Regional Horizontal Networks within the SME Agri-Food Sector: An Innovation and Social Network Perspective

Maura McAdam, Rodney McAdam, Adele Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

McAdam M., McAdam R., Dunn A. and McCall C. Regional horizontal networks within the SME agri-food sector: an innovation and social network perspective, Regional Studies. This paper aims to explore how regional horizontal networks within the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) agri-food sector develop innovative capability and outcomes through the adoption of a combined innovation and social network perspective. To facilitate this, the Slow Food Network was deemed appropriate. A multiple case analysis was then used in order to explore 11 regional SME-based agri-food horizontal networks. The findings demonstrate that a complex life cycle development occurred within the regional SME networks. Such development required unique strategies of explorative and exploitative innovation-based knowledge exchange at different life cycle stages with resultant changes in network dynamics between the SMEs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1316-1319
JournalRegional Studies
Volume50
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2015

Bibliographical note

Reference text: Ambrosini V., Bowman C. and Collier N. (2009) Dynamic capabilities: an exploration of how firms renew their resource base, British Journal of Management 20, S9–S24. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8551.2008.00610.x[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Avermaete T., Viaene J., Morgan E. J. and Crawford N. (2003) Determinants of innovation in small food firms, European Journal of Innovation Management 6, 8–17. doi:10.1108/14601060310459163[CrossRef]
Batterink M. H., Wubben E. F. M., Klerkx L. and Omta S. W. F. (2010) Orchestrating innovation networks: the case of innovation brokers in the agri-food sector, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development 22, 47–76. doi:10.1080/08985620903220512[Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®]
Benner M. J. and Tushman M. L. (2003) Exploitation, exploration, and process management: the productivity dilemma revisited. Academy of Management Review 28, 238–256. doi:10.5465/amr.2003.9416096[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Bertolini P. and Giovannetti E. (2006) Industrial districts and internationalization: the case of the agri-food industry in Modena, Italy, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development 18, 279–304. doi:10.1080/08985620600613761[Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®]
Bessant J., Phelps B. and Adams R. (2007) External Knowledge: A Review of the Literature Addressing the Role of External Knowledge and Expertise at Key Stages of Business Growth and Development. Advanced Institute of Management (AIM), Final Report. AMI, London.
Bhaskaran S. (2006) Incremental innovation and business performance: small and medium-size food enterprises in a concentrated industry environment, Journal of Small Business Management 44, 64–80. doi:10.1111/j.1540-627X.2006.00154.x[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Bianchi R., Enrietti A. and Lanzetti R. (2001) The technological car district in Piedmont: definitions, dynamic, policy, International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management 1, 397–415. doi:10.1504/IJATM.2001.000048[CrossRef], [CSA]
Boschma R. A. and Lambooy J. G. (2002) Knowledge market structure and economic coordination: dynamics of industrial districts, Growth and Change 33, 291–311. doi:10.1111/1468-2257.00192[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Burt R. (2004) Structural holes and good ideas, American Journal of Sociology 110, 349–399. doi:10.1086/421787[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®], [CSA]
Burton P., Wu Y., Prybutok V. R. and Harden G. (2012) Differential effects of the volume and diversity of communication network ties on knowledge workers' performance, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication 55, 239–253. doi:10.1109/TPC.2012.2190345[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Chesbrough H. W. (2003) The era of open innovation, MIT Sloan Management Review 44, 35–41.[Web of Science ®]
Chesbrough H. and Schwartz K. (2007) Innovating business models with co-development partnerships, Research Technology Management 50, 55–59.[Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®]
Chiaroni D., Chiesa V. and Frattini F. (2011) The open innovation journey: how firms dynamically implement the emerging innovation management paradigm, Technovation 31, 34–43. doi:10.1016/j.technovation.2009.08.007[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Cope J. (2005) Toward a dynamic learning perspective of entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice 29, 373–397. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6520.2005.00090.x[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Craviotti C. (2012) Producer relationships and local development in fresh fruit commodity chains: an analysis of blueberry production in Entre Ríos, Argentina, Regional Studies 46, 203–215. doi:10.1080/00343404.2011.573779[Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®]
De Roest K. and Menghi A. (2000) Reconsidering traditional food: the case of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Sociologia Ruralis 40, 439–451. doi:10.1111/1467-9523.00159[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®], [CSA]
Demirkan I. (2007) Essays on the evolution of networks in the US biotechnology industry. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Texas at Dallas.
Enkel E., Gassmann O. and Chesbrough H. (2009) Open R&D and open innovation: exploring the phenomenon, R&D Management 39, 311–316. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9310.2009.00570.x[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Gellynck X. Vermeire B. and Viaene J. (2007) Innovation in food firms: contribution of regional networks within the international business context, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development 19, 209–226. doi:10.1080/08985620701218395[Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®]
Granovetter M. (1973) The strength of weak ties, American Journal of Sociology 78, 1360–1380. doi:10.1086/225469[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®], [CSA]
Granovetter M. (1983) The strength of weak ties: a network theory revisited, Sociological Theory 1, 201–233. doi:10.2307/202051[CrossRef], [CSA]
Grasenick K., Wagner G. and Zumbusch K. (2008) Trapped in a net: network analysis for network governance, VINE 38, 296–314. doi:10.1108/03055720810904826[CrossRef]
Hatala J. (2006) Social network analysis in human resource development: a new methodology, Human Resource Development Review 5, 45–71. doi:10.1177/1534484305284318[CrossRef]
Hazelkorn E. (2010) Community engagement as social innovation, in Weber L. and Duderstadt J. (Eds) University Research for Innovation, pp. 27–54. Economica, London.
Hessels L. and van Lente H. (2008) Rethinking new knowledge production: a literature review and a research agenda, Research Policy 37, 740–760. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2008.01.008[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Hidalgo A. and Albors J. (2008) Innovation management techniques and tools: a review from theory and practice, R&D Management 38, 113–127. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9310.2008.00503.x[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Hyland P. and Beckett R. (2005) Engendering an innovative culture and maintaining operational balance, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development 12, 336–352. doi:10.1108/14626000510612268[CrossRef]
Jansen J. J. P., Van den Bosch F. A. J. and Volberda H. W. (2006) Exploratory innovation, exploitative innovation, and performance: effects of organizational antecedents and environmental moderators, Management Science 52, 1661–1674. doi:10.1287/mnsc.1060.0576[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Jenssen J. I. and Nybakk E. (2013) Inter-organisational networks and innovation in small knowledge-intensive firms: a literature review, International Journal of Innovation Management 17, 1–27. doi:10.1142/S1363919613500084[CrossRef]
Kane G. C. and Borgatti S. P. (2011) Centrality-IS proficiency alignment and workgroup performance, MIS Quarterly 35, 1063–1078.[Web of Science ®]
Karantininis K., Sauer J. and Furtan W. H. (2010) Innovation and integration in the agri-food industry, Food Policy 35, 112–120. doi:10.1016/j.foodpol.2009.10.003[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Knoben J. and Oerlemans L. A. G. (2012) Configurations of inter-organizational knowledge links: does spatial embeddedness still matter?, Regional Studies 46, 1005–1021. doi:10.1080/00343404.2011.600302[Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®]
Lamprinopoulou C. and Tregear A. (2011) Inter-firm relations in SME clusters and the link to marketing performance, Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing 26, 421–429. doi:10.1108/08858621111156412[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Lamprinopoulou C., Tregear A., and Ness M. (2006) Agrifood SMEs in Greece: the role of collective action, British Food Journal 108, 663–676. doi: 10.1108/00070700610682346[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Lundvall B. (1992) National Systems of Innovation: Towards a Theory of Innovation and Interactive Learning. Frances Pinter, London.
Miles M. B. and Huberman A. M. (1994) An Expanded Sourcebook: Qualitative Data Analysis. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.
Mitchell, J. C. (1969) The concept of social networks, in Mitchell J. C. (Ed.) Social Networks in Urban Situations, pp. 1–50. University of Manchester Press, Manchester.
Mohr J. and Spekman R. (1994) Characteristics of partnership success: partnership attributes communication behaviour and conflict resolution techniques, Strategic Management Journal 15, 135–152. doi:10.1002/smj.4250150205[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Mueller V., Rosenbusch N. and Bausch A. (2013) Success patterns of exploratory and exploitative innovation: a meta-analysis of the influence of institutional factors, Journal of Management 39, 1606–1636. doi:10.1177/0149206313484516[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Murdoch J. (2000) Networks – a new paradigm of rural development?, Journal of Rural Studies 16, 407–419. doi:10.1016/S0743-0167(00)00022-X[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®], [CSA]
O'Reilly S. and Haines M. (2004) Marketing quality food products – a comparison of two SME marketing networks, Food Economics 13, 137–150. doi:10.1080/16507540410035027[Taylor & Francis Online]
Ortega-Argilés R., Vivarelli M. and Voigt P. (2009) R&D in SMEs: a paradox?, Small Business Economics 33, 3–11. doi:10.1007/s11187-009-9187-5[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Phelps C. C. (2010) A longitudinal study of the influence of alliance network structure and composition on firm exploratory innovation, Academy of Management Journal 53, 890–913. doi:10.5465/AMJ.2010.52814627[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Pol E. and Ville S. (2009) Social innovation: buzz word or enduring term?, Journal of Socio-Economics 38, 878–885. doi:10.1016/j.socec.2009.02.011[CrossRef]
Pratt M. G. (2009) For the lack of a boilerplate: tips on writing up (and reviewing) qualitative research, Academy of Management Journal 52, 856–862. doi:10.5465/AMJ.2009.44632557[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Radnor Z. J. and Boaden R. (2004) Developing an understanding of corporate anorexia, International Journal of Operations and Production Management 24, 424–440. doi:10.1108/01443570410524677[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Ryan J., O'Reilly S. and Enright P. (2004) Rural Enterprise Development and Sustainability: Innovative Approaches to the Needs of Rural Areas: Adding Value by Networking in the Agri-Food Sector. Report. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, London.
Sage C. (2003) Social embeddedness and relations of regard: A: alternative ‘good food’ networks in south-west Ireland, Journal of Rural Studies 19, 47–60. doi:10.1016/S0743-0167(02)00044-X[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®], [CSA]
Saether B. (2007) From researching regions at a distance to participatory network building: integrating action research and economic geography, Systemic Practice and Action Research 20, 15–25. doi:10.1007/s11213-006-9046-0[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Shaw E. (2003) Marketing through alliances and networks, in Hart S. (Ed.) Marketing Change, pp. 147–170. Thomson Learning, London.
Shaw E. (2006) Small firm networking: an insight into contents and motivating factors, International Small Business Journal 24, 5–29. doi:10.1177/0266242606059777[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Slotte-Kock S. and Coviello N. (2010) Entrepreneurship research on network processes: a review and ways forward, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice 34, 31–57. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6520.2009.00311.x[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Slow Food (2012) Slow Food Principles (available at: http://www.slowfood.com).
Tang Y. K. (2011) The influence of networking on the internationalization of SMEs: evidence from internationalized Chinese firms, International Small Business Journal 29, 374–398. doi:10.1177/0266242610369748[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Tomlinson P. R. and Fai F. M. (2013) The nature of SME co-operation and innovation: a multi-scalar and multi-dimensional analysis, International Journal of Production Economics 141, 316–326. doi:10.1016/j.ijpe.2012.08.012[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Todtling B. and Trippl M. (2005) One size fits all? Towards a differentiated regional innovation policy approach, Research Policy 34, 1203–1219. doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2005.01.018[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Uzzi B. (1997) Social structure and competition in interfirm networks: the paradox of embeddedness, Administrative Science Quarterly 42, 35–67. doi:10.2307/2393808[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®], [CSA]
Wegner D. and Padula A. D. (2010) Governance and management of horizontal business networks: an analysis of retail networks in Germany, International Journal of Business and Management 5, 74–88. doi:10.5539/ijbm.v5n12p74[CrossRef]
Wilhelm M. M. (2011) Managing coopetition through horizontal supply chain relations: linking dyadic and network levels of analysis, Journal of Operations Management 29, 663–676. doi:10.1016/j.jom.2011.03.003[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Yin R. (2009) Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Sage, London.
Zaheer A., Gözübüyük R. and Milanov H. (2010) It's the connections: the network perspective in interorganizational research, Academy of Management Perspectives 24, 62–77. doi:10.5465/AMP.2010.50304417[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]
Zahra S. and George G. (2002) Absorptive capacity: a review, reconceptualization and extension, Academy of Management Review 27, 185–203. doi:10.5465/amr.2002.6587995[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]

Keywords

  • innovation
  • sme
  • horizontal networks

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Regional Horizontal Networks within the SME Agri-Food Sector: An Innovation and Social Network Perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this