Wageningen UR - 12
    voedselindustrie - innovaties - concurrerend vermogen - nieuwe producten - middelgrote bedrijven - kleine bedrijven - internationale vergelijkingen - nederland - landen van de europese unie - vs - food industry - innovations - competitive ability - new products - medium sized businesses - small businesses - international comparisons - netherlands - european union countries - usa
    Nederland exporteert relatief veel levensmiddelen en de bedrijfstak is belangrijk voor de Nederlandse economie in termen van toegevoegde waarde en omzet. De Nederlandse levensmiddelenindustrie (voedingsmiddelen en dranken) bestaat voor 98% uit MKB bedrijven. MKB bedrijven zijn goed voor ongeveer 45% van de omzet in de voedingsmiddelenbranche en 24% in de drankenindustrie. Een groot deel van de MKB bedrijven exporteert niet. De cijfers hierover verschillen een beetje per bron; maar op basis van CBS cijfers schatten we dat in 2011 circa 75% van de MKB bedrijven niet exporteerde. In de periode 2006-2008 heeft minder dan de helft van de bedrijven op de één of andere manier geïnnoveerd. De omzet die Nederlandse levensmiddelenbedrijven gemiddeld in 2006-2008 uit nieuwe producten haalden was minder dan 10% van de totale omzet. Ter vergelijking, in Duitsland was dat bijna 18%. De Duitse levensmiddelenindustrie wordt overigens niet als erg innovatief gezien. Nederlandse bedrijven doen het wel redelijk goed als het gaat om het percentage bedrijven met geheel nieuwe producten (‘novel product innovators’), maar ook daar moet Nederland bijvoorbeeld Denemarken en Duitsland voor zich dulden. Het LEI heeft in opdracht van het ministerie van EL&I de Nederlandse levensmiddelenindustrie op het gebied van innovatie vergeleken met een achttal andere landen: Denemarken, Duitsland, Frankrijk, Italië, Polen, Spanje, het VK en de VS. Er is gekeken naar een groot aantal indicatoren van innovatie; zowel input, output, als contextvariabelen. Daarnaast is gekeken naar de rol van het MKB voor innovatie en de belemmeringen die juist kleine en middelgrote bedrijven ondervinden.
    Kansen voor het Nederlands Agro-Midden en Klein Bedrijf in Ghana, Mali en Mozambique
    Mheen-Sluijer, J. van der; Waardenburg, R. ; Rothuis, A.J. - \ 2011
    Den Haag : Ministerie van Economische Zaken, Landbouw en Innovatie - 78
    middelgrote bedrijven - kleine bedrijven - landbouwindustrie - internationale handel - investering - voedselzekerheid - ghana - nederland - mali - mozambique - medium sized businesses - small businesses - agribusiness - international trade - investment - food security - ghana - netherlands - mali - mozambique
    Het kabinet heeft besloten voedselzekerheid te verheffen als een prioritair thema binnen ontwikkelingssamenwerking. Dit heeft geleid tot, binnen de huidige vijftien partnerlanden, een selectie van zes landen te weten, Ethiopië, Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana, Mali en Mozambique. In deze zes landen willen de ministeries van Buitenlandse Zaken en Economische Zaken, Landbouw en Innovatie gezamenlijk pilot projecten starten. Een belangrijke factor voor de kans van slagen van initiatieven in deze zes landen is de mate van betrokkenheid van bedrijfsleven in het doelland, maar ook het bedrijfsleven in Nederland. De grotere Nederlandse bedrijven maken hun wensen met betrekking tot dit traject wel kenbaar, maar het is lastiger te identificeren waar de kansen liggen binnen deze zes landen voor het Nederlandse MKB actief in de agrarische sector (zowel primaire productie als verwerkende industrie en toeleverende industrie (machinerie, veevoeder e.d.)). Het lijkt dat dit segment onvoldoende op de hoogte is van de kansen en mogelijkheden in (sommige van) deze landen, en om die reden nog geen grote interesse in het traject heeft getoond. Om vanuit de programmatische inzet op voedselzekerheid een betere link met het Nederlandse bedrijfsleven (MKB) te realiseren, heeft de Directie Agroketens en Visserij de volgende kennisvraag geformuleerd: identificeren van 4-5 sub sectoren binnen de Nederlandse landbouwsector (zowel primair, verwerkend als toeleverend) waarop het Nederlandse agro-MKB het meest actief is in haar internationale handels- en investeringsstromen, m.n. gericht op midden- en lagere inkomenslanden. Hiertoe zoveel mogelijk gebruik makend van bestaand onderzoek; identificeren van het marktpotentieel (voor zowel handel als investeringen) voor het Nederlandse agro-MKB voor de onder 1) geïdentificeerde sub sectoren in de landen Ghana, Mali en Mozambique. Middels de beantwoording van deze kennisvraag wil de Directie Agroketens en Visserij in staat gesteld worden het Nederlandse agro MKB gerichter te kunnen benaderen teneinde ze te betrekken in deze rijks brede programmatische inzet op het thema voedselzekerheid. Omdat bestaand onderzoek over deze onderwerpen ontbrak, hebben de auteurs van dit rapport hun eigen netwerk in deze drie landen en het Nederlands bedrijfsleven ingezet. Naast het in kaart brengen van de kansen in deze landen, zoals beschreven in documenten van de overheden en internationale organisaties, hebben we onze contacten geïnterviewd. Zij hebben informatie gegeven over specifieke kansen die zij zagen voor investeringen in deze landen en de obstakels die ze hierbij ondervonden. Ook werden we soms doorverwezen naar andere bedrijven die ook (interesse hebben in) actief zijn in deze landen. Door deze sneeuwbalmethode te gebruiken is er zeer waarschijnlijk een bias opgetreden naar Nederlandse bedrijven die zich concentreren op handel met (import uit en export naar) deze landen, in plaats van bedrijven die investeren in productie voor de lokale- en regionale markt. Ook is niet duidelijk welk percentage Nederlandse bedrijven dat daadwerkelijk actief is (of wil worden) in deze landen we via deze sneeuwbalmethode bereikt hebben.
    Profiting from external knowledge : how firms use different knowledge acquisition strategies to improve their innovation performance
    Batterink, M.H. - \ 2009
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Onno Omta, co-promotor(en): Emiel Wubben. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085853114
    innovaties - prestatieniveau - firma's - bedrijfsvoering - kennis - kapitaalvennootschappen - bedrijven - verbetering - kleine bedrijven - nederland - netwerken - middelgrote bedrijven - innovations - performance - firms - management - knowledge - companies - businesses - improvement - small businesses - netherlands - networks - medium sized businesses
    In recent years, innovation has become essential for the competitive advantage of firms in a growing number of industries. Due to the fast development of technologies, changing customer demands, shortening of product life cycles, increased global competition and changing regulations, modern firms constantly have to look for new ways to prosper in this very dynamic business environment. To survive in this dynamic environment, firms increasingly look for ways to profit from knowledge in other organizations, like supply chain partners, universities and research institutes, and even competitors. Firms may choose from several strategies for external knowledge acquisition, such as inter-organizational cooperation, venture capital investments, outsourcing of Research and Development (R&D), licensing-in, but also Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As).

    When firms try to acquire external knowledge they will face major management challenges. Several empirical studies have indicated that acquiring external knowledge can be time consuming, expensive and laborious. Moreover, establishing relationships with external organizations raises several complex issues, such as appropriation concerns, motivational problems, leakage of sensitive information, and partner dependency. In this respect, the management of innovating firms should not only strategically consider which knowledge acquisition strategy is to be preferred when they want to profit from knowledge developed elsewhere, but they should also consider carefully how to manage their external knowledge acquisition processes. The main objective of this book is therefore as follows:

    To analyze how firms can profit from external knowledge using different knowledge acquisition strategies.

    In order to realize this objective, four empirical studies are carried out. The first two studies are primarily concerned with the relevance of different strategies for acquiring external knowledge (such as licensing-in, outsourcing and cooperation), using a quantitative approach. Both studies use data of industrial firms from Dutch Community Innovation Surveys (CIS, 1994-2004), which explore the innovation process inside firms. The first study (Chapter 2) concentrates on the occurrence of different external knowledge acquisition strategies over time. The second study (Chapter 3) complements the first study by analyzing whether the different knowledge acquisition strategies are effective in improving the innovation performance.

    Next, the other two studies apply a qualitative approach and concentrate on specific management challenges of two different knowledge acquisition strategies, namely inter-organizational cooperation and M&As. The first qualitative study (Chapter 4) provides in-depth information on innovation brokers orchestrating innovation networks of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the agri-food sector, in different European countries. The second qualitative study (Chapter 5) provides in-depth information on the integration processes of the R&D function, following large, (medium) high-tech M&As in life science industries. In this study we link technological relatedness to specific R&D integration mechanisms, and subsequently to innovation synergy realization.

    In the innovation management literature there is a growing attention for the open innovation model, introduced by Chesbrough in 2003. This model emphasizes that the innovation process should be flexible and may cross organizational boundaries, so that it enables the transfer of knowledge and capabilities from and to other independent organizations. According to the open innovation model, firms should not only consider internal, but also external knowledge, capabilities and paths to markets. Yet, despite the recent emphasis on open innovation by innovation management scholars, the empirical evidence of its relevance to innovating firms has so far surprisingly been limited. Anecdotal evidence suggests that open innovation can be beneficial for low-tech industries as well. An important question is therefore whether the concepts of open innovation also apply to lower-tech industries. In addition, whereas the relevance of open innovation is shown for a number of large firms, it remains unclear to what extent open innovation is also relevant for SMEs. The research question in Chapter 2 is therefore:

    To what extent do different types (size and technology classes) of innovating firms pursue an open innovation strategy?

    The results show that especially since the turn of the century, an increasing share of innovating firms pursue an open innovation strategy, i.e. using external knowledge acquisition strategies, such as cooperation, outsourcing, and licensing-in. In addition, we found an increase in cooperation for different types of cooperation partners, such as suppliers, customers and research institutes. The most prevalent cooperation partners are actors from within the supply chain, i.e. suppliers and customers. Interestingly, the results showed that small firms and low- and medium-tech firms in particular are catching up large and high-tech firms in pursuing open innovation strategies since 2000. Yet, in general, large firms and firms from high-tech industries are still the most inclined to adopt open innovation strategies.

    We conclude in Chapter 2 that open innovation has become more common, but is it also more successful? Chapter 3 concentrates on the performance consequences of different knowledge acquisition strategies. In Chapter 3 we addressed the following research question:

    What is the impact of different external knowledge acquisition strategies on the short-term and long-term innovation performance of innovative firms?

    Drawing from a sample of 686 industrial firms from the Dutch CIS database we analyzed what the impact is of different knowledge acquisition strategies; both open innovation strategies such as licensing-in, outsourcing, cooperation, as closed innovation strategies such as M&As and the contrasting case of in-house innovation, on the short-term and long-term performance of incremental and radical innovation. We found that open innovation is often a successful strategy. More specifically, cooperation was found to have a positive impact on incremental and radical innovation, both in the short and long term. Thus, cooperation is not only increasingly practiced (see Chapter 2), it also turns out to be a successful strategy to profit from external knowledge. Furthermore, we found that outsourcing has a positive impact on a firm’s short-term and long-term performance of innovations, whereas licensing-in only contributes to short-term innovation performance. That licensing-in only contributes to the short-term innovation performance suggests that licensing-in is especially useful for acquiring knowledge and technologies that are relatively rapidly applicable for creating innovations. This knowledge is often also be available to other organizations, so that licensing-in does not lead to long-term competitive advantage. The results suggest as well that there may be several sub-modes of outsourcing and inter-organizational cooperation that facilitate innovation in different ways.

    Contrary to our expectations, we found that the acquisition of a relatively large firm boosts the innovation performance significantly, although only after a substantial number of years. Apparently, it takes considerable time and effort to integrate the acquired firm in such a way that it improves the innovation performance. Finally, exclusive in-house innovation turned out to be a sub-optimal strategy, as we found that exclusive in-house innovation had a consistently significant negative impact on the performance of both short and long-term performance of incremental and radical innovation.

    Chapter 4 presents a study on the innovation networks in which SMEs cooperate. Although cooperation can have a positive impact on innovation performance (see Chapter 3), for SMEs it can be a major challenge to cope with all the issues stemming from inter-organizational cooperation, such as cultural differences (e.g. between academics/researchers and entrepreneurs), appropriation concerns, motivational problems, and leakage of sensitive knowledge. In the innovation management literature there is a growing attention to intermediary organizations, such as innovation brokers, which assist SMEs with the challenges that come with innovating in a network. In Chapter 3, we therefore asked the following research question:

    How do innovation brokers orchestrate SME innovation networks in the agri-food sector?

    Drawing from the rich experience of four innovation brokers in the agri-food sector in The Netherlands, Germany and France, we substantiated the network orchestration processes that are important for innovation processes of SMEs. First, innovation brokers assist SMEs in the early stage of the innovation project, to develop ideas independently of large institutional actors, and to find complementary partners such as other SMEs, or research institutes. In contrast to an individual SME, an innovation broker can typically draw from a large and diverse network, in order to compose a network of complementary actors. Second, innovation brokers take the lead in setting up appropriate coordination mechanisms to facilitate the inter-organizational cooperation within the new innovation network. Third, innovation brokers often are involved in the network during the whole innovation trajectory, in order to manage the inter-organizational cooperation between the different parties. Especially in the case of conflict between the parties, innovation brokers are of added value in SME innovation networks. Being in a neutral position in an innovation network in which all other parties have a commercial stake, and having ample experience with inter-organizational innovation processes, enables innovation brokers to do so.

    As stated in Chapter 3, we found that major acquisitions have a positive impact on the long-term performance of innovations. In Chapter 5 we analyze how major M&As can contribute to innovation performance. The research question in Chapter 5 is:

    What is the role of technological relatedness in realizing innovation synergies in M&As?

    Our study of 10 large, medium- and high-tech M&As in life-science industries showed that there are three categories of innovation synergies: innovation cost synergy, innovation process synergy, and new growth platforms. Furthermore, we concluded that depending on the level of technological relatedness between the involved firms, different integration mechanisms are applied. The results suggest that there are three levels of R&D integration, starting with a minimal form integration, which is the standardization of system, such as the harmonization of information, reporting, and control systems. Systems standardizing is applied in the case of lowly technological related M&As and does not or hardly lead to innovation synergies. The second level of R&D integration focuses, in addition to system standardization, on structural linking, e.g. in terms of integrated R&D management, R&D teams, or even R&D departments. This level of integration is primarily applied in moderately technological related M&As and may lead to innovation process synergy and new growth platforms. The third and most far-reaching level of R&D integration focuses, in addition to system standardization and structural linking on process re-design, i.e. rationalization processes (eliminating duplicate R&D), specialization, and re-prioritizing of innovation projects. Process re-design is mainly applied in highly technologically related M&As, and is associated with each of the three types of innovation synergy.

    On the issue of organizing the Post M&A Integration process, we conclude that there are several factors that enhance innovation synergy realization, such experience, integration planning, and open communication. For instance, we found that firms with a track record of similar acquisitions, draw explicitly from their experience by using dedicated PMAI tools and guidelines. These firms are likely to integrate the R&D functions more quickly than firms without relevant experience.

    To conclude, we found that external knowledge becomes increasingly important for the innovation activities of firms. Although it can be difficult to profit from the knowledge and capabilities from other organizations, more and more firms manage to do so. This research has shown that companies use different knowledge acquisition strategies and this research has arrived at concrete possibilities and guidelines to improve this process.

    Finally, this research has made a number of main contributions to literature.
    - First, we advanced the external validity of the open innovation model. Several studies have pointed at the importance of the open innovation model, but previous studies mainly concentrated on a small amount of case studies, or on one sector only. Our longitudinal research shows that firms from different industries and size classes increasingly pursue an open innovation strategy. In addition, our research shows that open innovation strategies contribute to innovation performance. The impact of licensing-in and outsourcing on innovation performance in particular has so far hardly been investigated. The extension on knowledge acquisition strategies and industries brings research on open innovation to a higher level.
    - Second, we presented new empirical evidence on the socially relevant academic discussion on whether M&As have a positive impact on the innovation performance of firms. With our large scale quantitative study we showed that major acquisitions have a positive impact on the long-term performance of incremental and radical innovations. Contrary to previous studies, which focused on the number of patents as indicator for innovation performance, we used an indicator for innovation performance that also captures the commercial impact of innovations. In addition, we not only included high-tech, but also lower-tech firms.
    - Third, we developed a conceptual model for innovation synergy realization in M&As. Although several studies investigated the R&D integration process in M&As, so far it has remained unclear if, and if so how, innovation synergies are realized in large M&As. In our research we combined insights from the strategic management and the post M&A integration literature to gain a better understanding of the process of innovation synergy realization. The model shows that depending on the technological relatedness between the involved firms, specific R&D integration mechanisms should be applied and that depending on these R&D integration mechanisms, different innovation synergies can be realized.
    - Fourth, we substantiated the network orchestration processes of innovation brokers active in SME innovation networks. Previous studies in the innovation management literature focused primarily on identifying and describing the functions and roles of innovation brokers in the (regional) innovation system. Our research shows specifically which contributions innovation brokers make at the innovation network level, and how they make these contributions.

    Inspire & innovate : eindrapportage
    Cornelissen, T. ; Lugtenaar, M. ; Balendonck, J. ; Ruckelshausen, A. ; Wit, R. de - \ 2008
    Arnhem : Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij Oost Nederland - 175
    innovaties - voedsel - internationale samenwerking - ondernemingen - kennis - duitsland - nederland - levenswetenschappen - middelgrote bedrijven - bedrijfskunde - innovations - food - international cooperation - enterprises - knowledge - germany - netherlands - life sciences - medium sized businesses - business administration
    In de Euregio Rijn-Waal en de Euregio Gronau bestond de behoefte om de aanwezige kennis grensoverschrijdend beter te benutten. Het centrale doel was MKB’ers te ondersteunen bij innovaties die ontstaan vanuit het toepassen van nieuwe kennis. Veel van de door de kennisinstellingen aan het bedrijfsleven aangeboden kennis gaat uit van een academische behoefte. In het project is uitgegaan van de behoefte aan kennis vanuit het MKB. Doordat er alleen projecten zijn ondersteund waarbij behoefte bestond aan een oplossing voor een reëel knelpunt, waren de bedrijfseconomische effecten binnen de bedrijven direct zichtbaar heeft het ook een aantoonbare impuls veroorzaakt voor de regio.
    Eco-modernizing small en medium-sized agro-industries in Vietnam
    Pham Hong Nhat, - \ 2007
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Arthur Mol. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085048282 - 320
    landbouwindustrie - kleine bedrijven - verontreiniging - milieuafbraak - modernisering - herstel - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - milieubescherming - verontreinigingsbeheersing - slacht - looien - leerverwerkende industrie - zeevruchten - overheidsbeleid - milieubeleid - vietnam - middelgrote bedrijven - agribusiness - small businesses - pollution - environmental degradation - modernization - rehabilitation - sustainability - environmental protection - pollution control - slaughter - tanning - leather industry - seafoods - government policy - environmental policy - vietnam - medium sized businesses
    Following ‘Doi Moi’ (Renovation), which started in 1986, the former centrally planned economy in Vietnam is shifting to an economy where production is linked to market demand and consumption. As a result, the nation has been enjoying an unprecedentedly fast economic growth, especially in recent years: 8.4% in 2005 and 8.17% in 2006. The economic renovation also brought an expansion of the private sector, which consists mainly of small- and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs. The reform process has also positively influenced agriculture, which is an important sector of the national economy. These changes have resulted in a strong growth of Vietnamese SMEs, especially in the agro-food and related fields. Although recognized as a very important sector, the small- and medium-sized agro-industries, SMAIs have high environmental costs. Since a large number of SMAIs operate amidst residential neighbourhoods in urban areas, they not only contribute to urban pollution but also cause severe nuisance to the surrounding residents by discharging their untreated solid, liquid and gaseous emissions. Furthermore, the public has expressed concerns recently that the poor environmental performance of SMAIs may (in)directly influence the safety of food. During the last few years, the Government of Vietnam has worked hard to protect the environment and to mitigate adverse environmental impacts caused by fast economic development. But the current environmental management system, based on a solid command-and-control style, has not been able to cope with the situation. In an attempt to contribute to a sustainable development strategy for the country, this thesis aims to evaluate the current situation and to design approaches that would eco-modernise the existing small- and medium-sized agro-industries in Vietnam. As such, the main objective of the thesis is to answer three central research questions: (1) what are the current contributions of SMAIs to environmental problems in Vietnam?, (2) how can the environmental performance of Vietnamese SMAIs be improved?, and (3) what role can the relevant Vietnamese actors play in such environmental reform strategies? The ideas of the Ecological Modernisation Theory, EMT, were employed as the main theoretical framework for this research. These ideas help us to analyse how to deal with environmental issues which have increasingly become problematic as a result of the recent fast industrial and economic development. With an EMT framework, current available theories and techniques for environmental protection (at industries) were systematically analyzed. They include pollution control, pollution prevention/cleaner production and industrial ecology. Although these approaches were developed as an evolution towards solving the environmental consequences of industrial development, they all have both advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore, although the most recent approaches appear to be the most advanced ones, none of them have ever fully rejected the others. In fact, a combination of (most of) them, seems to be useful. A methodology was developed in this dissertation for analyzing and designing the eco-modernization of existing SMAIs, using the main principles of industrial ecology, IE. The methodology focuses on both technical aspects and institutional (re)arrangements and leads to a “closed material cycle model”. Regarding the technical side, the model consists of two levels: (1) the enterprise level and (2) the enterprise-expanded level; and it encompasses three components of environmental performance improvement: (1) the intra-enterprise measures, which consist of mainly source reduction and on-site recycling, (2) the intra-extra enterprise measures, which include mainly (off-site) recycling and/or (on-site) reuse, and (3) the further use of the remaining residues by other industries and/or entities/activities. Regarding the institutional aspects a network analysis – assessing the role of economic, policy and societal networks – was applied, relating designed environmental improvement options to actors configurations. The developed methodology was applied in three SMAI sub-sectors: animal slaughtering, tanning and seafood processing. A multiple case study strategy was employed for this research. After a general study of each of the sub-sectors, six case study enterprises were selected from each sub-sector for in-depth research. Furthermore, one case study from each studied sub-sector was selected for further in-depth research with empirical experiments on closing the material cycles. Moreover, actor networks that embed the case study companies were analyzed to identify their role in promoting the developed environmental options and models. As a result, shortcomings in implementing environmental reforms were identified. The identification of these weaknesses helped to make sound recommendations for institutional rearrangements of future systems leading towards successful eco-modernizing of the SMAIs. As a result of the empirical research the central research questions were answered. Firstly, it has become clear that the current environmental performance of the SMAI sector in Vietnam is poor. This poor performance not only contributes to the degradation of the environment but also (in)directly relates to the issues of food safety. Secondly, the application of an integrated methodology based on the principles of pollution prevention/cleaner production and especially industrial ecology proved to be successful in helping the SMAIs to improve their environmental performance by creating a “closed material cycle” model. Thirdly, through a network analysis, the role of the relevant actors in environmental reform was clarified. Most economic actors do not play an active and “positive” role towards facilitating the implementation of developed environmental improvement model, and the societal network actors are also quite passive. In addition, a number of shortcomings in the policy networks regarding the environmental reform were revealed. Although the role of branch associations was identified as crucial for environmental reform, these either do not exist (in the case of slaughtering industry) or they focus only on the economic interests of their members. Capacity strengthening – both at the individual and the organizational level – is urgently needed as part of a political modernization process, but this has to be coupled with raising environmental awareness and knowledge among the public in general. The empirical research within this study has proved that the idea of industrial ecology can be applied for improving environmental performance of the existing SMAIs by adding well designed options. In other words, industrial ecology fits not only new industrial establishments by carefully designing waste reuse, recycling or exchange, but can also fit existing (agro-)industrial units by (wisely) re-designing their waste flow for the purpose of recycling and/or reuse. Last but not least, recommendations for further research have been made. Firstly, from the point of view of sustainable production and consumption, research could be carried out to elaborate on the production-consumption chain for the SMAIs. This work would help to quantify the contribution and role of each actor in the chain. Furthermore, the applicability and extent of industrial ecology could further be studied for SMEs of other industrial sectors in Vietnam. Finally, comparative studies are recommended to be carried out on environmental reform of the same industrial sub-sectors in similar economic conditions but in different geographical, cultural and political-institutional settings. These studies could help to make the EMT more valuable throughout the developing world.
    Tacos, tiendas and mezcal : an actor-network perspective on small-scale entrepreneurial projects in Western mexico
    Verschoor, G.M. - \ 1997
    Agricultural University. Promotor(en): N.E. Long. - S.l. : Verschoor - ISBN 9789054857150 - 265
    ondernemerschap - kleine bedrijven - landbouw - economische sociologie - particuliere ondernemingen - ondernemingen - particulier eigendom - sociologie - plattelandsgemeenschappen - mexico - middelgrote bedrijven - entrepreneurship - small businesses - agriculture - economic sociology - private firms - enterprises - private ownership - sociology - rural communities - mexico - medium sized businesses

    The role of small firms in developing countries is a subject of continuous interest in both academic and policy circles. Small firms account for a large part of economic activity, and their employment share is remarkable. Yet, although considerable knowledge about them exists, some of the key issues concerning small businesses remain relatively underexposed or are highly debatable. One such issue is that of their feasibility. What firms are feasible? What are the conditions for their success? Is it technology choice, flexibility, innovativeness or relative size which determine the vitality of small firms? Or is it their organizational practices, or the institutional environment within which they operate that is crucial? These questions are important, because great hopes are placed on the role of small firms as a 'cure-all' for economic crisis. The present study aims to contribute towards a better understanding of small firms by answering some of these central issues in development. Although the study focuses on a number of small businesses in Western Mexico, the scope of the argument has much broader implications, and may help shed light on the dynamics and feasibility of small firms in development contexts in general.

    To understand the dynamics and feasibility of small firms, in Chapter 1 it is argued that existing perspectives on the phenomenon of small firms, and the assumptions on which they are based, should be challenged. On the basis of a questioning of different theoretical perspectives, in Chapter 2 some promising analytical frameworks that provide useful insights into the study of small firms - flexible specialization and the actor-oriented approach - are discussed. Drawing upon their shortcomings, the Chapter elaborates on actornetwork theory, a body of theoretical work developed in the context of the sociology of science which treats social relations as network effects. According to Law (1992:379) this theory is distinctive because "... it insists that networks are materially heterogeneous and argues that society and organization would not exist if they were simply social." Hence, from this point of view the task of sociology is to characterize the ways in which different materials are juxtaposed to create realities theretofore unimaginable. In the context of this study, the analytical framework of actor-network theory sets the stage to address the two main research questions:

    a. how can one account for the heterogeneous processes that shape the projects of small-scale entrepreneurs in a rural area of Western Mexico?
    b. under what conditions are durable (i.e. feasible) entrepreneurial projects constructed?

    Chapter 3 deals with the methodological implications of the theoretical framework, and how these in turn affected the research process. In order to address these issues, a reflexive account of the research genealogy is given: why the theme of small-scale enterprise was chosen, what paths had to be trod to obtain funding for the research, what problems were faced during the fieldwork period and, finally, how the theoretical position developed in Chapter 2 came to be adopted.

    Chapters 4 through 9 address the main research concerns through a number of case studies on small-scale entrepreneurial projects. In a nutshell, the argument runs that the dynamics and feasibility of small firms are a function of three interrelated factors. First, the ability of entrepreneurs to set up and sustain a global network capable of providing a range of different resources in exchange for some kind of future return; second, the ability of entrepreneurs to use resources from a global network to build a local network with the aim of satisfying the expectations of actors lodged in the global network; third, the degree in which an entrepreneur succeeds in controlling all transactions between the global and the local networks of the firm. This does not imply that there necessarily exists a relationship between the values and significations shared by actors belonging to these different networks.

    Chapter 4 takes up these dimensions through an in-depth case study of Carlos, an entrepreneur involved in two projects simultaneously: taco selling and public transport. As the case shows, the taco project was relatively successful as Carlos was able to build a global and a local network, and control the transactions between the two. However, a lack of integration between actors from both networks at all times endangered the feasibility of the enterprise. In contrast, in the minibus project Carlos did not succeed in maintaining a global network, and when actors from this network came up with new regulations the local netwoik could not anymore fulfil expected returns and the project collapsed.

    Chapter 5 displays an entrepreneur engaged in the setting up of two projects: a small shop and a bar. As the case shows, the entrepreneur successfully managed to build a global and a local network within which the shop project could be operated. However, the project turned out to be a fragile one because the entrepreneur did not succeed in regulating the transactions between both networks. In the case of the bar, the entrepreneur could not successfully link the actors from both the local and global network - let alone control their transactions.

    Chapter 6 pictures a couple - David and Chela - who take over a store from relatives. The case differs from the prior ones in that the project provided its global network with a timely reward, but only for a short period. The reason for this is that difficulties arose in the contextualization of the project, which in turn denied the room for manoeuvre necessary to construct a durable local network. The main reason for this was that, despite the forthright conditions put forward by David and Chela when taking over the store, they did not succeed in enroling the necessary actors to fulfil the roles laid out for them. Hence, the project did not take the direction David and Chela wished, eventually putting the feasibility of the store in question.

    Chapter 7 describes the case of Leon, a producer of mezcal. Leon's project differs from those of the previous Chapters in that Leon's project successfuIly constructed its global and local networks, and controlled transactions between these. Thus Leon controlled consumers of his mezcal by at the same time controlling the local network implicated in the production of the liquor. One and the other is made apparent by focusing on how the competition is held at bay, how collaborators (both human and nonhuman) are enlisted, and how workers are put in place - that is, how the different interests of the actors who make up the production, distribution and consumption of mezcal are made to converge.

    In Chapter 8 the thesis takes a slightly different turn by concentrating on a theme only partially developed in Chapters 4 through 7 namely the relationship between projects and crucial actors from their global networks: the final consumers of projects' products and services. Through a case study on Pablo, an independent distributor of mezcal, Chapter 8 throws new light on traditional notions about the identities of producers and consumers, and shows that these identities are continuously constructed, deconstructed and reconstructed in the process of producing and consuming - a process that vastly exceeds the realm of production and consumption proper. Thus in this Chapter it is argued that producers and consumers are nothing but the end product of heterogeneous relations which are often mediated through objects.

    In Chapter 9 attention shifts away from specific projects, and focuses on the larger network of firms engaged in the production of mezcal. In general, the Chapter deals with the expansion and transformation of this network, and the way in which it takes shape through a continuous realignment of so-called social, technical, economic and political elements. Particularly, the Chapter focuses on the way in which the network of mezcal firms transforms and expands in time through a) a constant addition of new human and non-human beings to the network, b) the enrolment of people and things who/that initially conspired against mezcal producers' goals, c) a qualitative change in the properties of actors involved in the network, d) the delegation of human properties to non-humans, and e) the effective packaging or black-boxing of heterogeneous actors. Furthermore, the network is shown to be characterized by a strong degree of convergence of interests of all actors involved, making it possible for mezcal producers to develop feasible firms.

    The general conclusion of this thesis is that the feasibility of smallscale entrepreneurial projects is a function of the morphology of the local and global networks which these projects help build and maintain. This and some other findings that follow from the case studies are made explicit in Chapter 10. Also, this final Chapter retakes the issue of why it is important to look at the feasibility of small firms, and why the approach chosen in this study can be seen as a positive contribution for both academic and policy debates concerning the role of small firms in rural areas of developing regions. Theoretically, the significance of this study is that it shows that, through theoretical ly-informed empirical cases, one can avert disciplinary myopia, making it possible to grasp the essentially contingent, unfixed nature of entrepreneurial projects. Furthermore, the study suggests that traditional sociological and anthropological notions such as 'structure' are in much need of overhauling for, as the cases demonstrate, small firms are not embedded in a fixed structure, but rather they are progressive ideas which materialize through practices, that is, through the work contextualizing and localizing objects that create social relations. As to policy concerns, this study suggests that it is precarious to formulate policies to support small-scale business through social, political, economic or technical incentives alone but that, instead policies should address the multidimensional character of entrepreneurial activity. Related to this, a general policy recommendation of this study is that schemes promoting small firms need to go beyond treating small-scale entrepreneurial projects as isolated, self-contained islands. Instead, they should be geared to the materially heterogeneous networks of actors engaged in the production, dissemination, and consumption of specific goods and services.

    Agricultural marketing in the Atlantic Zone of Costa Rica.
    Jansen, H.G.P. ; Tilburg, A. van; Belt, J. ; Hoekstra, S. - \ 1996
    Turrialba : CATIE (Serie Tecnica / Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigacion y Ensenanza 271) - ISBN 9789977572383 - 120
    voedingsmiddelen - voedselproducten - landbouwproducten - agronomie - markten - marketing - marktconcurrentie - aanbodsevenwicht - handel - distributie - voedselproductie - economie - economische situatie - voedselconsumptie - kleine bedrijven - costa rica - economische productie - middelgrote bedrijven - foods - food products - agricultural products - agronomy - markets - marketing - market competition - supply balance - trade - distribution - food production - economics - economic situation - food consumption - small businesses - costa rica - economic production - medium sized businesses
    Detailhandel, consument en milieu-advisering : een onderzoek naar de milieu-voorlichtende rol van het midden- en kleinbedrijf bij de aanschaf van watergedragen verven, spaarlampen en CFK-vrije koelkasten
    Spaargaren, G. ; Munters, Q.J. ; Hendriksen, A. - \ 1995
    Wageningen : Landbouwuniversiteit, Vakgroep Sociologie - ISBN 9789067544023 - 48
    marketing voor de detailhandel - handel - kleine bedrijven - consumenteninformatie - producten - informatie - milieubescherming - nederland - middelgrote bedrijven - retail marketing - trade - small businesses - consumer information - products - information - environmental protection - netherlands - medium sized businesses
    Winkelkeuze bij verse groenten en vers fruit.
    Glerum-van der Laan, C. - \ 1987
    Wageningen : Landbouwuniversiteit Wageningen (Wageningse Economische Studies 2) - ISBN 9789067540902 - 90
    consumentengedrag - consumenten - vraag - fruitgewassen - Nederland - beleid - onderzoek - marketing voor de detailhandel - kleine bedrijven - handel - groenten - consumentenaangelegenheden - middelgrote bedrijven - consumer behaviour - consumers - demand - fruit crops - Netherlands - policy - research - retail marketing - small businesses - trade - vegetables - consumer affairs - medium sized businesses
    In 10 plaatsen in Nederland zijn in de zomer van 1983 500 consumenten ondervraagd over hun winkelkeuzegedrag bij verse groenten en fruit. In het voorjaar van 1984 zijn hiervan nogmaals 250 consumenten geenqueteerd. Het ging met name om de motieven die bij de winkelkeuze een rol spelen en om de veranderingen die zich voordoen in winkelkeuzegedrag. Bij het verzamelen van de gegevens is gebruik gemaakt van een model van het winkelkeuzegedrag
    De distributie van mosselen en mosselprodukten in Nederland : verslag van een enquete
    Horjus, K.M. - \ 1982
    Den Haag : LEI (Mededeling / Landbouw-Economisch Instituut no. 278) - 27
    mossels - oesters - marketing voor de detailhandel - kleine bedrijven - handel - nederland - middelgrote bedrijven - mussels - oysters - retail marketing - small businesses - trade - netherlands - medium sized businesses
    Onderzoek naar de mogelijkheden voor de bezorgende melkdetailhandel
    Meulenberg, M.T.G. ; Tilburg, A. van; Wierenga, B. - \ 1976
    's-Gravenhage : Bedrijfschap Detailhandel in Melk, Melk- en Zuivelprodukten
    handel - straatmarkten - informele sector - marketing voor de detailhandel - kleine bedrijven - voedingsmiddelen - non-food producten - economie - melkproducten - zuivelindustrie - nederland - middelgrote bedrijven - trade - street markets - informal sector - retail marketing - small businesses - foods - non-food products - economics - milk products - dairy industry - netherlands - medium sized businesses
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