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It’s not always about growth! Development dynamics and management in food businesses and chains

Münchhausen, von, Susanne; Häring, Anna Maria; Kvam, Gunn-Turid and Knickel, Karlheinz (2017) It’s not always about growth! Development dynamics and management in food businesses and chains. International Journal of Sociologgy of Agriculture and food (IJSAF), 24 (1), pp. 37-55.

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Growing small and medium enterprises face specific challenges, especially when they aim to maintain high quality products and processes. While growing, they tend to converge either towards niche markets or mainstream commodity markets, and as a result sacrifice higher quality and value. With this paper, we aim to show more about the growth processes of small and medium size enterprises and their related food supply chains. The focus is on the management of individual businesses, the coordination and cooperation along chains and the required realignment during growth. Particular attention is paid to discontinuities and an identification of the factors that limit or enable the sustainable development of food enterprises and chains. The methodological foundation for this paper is a case study based approach. The business logic concept, which has been developed in the context of a European research project, provides the analytical framework for the analysis of the cases. Central to the business logic concept is the idea that business goals, strategies, management and management instruments ought to be coherent. The business logic approach facilitates the examination of coherence in business and in chain management. It helps to identify the adjustments and realignment needed in times of change. Results show that development paths vary significantly between businesses and chains. Business growth is associated with a variety of challenges that can result in stagnation or even downsizing. Such discontinuities are often linked with phases of internal consolidation when management capacities, structures and processes are adapted to new requirements. Adaptations in business strategies and operational management are often crucial for sustainable development. Adaptations are particularly important when food production, processing and sales aim to maintain higher product and process qualities. Reflexive management practices and continuous learning among the responsible leaders, and the related coaching, are key success factors.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:HealthyGrowth, value chain, organic food, agriculture, food processing, marketing, FKZ 12OE020, BÖLN, BOELN, BÖL, BOEL
Agrovoc keywords:
Organic foods
small and medium enterprises
Subjects: Farming Systems > Farm economics
Food systems > Produce chain management
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic II > HealthyGrowth
Germany > Federal Organic Farming Scheme - BOELN > Economics > Marktentwicklung
Germany > University of Applied Science Eberswalde
Norway > RURALIS – Institute for Rural and Regional Research
Related Links:http://www.bundesprogramm.de, http://orgprints.org/cgi/search/advanced?addtitle%2Ftitle=&keywords=12OE020&%20projects=BOEL&_order=bypublication&_action_search=Suchen
Deposited By: von Münchhausen, Dr Susanne
ID Code:30735
Deposited On:07 Nov 2016 07:40
Last Modified:22 Nov 2018 13:25
Document Language:English
Refereed:Submitted for peer-review but not yet accepted

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