University of Tasmania
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Entrepreneurial orientation in an agricultural value chain in a transitional economy : a study in the beef value chain in the Central Highlands, Vietnam

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posted on 2023-05-28, 12:37 authored by Truong, QD
Rapid urbanisation and trade globalisation are profoundly transforming the agricultural markets in transitional economies. The challenges of changing food tastes and preferences are motivating farmers and agricultural businesses to adopt a new perspective of business, the entrepreneurial orientation (EO). In addition, the locus of competition in those markets has shifted from competition between individual firms to competition between value chains. Therefore, it is critical for the actors in agricultural value chains to manage the cooperative and collective processes within their value chain to more effectively pursue competitive advantage. While EO is well recognised for its propensity to improve firm performance, little is known about EO within value chains. Thus, this research addresses this research gap through an empirical investigation of a smallholder agricultural value chain in a transitional economy. A mixed methods explanatory design was used in this study to mitigate the challenges of applying a construct developed in a Western context to an Asian transitional economy. Specifically, an initial quantitative phase collected and analysed data from a survey on 233 actors in a beef value chain located in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Then a qualitative follow-up phase in which 15 beef chain actors were purposively selected and interviewed was conducted. Results of the qualitative data analysis provided rich contextual explanations for the quantitative findings. The examination found that the associations between EO and value chain management are positive and strong. Specifically, vertical information sharing enhances the value chain actor's performance of EO by reducing entrepreneurial risks. EO promotes knowledge acquisition by actors within a value chain and is strongest when a collaboration amongst chain members is maintained. Finally, EO improves the collaborative performance within the value chain, resulting in both operational and strategic benefits due to more efficient knowledge transfers, a more symmetrical power scheme and a stronger commitment the success of the value chain by its actors. The main contribution of this study is the application of EO research within the value chain management discipline. It is the first study examining EO as a strategic resource in the contemporary 'value chain vs. value chain' competition era in agriculture. This study also establishes the motives and rewards for entrepreneurial value chains that exist within the agricultural sectors of transitional economies. Therefore, it raises the farmers' managers', consultants' and policymakers' awareness of the importance of EO and can potentially improve the chance for the survival of smallholder agribusinesses in hypercompetitive markets.


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