Innovation networks and the institutional actor-producer relationship in rural areas: The context of artisan food production

Lynsey McKitterick, Barry Quinn, Rodney McAdam, Adele Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper takes a multiple theoretical perspective, utilising concepts from the knowledge exchange and the rural, social networks literatures to explore artisan food enterprise engagement with institutional networks for innovation. A qualitative methodology is adopted, involving semi-structured interviews and group discussions with producers and institutional actors, and participant observation. The findings highlight that while informal networks, including business networks, family associations and international sources play a more important role in innovation for artisan food firms than institutional networks, institutional networks play a critical role in developing social capital and knowledge exchange among producers and in acting as a bridge to informal, embedded networks for these enterprises. The findings demonstrate how sectoral contextual factors shape interactions in the institutional actor-producer relationship, and how they impact upon involvement in institutional networks and in turn facilitate and restrict innovation in this context.
LanguageEnglish
Pages41-52
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Volume48
Early online date28 Sep 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Fingerprint

food production
rural area
producer
innovation
food
social capital
social network
methodology
participant observation
group discussion
knowledge
firm
interaction
interview

Keywords

  • artisan
  • agri-food
  • rural
  • knowledge exchange
  • social capital
  • institutional.

Cite this

@article{4e7be5cceb894cd3a1881daf92aaa74f,
title = "Innovation networks and the institutional actor-producer relationship in rural areas: The context of artisan food production",
abstract = "This paper takes a multiple theoretical perspective, utilising concepts from the knowledge exchange and the rural, social networks literatures to explore artisan food enterprise engagement with institutional networks for innovation. A qualitative methodology is adopted, involving semi-structured interviews and group discussions with producers and institutional actors, and participant observation. The findings highlight that while informal networks, including business networks, family associations and international sources play a more important role in innovation for artisan food firms than institutional networks, institutional networks play a critical role in developing social capital and knowledge exchange among producers and in acting as a bridge to informal, embedded networks for these enterprises. The findings demonstrate how sectoral contextual factors shape interactions in the institutional actor-producer relationship, and how they impact upon involvement in institutional networks and in turn facilitate and restrict innovation in this context.",
keywords = "artisan, agri-food, rural, knowledge exchange, social capital, institutional.",
author = "Lynsey McKitterick and Barry Quinn and Rodney McAdam and Adele Dunn",
note = "Compliant in UIR; evidence uploaded to 'Other files' Reference text: Agri-Food Strategy Board, 2013. Going for Growth. Accessed 26 May 2013. http://www.agrifoodstrategyboard.org.uk/pages/33/going-for-growth. Alder, P.S., Kwon, S.W., 2002. Social capital: prospects of a new concept. Acad. Manag. Rev. 27, 17-40. Alonso, A.B., Bressan, A., 2014. Collaboration in the context of micro businesses: the case of terracotta artisans in Impruneta (Italy). Eur. Bus. Rev. 26, 254-270. Amin, A.,Thrift, N., 1995. Globalisation, institutional ‘thickness’ and the local economy. In: Healey, P., Cameron, S., Davoudi, S., Graham, S. and Madani-Pour, A., Editors, 1995. Managing Cities: The New Urban Context, John Wiley, Chichester. Anderson, A.R., Jack, S., 2002. The articulation of social capital in entrepreneurial networks: a glue or lubricant? Entrepreneursh. Reg. Dev. 14, 193-210. Atterton, J., 2007. The ‘strength of weak ties’: social networking by business owners in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Sociol. Rural. 47, 228-245. Autio, M., Collins, R.S., Wahlen, S., Anttila, M. 2013. Consuming nostalgia? The appreciation of authenticity in local food production. International J. Consumer Stud. 37, 564-568. Avermaete, T., Viaene, J., Morgan, E.J., Crawford, N., 2003. Determinants of innovation in small food firms. Eur. J. Innovation Manag. 6, 8-17. Banks, J., Marsden, T., 2000. Integrating agri-environmental poliy, farming systems and rural development: Tir Cymen in Wales. Sociol. Rural. 40, 466-480. Bathelt, H., Malmberg, A., Maskell, P., (2004). Clusters and knowledge: local buzz, global pipelines and the process of knowledge creation. Prog. Hum. Geogr. 28, 31-56. Bertolini, P., Giovannetti, E., 2006. Industrial districts and internationalization: the case of the agri-food industry in Modena, Italy. Entrepreneursh. Reg. Dev. 18, 279-304. Boutilier, R.G., 2007. Social capital in firm stakeholder networks. J. Corporate Citizenship 26, 121-134. Bowen, S., 2011. The importance of place: re-territorialising embeddedness. Sociol. Rural. 51, 325-348. Brunori, G. Rossi, A., 2000. Synergy and coherence through collective action: some insights from wine routes in Tuscany. Sociol. Rural. 40, 409-423. Brunori, G., Rossi, A., 2007. Differentiating countryside: social representations and governance patterns in rural areas with high social density: the case of Chianti, Italy. J. Rural Stud. 2, 183-205. Burt, R., 1992. Structural Holes: The Social Structure of Competition. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. Burt, R.S., 1997. The contingent value of social capital. Adm. Sci. Q. 42, 339-365. Capitanio, F., Coppola, A., Pascucci, S. 2009, Indications for drivers of innovation in the food sector. Br. Food J. 111, 820-838. Chesbrough, H., 2003. Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology. Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA. Chesbrough, H., 2006. Open Business Models: How to Thrive in the New Innovation Landscape. Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA. Chiffoleau, Y., 2009. From politics to cooperation: the dynamics of embeddedness in alternative food supply chains. Sociol. Rural., 49, 218-235. Clarke, G., Bowler, I., Crockett, A., Ilbery, B., Shaw, A., 1997. Institutions, alternative farming systems and local re-regulation. Environ. Plan. A 29, 731-745. Clark, D., Southern, R., Beer, J., 2007. Rural Governance, community empowerment and the new institutionalism: a case study of the Isle of Wight. J. Rural Stud. 23, 254-266. Cooke, P., Uranga, M.G., Etxebarria, G., 1998. Regional systems of innovation: an evolutionary perspective. Environ. Plan. A 30, 1563-584. Craviotti, C., 2012. Producer relationships and local development in fresh fruit commodity chains: an analysis of blueberry production in Entre Rios. Argentina Reg. Stud. 46, 203-215. Della Corte, V., Zamparelli, G., Micera, R., 2013. Innovation in tradition based firms: dynamic knowledge for international competitiveness. Eur. J. Innovation Manag. 16, 405-439. Doran, J., Jordan, D., O'Leary, E., 2012. The Effects of the frequency of spatially proximate and distant interaction on innovation by Irish SMEs. Entrepreneursh. Reg. Dev. 24, 705-727. Eklinder-Frick, J., Eriksson, L.T., Hallen, L., 2011. Bridging and bonding forms of social capital in a regional strategic network. Industrial Marketing Manag. 40, 994-1003. Enkel, E., Gassmann, O., Chesbrough, H., 2009. Open R&D and open innovation: exploring the phenomenon. R&D Manag. 39, 311-316. Fisher, R., 2013. ‘A gentleman’s handshake’: the role of social capital and trust in transforming information into usable knowledge. J. Rural Stud. 31, 13-22. Fukuyama, F., 1995. Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity. Free Press, New York. Galloway, L., Mochrie, R., 2006. Entrepreneurial motivation, orientation, and realisation in rural economies: a study of rural Scotland. International J. Entrepreneursh. Innovation 3, 173-184. Goodman, D., 2003. The quality ‘turn’ and alternative food practices: reflections and agenda. J. Rural Stud. 19, 1-7. Granovetter, M., 1973. The strength of weak ties. Am. J. Sociol. 78, 1360- 1380. Granovetter, M., 1985. Economic action and social structure: a theory of embeddedness Am. J. Sociol. 91, 481-510. Henchion, M., McIntyre, B., 2005. Market access and competitiveness issues for food SMEs in Europe’s lagging rural regions (LRRs). Br. Food J., 107, 404-422. Hinrichs, C. C., 2000. Embeddedness and local food systems: notes on two types of direct agricultural market. J. Rural Stud. 16, 295-303. Hinrichs, C. C., 2003. The practice and politics of food system localisation. J. Rural Stud. 19, 33-45. Hinrichs, C.C., Welsh, R., 2003. The effects of the industrialization of US livestock agriculture on promoting sustainable production practices. Agric. Hum. Values 20, 125-141. Hoang, H., Antonic, B., 2003. Network-based research in entrepreneurship: a critical review. J. Bus. Ventur. 18, 165-187. Ilbery, B., Kneafsey, M., 2000. Producer constructions of quality in regional speciality Food production: a case study from South West England. J. Rural Stud. 16, 217-230. Iturrioz, C., Aragon, C., Narvaiza, L., 2015. How to foster innovation within SMEs’ networks: social capital and the role of intermediaries. Eur. Manag. J. 33, 104-115. Jack, S., 2010. Approaches to studying networks: implications and outcomes. J. Bus. Ventur. 25, 120-137. Jack, S.L., Drakopoulou Dodd, S., Anderson, A.R., 2004. Social structures and entrepreneurial networks: the strength of strong ties. International J. Entrepreneursh. Innovation 5, 107-120. Karantininis, K., Sauer, J., Furtan, W.H., 2010. 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year = "2016",
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N1 - Compliant in UIR; evidence uploaded to 'Other files' Reference text: Agri-Food Strategy Board, 2013. Going for Growth. Accessed 26 May 2013. http://www.agrifoodstrategyboard.org.uk/pages/33/going-for-growth. Alder, P.S., Kwon, S.W., 2002. Social capital: prospects of a new concept. Acad. Manag. Rev. 27, 17-40. Alonso, A.B., Bressan, A., 2014. Collaboration in the context of micro businesses: the case of terracotta artisans in Impruneta (Italy). Eur. Bus. Rev. 26, 254-270. Amin, A.,Thrift, N., 1995. Globalisation, institutional ‘thickness’ and the local economy. In: Healey, P., Cameron, S., Davoudi, S., Graham, S. and Madani-Pour, A., Editors, 1995. Managing Cities: The New Urban Context, John Wiley, Chichester. Anderson, A.R., Jack, S., 2002. The articulation of social capital in entrepreneurial networks: a glue or lubricant? Entrepreneursh. Reg. Dev. 14, 193-210. Atterton, J., 2007. The ‘strength of weak ties’: social networking by business owners in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Sociol. Rural. 47, 228-245. Autio, M., Collins, R.S., Wahlen, S., Anttila, M. 2013. Consuming nostalgia? The appreciation of authenticity in local food production. International J. Consumer Stud. 37, 564-568. Avermaete, T., Viaene, J., Morgan, E.J., Crawford, N., 2003. Determinants of innovation in small food firms. Eur. J. Innovation Manag. 6, 8-17. Banks, J., Marsden, T., 2000. Integrating agri-environmental poliy, farming systems and rural development: Tir Cymen in Wales. Sociol. Rural. 40, 466-480. Bathelt, H., Malmberg, A., Maskell, P., (2004). Clusters and knowledge: local buzz, global pipelines and the process of knowledge creation. Prog. Hum. Geogr. 28, 31-56. Bertolini, P., Giovannetti, E., 2006. Industrial districts and internationalization: the case of the agri-food industry in Modena, Italy. Entrepreneursh. Reg. Dev. 18, 279-304. Boutilier, R.G., 2007. Social capital in firm stakeholder networks. J. Corporate Citizenship 26, 121-134. Bowen, S., 2011. The importance of place: re-territorialising embeddedness. Sociol. Rural. 51, 325-348. Brunori, G. Rossi, A., 2000. Synergy and coherence through collective action: some insights from wine routes in Tuscany. Sociol. Rural. 40, 409-423. Brunori, G., Rossi, A., 2007. Differentiating countryside: social representations and governance patterns in rural areas with high social density: the case of Chianti, Italy. J. Rural Stud. 2, 183-205. Burt, R., 1992. Structural Holes: The Social Structure of Competition. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. Burt, R.S., 1997. The contingent value of social capital. Adm. Sci. Q. 42, 339-365. Capitanio, F., Coppola, A., Pascucci, S. 2009, Indications for drivers of innovation in the food sector. Br. Food J. 111, 820-838. Chesbrough, H., 2003. Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology. Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA. Chesbrough, H., 2006. Open Business Models: How to Thrive in the New Innovation Landscape. Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA. Chiffoleau, Y., 2009. From politics to cooperation: the dynamics of embeddedness in alternative food supply chains. Sociol. Rural., 49, 218-235. Clarke, G., Bowler, I., Crockett, A., Ilbery, B., Shaw, A., 1997. Institutions, alternative farming systems and local re-regulation. Environ. Plan. A 29, 731-745. Clark, D., Southern, R., Beer, J., 2007. Rural Governance, community empowerment and the new institutionalism: a case study of the Isle of Wight. J. Rural Stud. 23, 254-266. Cooke, P., Uranga, M.G., Etxebarria, G., 1998. Regional systems of innovation: an evolutionary perspective. Environ. Plan. A 30, 1563-584. Craviotti, C., 2012. Producer relationships and local development in fresh fruit commodity chains: an analysis of blueberry production in Entre Rios. Argentina Reg. Stud. 46, 203-215. Della Corte, V., Zamparelli, G., Micera, R., 2013. Innovation in tradition based firms: dynamic knowledge for international competitiveness. Eur. J. Innovation Manag. 16, 405-439. Doran, J., Jordan, D., O'Leary, E., 2012. The Effects of the frequency of spatially proximate and distant interaction on innovation by Irish SMEs. Entrepreneursh. Reg. Dev. 24, 705-727. Eklinder-Frick, J., Eriksson, L.T., Hallen, L., 2011. Bridging and bonding forms of social capital in a regional strategic network. Industrial Marketing Manag. 40, 994-1003. Enkel, E., Gassmann, O., Chesbrough, H., 2009. Open R&D and open innovation: exploring the phenomenon. R&D Manag. 39, 311-316. Fisher, R., 2013. ‘A gentleman’s handshake’: the role of social capital and trust in transforming information into usable knowledge. J. Rural Stud. 31, 13-22. Fukuyama, F., 1995. Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity. Free Press, New York. Galloway, L., Mochrie, R., 2006. Entrepreneurial motivation, orientation, and realisation in rural economies: a study of rural Scotland. International J. Entrepreneursh. Innovation 3, 173-184. Goodman, D., 2003. The quality ‘turn’ and alternative food practices: reflections and agenda. J. Rural Stud. 19, 1-7. Granovetter, M., 1973. The strength of weak ties. Am. J. Sociol. 78, 1360- 1380. Granovetter, M., 1985. Economic action and social structure: a theory of embeddedness Am. J. Sociol. 91, 481-510. Henchion, M., McIntyre, B., 2005. Market access and competitiveness issues for food SMEs in Europe’s lagging rural regions (LRRs). Br. Food J., 107, 404-422. Hinrichs, C. C., 2000. Embeddedness and local food systems: notes on two types of direct agricultural market. J. Rural Stud. 16, 295-303. Hinrichs, C. C., 2003. The practice and politics of food system localisation. J. Rural Stud. 19, 33-45. Hinrichs, C.C., Welsh, R., 2003. The effects of the industrialization of US livestock agriculture on promoting sustainable production practices. Agric. Hum. Values 20, 125-141. Hoang, H., Antonic, B., 2003. Network-based research in entrepreneurship: a critical review. J. Bus. Ventur. 18, 165-187. Ilbery, B., Kneafsey, M., 2000. Producer constructions of quality in regional speciality Food production: a case study from South West England. J. Rural Stud. 16, 217-230. Iturrioz, C., Aragon, C., Narvaiza, L., 2015. How to foster innovation within SMEs’ networks: social capital and the role of intermediaries. Eur. Manag. J. 33, 104-115. Jack, S., 2010. Approaches to studying networks: implications and outcomes. J. Bus. Ventur. 25, 120-137. Jack, S.L., Drakopoulou Dodd, S., Anderson, A.R., 2004. Social structures and entrepreneurial networks: the strength of strong ties. International J. Entrepreneursh. Innovation 5, 107-120. Karantininis, K., Sauer, J., Furtan, W.H., 2010. Innovation and integration in the Agri-Food industry. Food Policy 35, 112-120. Keeble, D., Lawson, C., Moore, B., Wilkinson, F., 1999. Collective learning processes, networking and ‘institutional thickness’ in the Cambridge region. Reg. Stud. 33, 319-332. Kelliher, F., Aylward, E., Lynch, P., 2014. Exploring rural enterprise: the impact of regional stakeholder engagement on collaborative rural networks. In: Henry, C., McElwee, G., Editors, 2014. Exploring Rural Enterprise: New Perspectives on Research, Policy and Practice, Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship Research, Volume 4, Emerald Books, Bingley. Kirkels, Y., Duysters, G., 2010. Brokerage in SME networks. Res. Policy 39, 375- 385. Lamprinopoulou, C., Tregear, A., Ness, M., 2006. Agri-food SMEs in Greece: the role of collective action. Br. Food J. 108, 663-676. Lamprinopoulou, C., Tregear, A., 2011. Inter‐firm relations in SME clusters and the link to marketing performance. J. Bus. Industrial Marketing 26, 421-429. 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PY - 2016/12

Y1 - 2016/12

N2 - This paper takes a multiple theoretical perspective, utilising concepts from the knowledge exchange and the rural, social networks literatures to explore artisan food enterprise engagement with institutional networks for innovation. A qualitative methodology is adopted, involving semi-structured interviews and group discussions with producers and institutional actors, and participant observation. The findings highlight that while informal networks, including business networks, family associations and international sources play a more important role in innovation for artisan food firms than institutional networks, institutional networks play a critical role in developing social capital and knowledge exchange among producers and in acting as a bridge to informal, embedded networks for these enterprises. The findings demonstrate how sectoral contextual factors shape interactions in the institutional actor-producer relationship, and how they impact upon involvement in institutional networks and in turn facilitate and restrict innovation in this context.

AB - This paper takes a multiple theoretical perspective, utilising concepts from the knowledge exchange and the rural, social networks literatures to explore artisan food enterprise engagement with institutional networks for innovation. A qualitative methodology is adopted, involving semi-structured interviews and group discussions with producers and institutional actors, and participant observation. The findings highlight that while informal networks, including business networks, family associations and international sources play a more important role in innovation for artisan food firms than institutional networks, institutional networks play a critical role in developing social capital and knowledge exchange among producers and in acting as a bridge to informal, embedded networks for these enterprises. The findings demonstrate how sectoral contextual factors shape interactions in the institutional actor-producer relationship, and how they impact upon involvement in institutional networks and in turn facilitate and restrict innovation in this context.

KW - artisan

KW - agri-food

KW - rural

KW - knowledge exchange

KW - social capital

KW - institutional.

U2 - 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2016.09.005

DO - 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2016.09.005

M3 - Article

VL - 48

SP - 41

EP - 52

JO - Journal of Rural Studies

T2 - Journal of Rural Studies

JF - Journal of Rural Studies

SN - 0743-0167

ER -