MAY 2015 ISSUE (VOL 16, NO 2)
- Eleanor Hamilton, Entrepreneurship Across the Generations: Narrative, Gender and Learning in Family Business
- (reviewed by Jameson Gill)
Abstract: Remaining in business and growing is a challenge for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the food sector. The focus of this paper is the internal innovation avenue for SMEs that have been trading for decades and have developed the asset of enterprise cultural heritage (ECH). The authors examine ECH as a source of sustainable competitive advantage, using the value, rarity, imitability and organization (VRIO) framework and evaluating the practical potential of ECH to create sustainable competitive advantage through case studies of two international companies. The authors argue that companies that are only partially able to fulfil each of the VRIO criteria can still claim sustainable competitive advantage, as demonstrated by the case studies. Moreover, it is suggested that ECH is one of the key areas for innovation from within a firm and should be used in developing sustainable competitive advantage.
Abstract: The brand is the most important asset for enterprises. In a competitive marketplace, brand is considered the best way to differentiate products, to build corporate image and to develop bargaining power with retailers. Branding strategies are therefore a key aspect of corporate decision making. In this paper, the authors analyse the relationship between the ownership structure of agri-food SMEs and branding strategies. A conceptual model of how these variables are related is proposed and empirically tested using data from two surveys (2003 and 2010) of a representative sample of agri-food SMEs in the Languedoc–Roussillon region (South of France). The results show that ownership structure influences branding strategies in SMEs. This finding might be considered a challenge to the relevance of applying agency theory to a very particular form of enterprise and sector of activity.
Abstract: The 2013 horsemeat scandal and other such cases have led consumers to question their trust in extended global food supply chains. The aim of this research is to identify how small and medium- sized rural food retailers maintain food integrity with a market driver for cheaper food and the potential for food fraud. Qualitative interviews with industry insiders and analysis of data from rural food retail stores (n = 20) enabled a conceptual framework to be postulated. Adding value through Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) can deliver product differentiation, but also provides opportunities for food fraud/substitution if there is a large price differential between the niche and the standard product. Therefore value can be added to products by developing associated trust and social capital, but consumers must be safeguarded from making false assumptions on provenance or from potential food criminality and predatory, criminal entrepreneurs.
Abstract: This paper investigates rural diversification strategies, specifically focusing on farm retailing. The study reveals farmers’ different motivations and experiences of structural diversification through both farmers’ markets and wholly-owned farm shops. Using a qualitative study of eight farm businesses, the authors find that diversification is not always motivated by entrepreneurial objectives. Necessity (push) factors (such as agri-food market inequality) act as the catalysts transforming nascent diversification tendencies. Once the need for diversification is unlocked, farmers face an entrepreneurial choice: those with push motivations (such as risk reduction) choose non-entrepreneurial diversification in the form of farmers’ markets, while those with pull motivations (such as business growth) exhibit characteristics of entrepreneurship and engage in entrepreneurial diversification in the form of on-farm retailing.
Abstract: There is a marked paucity of empirically rigorous research that focuses on the impact that indigenous institutional influences can have on the internationalization strategies of entrepreneurs operating in developing countries. This study therefore explores the complex processes through which owner-managers of food-exporting SMEs in Ghana draw on cultural norms to build networks that enable internationalization, in the absence of formal institutional support. The results facilitate a better understanding of the hybridization of indigenous and global norms that underpin SME internationalization in Ghana and other developing economies, particularly in Africa. The study contributes to the theory and practice of interorganizational relationships and to international entrepreneurship in an African context.
Abstract: This paper reports on an exploratory two-stage study of microbreweries in the UK. The first stage comprises an analysis of data from the Small Independent Breweries Association to offer an aggregate picture of the sector. The second stage reports on a qualitative study of the experiences of 14 microbreweries. The findings from the fieldwork show that the UK microbrewing sector is growing, that competitiveness within the brewing establishment is based on artisan manufacture, provenance and diversity rather than price, and that the sector is contestable but operates as a competitive fringe within the greater industry. The study illustrates that microbreweries can contribute to local economies and that, because of the innovation, diversity and growth in the sector, entrepreneurship is in evidence. While saturation seems a threat, the evidence presented here suggests that UK microbrewing is a healthy sector, with the prospect of ongoing growth and contribution.
Abstract: This case study explores how a peripheral rural region food support programme for small (micro) food enterprises was developed based on regional government food policy. An exploratory case study methodology is employed. The findings show that integration of policy and practice at a regional level should be reflected in the design and implementation of micro food business support programmes. This integration is essential to enable micro businesses to benefit from government aid in a collective manner which could not be achieved in government–micro-enterprise dyadic relationships.
Abstract: ‘Internet Review’ provides critical commentary on entrepreneurship, small business and innovation information on the Web.