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Asymmetric relationships in networked agricultural innovation processes

Evelien Lambrecht (UGent) , Bianka Kühne (UGent) and Xavier Gellynck (UGent)
(2015) BRITISH FOOD JOURNAL. 117(7). p.1810-1825
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Abstract
Purpose - In innovation networks, asymmetric relationships are both considered as an opportunity and a threat for the enhancement of innovation. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how much asymmetry Flemish farmers perceive in their relationships for innovation with colleagues, suppliers and buyers. Design/methodology/approach - In total, 86 farmers active in four different agricultural subsectors in Flanders were consulted, of which 38 via in-depth interviews and 48 in seven focus groups. Data were analysed using NVivo. Findings - The authors found that across subsectors, different players in innovation networks play different roles. Furthermore, the authors observed that the majority of farmers see their relationships more as a necessity for the farm to be able to function, than as an opportunity for innovation. If they collaborate for innovation, they often prefer symmetric relationships with similar companies on horizontal level. Vertical collaboration for innovation is not very popular in the sample. Practical implications - The findings suggest that farmers should take more actions to gain power in the chain and improve their skills with regards to negotiating with their suppliers or buyers. Furthermore, the authors found which characteristics of asymmetric relationships would foster the development of innovation processes. Originality/value - Empirical work studying the effects and impacts of asymmetric relationships for innovation from the SME's perspective are still limited, especially in the agricultural sector. Furthermore, this sector is of practical relevance to study because the need for networking and innovation is very real.
Keywords
Belgium, Competitors, Farmers, Empirical study, Supply chain, Innovation, SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE, BUSINESS, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, COLLABORATION, ENVIRONMENT, SUPPLIERS, KNOWLEDGE, CUSTOMER, CREATION, SUCCESS

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Lambrecht, Evelien, Bianka Kühne, and Xavier Gellynck. “Asymmetric Relationships in Networked Agricultural Innovation Processes.” BRITISH FOOD JOURNAL 117.7 (2015): 1810–1825. Print.
APA
Lambrecht, Evelien, Kühne, B., & Gellynck, X. (2015). Asymmetric relationships in networked agricultural innovation processes. BRITISH FOOD JOURNAL, 117(7), 1810–1825.
Chicago author-date
Lambrecht, Evelien, Bianka Kühne, and Xavier Gellynck. 2015. “Asymmetric Relationships in Networked Agricultural Innovation Processes.” British Food Journal 117 (7): 1810–1825.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Lambrecht, Evelien, Bianka Kühne, and Xavier Gellynck. 2015. “Asymmetric Relationships in Networked Agricultural Innovation Processes.” British Food Journal 117 (7): 1810–1825.
Vancouver
1.
Lambrecht E, Kühne B, Gellynck X. Asymmetric relationships in networked agricultural innovation processes. BRITISH FOOD JOURNAL. 2015;117(7):1810–25.
IEEE
[1]
E. Lambrecht, B. Kühne, and X. Gellynck, “Asymmetric relationships in networked agricultural innovation processes,” BRITISH FOOD JOURNAL, vol. 117, no. 7, pp. 1810–1825, 2015.
@article{6999837,
  abstract     = {Purpose - In innovation networks, asymmetric relationships are both considered as an opportunity and a threat for the enhancement of innovation. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how much asymmetry Flemish farmers perceive in their relationships for innovation with colleagues, suppliers and buyers. 
Design/methodology/approach - In total, 86 farmers active in four different agricultural subsectors in Flanders were consulted, of which 38 via in-depth interviews and 48 in seven focus groups. Data were analysed using NVivo. 
Findings - The authors found that across subsectors, different players in innovation networks play different roles. Furthermore, the authors observed that the majority of farmers see their relationships more as a necessity for the farm to be able to function, than as an opportunity for innovation. If they collaborate for innovation, they often prefer symmetric relationships with similar companies on horizontal level. Vertical collaboration for innovation is not very popular in the sample. 
Practical implications - The findings suggest that farmers should take more actions to gain power in the chain and improve their skills with regards to negotiating with their suppliers or buyers. Furthermore, the authors found which characteristics of asymmetric relationships would foster the development of innovation processes. 
Originality/value - Empirical work studying the effects and impacts of asymmetric relationships for innovation from the SME's perspective are still limited, especially in the agricultural sector. Furthermore, this sector is of practical relevance to study because the need for networking and innovation is very real.},
  author       = {Lambrecht, Evelien and Kühne, Bianka and Gellynck, Xavier},
  issn         = {0007-070X},
  journal      = {BRITISH FOOD JOURNAL},
  keywords     = {Belgium,Competitors,Farmers,Empirical study,Supply chain,Innovation,SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE,BUSINESS,ENTREPRENEURSHIP,COLLABORATION,ENVIRONMENT,SUPPLIERS,KNOWLEDGE,CUSTOMER,CREATION,SUCCESS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {1810--1825},
  title        = {Asymmetric relationships in networked agricultural innovation processes},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-05-2014-0183},
  volume       = {117},
  year         = {2015},
}

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