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Exploring the dynamics of innovation: Patterns of growth and contraction in the local food industry
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Business Studies. Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, ENTER forum.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8939-1105
Mid Sweden University,Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1364-3948
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Business Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2125-6155
Mid Sweden University,Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3887-681X
2024 (English)In: British Food Journal, ISSN 0007-070X, E-ISSN 1758-4108, Vol. 126, no 13, p. 1-17Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study is shed light on the underlying forces behind entrepreneurship within a regional innovation system (RIS) in a remote rural region. The authors examine the following questions: Which are the main underlying forces behind the entrepreneurial process in a rural RIS characterized by traditionally low-tech, small-scale businesses? How can the development of a low-tech regional innovation system be conceptualized?

DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH

The design of the study is based on entrepreneurship theory. Data analysis followed practices used in phenomenography, a research approach used to analyse and identify commonalities and variations in populations' perceptions of a certain phenomenon. Data are composed using semi-structured interviews and a database composed of company information of all firms in the population.

FINDINGS

A proactive mobilization of regional stakeholders and resources can be an important driving force behind the entrepreneurial process and generation of a rural RIS. Innovation can be generated within low-tech industries turning the rural context into an asset. An RIS in a remote rural context can be initiated and orchestrated by regional authorities, but knowledge brokering and orchestration can also be managed by networks of small-scale businesses brought together by mutual benefit and common interests.

RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS

Regional innovation systems theory is most often used to study high-tech industries. But by combining regional innovation systems with rural entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship context theory is a fruitful avenue to understand the role of rural entrepreneurship in regional development, even in remote and peripheral regions. Innovation does not need to entail high-tech international environments; it can appear as the result of efforts in low-tech industries in rural and remote environments. The authors’ findings need to be scrutinized; therefore, the authors call for more research on regional innovation systems in rural environments.

PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS

It is possible for regional authorities to orchestrate a development process through the actions of a strong regional agent but also by supporting the creation of networks of small businesses that are built on trust and common interests.

ORIGINALITY/VALUE

This study contributes to the literature with a new perspective to the study of entrepreneurship and of regional innovation systems. Entrepreneurship research with focus on rural contexts most often highlight limits to entrepreneurship and see entrepreneurship as “just running a business”. A perspective that starts from innovation and innovative behaviour, despite the rural context and embedded resources, helps to generate new knowledge that can enrich the understanding of entrepreneurship and also be the foundation for more precise business development policies in rural settings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leeds: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2024. Vol. 126, no 13, p. 1-17
Keywords [en]
Regional Innovation Systems; Rural Entrepreneurship; Local food Industry; Institutions
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-53520DOI: 10.1108/bfj-06-2023-0491Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85183921052OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-53520DiVA, id: diva2:1837103
Projects
Advancing sustainable regional development: Opportunities for the creative industries through food, culture and tourismEnhancing Entrepreneurship in Rural Areas through Local Food System
Funder
The Kamprad Family Foundation, 20220024Available from: 2024-02-12 Created: 2024-02-12 Last updated: 2024-02-13Bibliographically approved

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Rytkönen, PaulinaOghazi, Pejvak

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