Understanding entrepreneurship at the base of the pyramid in developing countries : insights from small-scale vegetable farmers in Benin
Yessoufou, Ahoudou Waliou - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): S.W.F. Omta, co-promotor(en): V. Blok. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463438216 - 196
entrepreneurship - farmers - vegetables - small businesses - farm management - management science - benin - west africa - ondernemerschap - boeren - groenten - kleine bedrijven - agrarische bedrijfsvoering - bedrijfswetenschap - benin - west-afrika
Local small-scale entrepreneurship has recently become an important field of study and a tool for policymakers. However, there are some practical and theoretical issues regarding the promotion of local entrepreneurship. First, the dynamics of entrepreneurship are considered to be universal, whereas the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) context from Developing and Emerging (D&E) countries is different in terms of resource availability and institutional environment supporting production and transaction activities. Next, the prevailing conceptualization focuses on an individualistic and goal-oriented process which is determined by competencies related to alertness, recognition, and resource mobilization for the exploitation of opportunities, followed by business growth, whereas a multi-layered conceptualisation which transcends individual agent and structural-level analyses of entrepreneurship is required. This thesis brought the model of the entrepreneurial action of small businesses to light and revealed that three subprocesses are driving the development of entrepreneurship in BoP. It inductively examined the behavioural patterns of agropreneurs. The thesis also provided new insights to the entrepreneurial orientation (EO) of small firms operating within the BoP, by showing that three traditional dimensions – innovativeness, proactiveness, and risk taking - are necessary but not sufficient to capture the manifestation of EO. Two new context-specific dimensions - resource-acquisition capability and collaborative orientation - emerged as part of the entrepreneurial orientation strategy. The thesis developped clear measurement of the EO, and a proper measurement model of the construct. Finally, the thesis demonstrated an inverted U-shaped relationship between EO and business performance. The findings suggested that increasing levels of EO appear beneficial up to a point, after which positive returns cease, and business performance begins to decline. Furthermore, increasing EO in tandem with networking promotes the success of BoP entrepreneurial process. These results have important theroretical and practical implications for the growth of small businesses in Benin and other developing countries with similar contextual characteristics.
Key factors for loan repayment of micro entrepreneurs in Ghana
Agbeko, Daniel - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): S.W.F. Omta, co-promotor(en): V. Blok; G. van der Velde. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463437943 - 97
corporate social responsibility - bank loans - loans - debt - repayment - entrepreneurship - small businesses - ghana - west africa - developing countries - maatschappelijk verantwoord ondernemen - bankleningen - leningen - schuld - aflossing - ondernemerschap - kleine bedrijven - ghana - west-afrika - ontwikkelingslanden
This thesis examines the extent to what corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies, entrepreneurial and business skills and programmes for training and monitoring improve microbusiness performance and loan repayment rates:
‘To what extent do corporate social responsibility strategies, entrepreneurial and business skills and programmes for training and monitoring improve loan repayment rates of microfinance debtors in developing countries?’
MFIs that adopt CSR strategies provide for both financial and social empowerment services. Social empowerment services may include primary health care services, occupational skills training for microfinance debtors and debtor monitoring programmes. The 2008 credit crunch led many MFIs to abandon their CSR strategies. We analyse the case of uniCredit Ghana MFI and argue that CSR strategies contribute to public support for the MFI. This helps raise deposits and improves funding opportunities. Social empowerment investment improve microbusiness performance and loan repayment rates. We expect those MFIs that adopt CSR strategies to improve their sustainability, more than do MFIs that specialize in providing financial services only.
We establish that those microfinance debtors who consider themselves endowed with entrepreneurial and business skills do not repay loans better than those microfinance debtors lacking these skills. Highly educated entrepreneurs do not repay their loans any better relative to those with primary or secondary education only. We establish that business experience is the only constituent of human capital that matters for business performance and loan repayment rates. Experienced microfinance debtors systematically repay their loans better than do those entrepreneurs lacking business experience.
We observe that microfinance debtors do not agree on what skills they think are important for loan repayment probabilities. This result implies that every single microfinance debtor needs to acquire specific skills. Training programmes cannot be standardized and should be tailored towards the needs of the individual microfinance debtor. We establish that MFI loan officers neither agree on the ranking of specific skills they think are important for microfinance debtors to repay their loans promptly. This result suggests that MFI loan officers should be trained to better understand the relevance of specific entrepreneurial and business skills for microfinance entrepreneurs.
We empirically establish that training programmes fail to improve loan repayment rates. Programmes for intensive microfinance debtor monitoring significantly improve loan repayment rates. Intensive monitoring is equally effective for highly and poorly educated, experienced and unexperienced, female and male microfinance debtors: MFIs may significantly improve repayment rates should they consistently monitor their microfinance debtors intensively.
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.
Breeding strategies for sustainable intensification of developing smallholder dairy cattle production systems
Kariuki, Charles Mbogo - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): J. Komen, co-promotor(en): J.A.M. Arendonk; A.K. Kahi. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463430951 - 134
dairy cattle - small businesses - sustainable animal husbandry - intensification - breeding programmes - progeny testing - genetic improvement - dairy performance - developing countries - melkvee - kleine bedrijven - duurzame veehouderij - intensivering - veredelingsprogramma's - nakomelingenonderzoek - genetische verbetering - melkresultaten - ontwikkelingslanden
Smallholder dairy cattle production systems in Africa are intensifying production through importation of germplasm from breeding programs conducted in temperate regions to improve commercial cow populations. Presence of genotype by environment interaction results in unfavorable correlated responses. The aim this thesis was to develop strategies for breeding programs in developing countries that can support sustainable intensification of these systems. Specific objectives were (a) to determine desired gains for breeding objective traits, (b) compare progeny testing (PT) and genomic selection (GS) selection strategies, (c) evaluate the economic performance of PT and GS selection strategies and (d) compare genetic gains for economic and non-economic breeding objectives; the Kenya dairy cattle sector was used as a working example. To account for the limited pedigree and performance recording, a five-trait breeding objective and small-sized breeding program were studied. Breeding objective traits, determined based on producer preferences, were milk yield (MY), production lifetime (PLT), calving interval (CI), fat yield (FY) and mature body weight (MBW). Producers were categorized into high intensive group, who placed highest preference on PLT and MY, and low intensity group that placed highest preferences on CI and PLT. MY and FY were the most important traits for processors. Consensus desired gains, based on weighted goal programming, were 2.51, 2.42, 0.22, 0.87 and 0.15% for PLT, MY, CI, FY and MBW, respectively. Comparison of breeding schemes shows that GS schemes had lower accuracies but gave higher responses per year due to shorter generation intervals. Besides genetic gains, economic performance underpins the adoption of selection strategies. GS schemes had between 3.2 and 5.2-fold higher cumulated genetic gain in the commercial cow population and higher gross margins compared to PT schemes. Semen storage made PT schemes more profitable but less so than GS schemes. Functional traits can increase the sustainability of resource poor smallholder systems under harsh environments. Economic breeding objectives yielded undesirable responses in functional traits. Breeding objectives based on desired gains or non-market objectives improved response in functional traits but at a monetary cost. It is concluded that sustainable productivity of smallholder systems can be improved by implementation of local breeding program based on GS, but this requires more emphasis on functional traits, which can be achieved by use of non-economic objectives.
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.
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.
Smallholder Dairy Value Chain Interventions; The Kenya Market-led Dairy Programme (KMDP) – Status Report
Rademaker, I.F. ; Koech, R.K. ; Jansen, A. ; Lee, J. van der - \ 2016
Wageningen : Centre for Development Innovation (Report CDI-16-018 ) - 70
dairy farming - value chain analysis - supply chain management - small businesses - farmers - milk production - marketing - kenya - melkveehouderij - waardeketenanalyse - ketenmanagement - kleine bedrijven - boeren - melkproductie - marketing - kenya
The Kenya Market-led Dairy Programme (KMDP) is a 4.5-year programme funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and implemented by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation in collaboration with stakeholders in the dairy industry. The overall goal of KMDP is to contribute to the development of a vibrant and competitive private sector-driven dairy sector in Kenya, with beneficiaries across the value chain. KMDP has two pillars, or strategic intervention levels. The first pillar is the smallholder dairy value chain, which has the objective to increase efficiency, effectiveness and inclusiveness in this production and marketing channel. The second pillar concerns systemic issues in the sector, where the objective is to promote and support interventions and innovations in feed and fodder supply, milk quality, practical skills development and the policy or regulatory environment. Work in the second pillar partly supports work in the first pillar and partly addresses issues in the enabling environment and supporting systems. In the smallholder dairy value chain, KMDP has engaged with eighteen farmer-owned milk collection and bulking enterprises (CBEs), dispersed over three main milksheds in Kenya: North Rift region, Central region, and Eastern region (Meru). In addition, KMDP works with two processors that receive and process milk from a number of the eighteen supported CBEs. This report describes the work of KMDP in the smallholder dairy value chain. It looks at the response of CBEs, processors and farmers to KMDP’s interventions, which cover five themes: 1. Capacity building of CBEs in governance and financial management; 2. Training and extension activities for farmers; 3. Fodder development and preservation at CBE- and farmer level; 4. Business development through linkages with input suppliers and service providers; 5. Milk procurement and milk quality along the value chain.
Manuel - L’entrepreneuriat semencier
Burg, H. van den; Roo, N. de; Barikore, C. ; Haizuru Zamu, G. ; Ndyanabo, E. ; Simbashizubwoba, C. - \ 2015
Wageningen : Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen UR (CDI Guide manuel ) - 128
businesses - small businesses - seeds - seed quality - seed certification - certification - markets - storage - africa - bedrijven - kleine bedrijven - zaden - zaadkwaliteit - zaadkeuring - certificering - markten - opslag - afrika
Supporting Local Seed Businesses : A Training Manual for ISSD Uganda
Mastenbroek, A. ; Chebet, A. ; Muwanika, C.T. ; Adong, C.J. ; Okot, F. ; Otim, G. ; Birungi, J. ; Kansiime, M. ; Oyee, P. ; Ninsiima, P. - \ 2015
Wageningen : Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen UR - 273
seed production - seed development - seed quality - rural development - farming - markets - businesses - small businesses - regional development - training courses - training - agricultural development - uganda - west africa - africa - zaadproductie - zaadontwikkeling - zaadkwaliteit - plattelandsontwikkeling - landbouw bedrijven - markten - bedrijven - kleine bedrijven - regionale ontwikkeling - scholingscursussen - opleiding - landbouwontwikkeling - uganda - west-afrika - afrika
The training manual is developed in Uganda to train partner organisations in coaching farmer groups to become sustainable local seed businesses. It introduces the Integrated Seed Sector Development Programme in Uganda and the concept of local seed businesses (LSBs). The manual has 5 modules covering selection, monitoring and sustaining local seed businesses; technically equipping local seed businesses, professionally organising LSBs; orienting LSBs to the market and strategically linking them to service providers.
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
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.
|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
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.
Industrial clusters and social networks and their impact on the performance of micro- and small-scale enterprises: evidence from the handloom sector in Ethiopia
Ali, M.A. - \ 2012
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Arie Oskam, co-promotor(en): Jack Peerlings. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461731272 - 175
agrarische economie - industrie - clusters - sociale netwerken - kleine bedrijven - ondernemingen - weven - industrialisatie - financiën - welzijn - kosten - afrika - ethiopië - etniciteit - agricultural economics - industry - clusters - social networks - small businesses - enterprises - weaving - industrialization - finance - well-being - costs - africa - ethiopia - ethnicity
This study empirically investigates how clustering and social networks affect the performance of micro- and small-scale enterprises by looking at the evidence from Ethiopia. By contrasting the performance of clustered micro enterprises with that of dispersed ones, it was first shown that clustering significantly increases profit. The increase in profit from clustering is found to be higher 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. Second, it is empirically shown that clustering eases the financial constraints of micro enterprises by lowering the capital entry barrier through the reduction of the initial investment required to start a business. This effect is significantly larger for enterprises investing in districts with high capital market inefficiency. Third, the impact of clustering on the entry and exit decisions of farm households into and from non-farm enterprises is examined. Clustering significantly increases the likelihood of entry and enhances the survival of rural enterprises. The impact of entry and exit on household’s well-being is further investigated. Entry into non-farm enterprises significantly increases household’s income and boosts their food security status, while exit from non-farm enterprises is found to significantly reduce household’s income. Finally, the role of ethnic ties on the performance of micro enterprises is investigated. The empirical results show that ethnic ties affect the performance of producers negatively, which implies that the positive effect of ethnic ties, through the reduction of transaction costs arising from market imperfections, does not outweigh the negative effects of closed social networks.
Keywords: clustering, micro enterprises, industrialization, finance, entry, exit, well-being, ethnic ties, transaction cost, Africa, Ethiopia.
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.
A tool to diagnose context riskiness in view of food safety activities and microbiological safety output
Luning, P.A. ; Marcelis, W.J. ; Boekel, M.A.J.S. van; Rovira, J. ; Uyttendaele, M. ; Jacxsens, L. - \ 2011
Trends in Food Science and Technology 22 (2011)1. - ISSN 0924-2244 - p. S67 - S79.
critical control point - techno-managerial approach - quality management - hazard analysis - catering establishments - 3rd-party certification - listeria-monocytogenes - haccp implementation - small businesses - supply chain
Stakeholders entail increasing demands on food safety management systems (FSMS) stimulating ongoing efforts of companies to progress to more advanced systems. However, the actual microbiological food safety (FS) output is not only a result of the performance of an FSMS, but it also depends on the system’s context. Based on the assumption that companies in a high-risk context need advanced control and assurance activities, while in a low-risk context lower levels might be sufficient to realise a good FS output, this paper describes a diagnostic tool to assess riskiness of the context of an FSMS. Four major context factors product, process, organisation, and production chain environment have been described with sets of indicators and grids with descriptions of different risk levels. Finally, the paper discusses how advanced FSMS activities can better deal with a high-risk context
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.
The relationship between entrepreneurial proclivity, and business strategies of small business owners in agriculture and horticulture
Verstegen, J.A.A.M. ; Verhees, F.J.H.M. ; Lans, T. - \ 2010
In: RENT XXIV. Research in Entrepreneurship and Small Business. The Entrepreneurial Process in a Changing Economy, Maastricht, The Netherlands, 17-19 November, 2010. - - p. 6 pages - CD-ROM.
kleine bedrijven - ondernemerschap - bedrijfsmanagement - small businesses - entrepreneurship - business management
Entrepreneurial competence in agriculture : characterization, identification, development and the role of the work environment
Lans, T. - \ 2009
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Martin Mulder, co-promotor(en): Harm Biemans; Jos Verstegen. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085855217 - 168
onderwijs - vaardigheidsonderwijs - landbouw - ondernemerschap - arbeidsplaatsen - vakbekwaamheid - kleine bedrijven - leren - nederland - bevoegdheden - education - competency based education - agriculture - entrepreneurship - work places - professional competence - small businesses - learning - netherlands - competences
In the last few decades, primary agricultural production in the Netherlands has been
significantly influenced by firm expansion, innovation and diversification. These
developments suggest that, increasingly, farmers and growers require entrepreneurial
competence to continuously recognize and pursue new business opportunities. Though
entrepreneurial competence is seen as a potentially promising concept, current research
efforts i) have paid little attention to firms already in existence (like in agriculture), ii)
provide few methodological starting points for studying entrepreneurial competence
on the individual level, iii) and have paid little attention to social and task-related
influences on entrepreneurial competence development. The objective of this thesis
is to analyse how entrepreneurial competence can be characterized and identified,
how it develops and how it can be fostered in small agricultural firms. In order to
do so, entrepreneurial competence was studied using a comprehensive approach
to competence, which implies that a multi-method methodology was adopted.
Quantitative and qualitative methods were used in four empirical studies which
included a total of 500 participants.
A first characterization was made by researching self-awareness and beliefs about
improvability of general, but context-appropriate, descriptions of entrepreneurial
competencies. The results show an almost consistent underestimation of entrepreneurial
competencies and reveal that entrepreneurial competencies are seen as subject to at
least some development. Conceptions of entrepreneurial competencies are not uniform
within workplaces: elements of what is developed and can be developed further are
partly idiosyncratic. Secondly, entrepreneurial competence was identified in more detail
based on item-level descriptions which empirically define a competence domain. It was
revealed that three domains constitute the heart of entrepreneurial competence, namely
analysing, pursuing and networking. Thirdly, results obtained through comparing highand
low-performing firms, focusing on the task itself and using concrete work activities
as descriptors for competence, suggest that the relationship between entrepreneurial
performance and competence is not only influenced by business goals but also by
the owner-managers’ awareness. It is proposed that entrepreneurial performance is
correlated with the development of competence associated with the beginning of the
entrepreneurial process. Furthermore, the results suggest interdependence between
existing competence and competence development within competence domains
(horizontal development), and between competence domains (vertical development).
Finally, four factors in the small-business work environment were identified as
being crucial in the entrepreneurial learning process. In order of importance, these
were: support and guidance, external interaction, internal communication and task
characteristics, though differences in type of business opportunities represent slightly
different dynamics. The results suggest a two-layered interaction between learner and
work environment. Entrepreneurial learning of the owner-manager is influenced by
the work environment, which is in turn shaped/defined by the owner-manager.
The results of this thesis provide professionals active in sector development and
(vocational) education with clear steppingstones for developing competence-based
curricula and learning-oriented assessments, as well as general ideas for developing
learning environments that better reflect small-business dynamics.
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.