The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of specific internal states (i.e. the set of sustainable values and motivations) that underlie group formation and joint business idea identification of farmer groups in the context of Burundi.
Quantitative and qualitative data were combined in this study. Quantitative data were analyzed using basic statistics. Qualitative data were collected in focus group discussions with farmer groups.
Findings revealed that groups are not just formed on the basis of homophily (same level of internal states) but also on “compensation” and “committed leadership.” Moreover, prior sustainable behavior of members influences sustainability of new group business ideas and the nature (e.g. focus on farming) of that business idea.
As this study was done at an early stage of group formation and does not include group dynamics over a longer period of time, further monitoring of the groups is needed to examine if the observed motivation persists.
Although there is a vast amount of literature on entrepreneurial and top management teams, literature on the (early) mechanisms of entrepreneurial group formation in an emerging economy and rural context is relatively scarce.
The authors are deeply indebted to the staff of the project “Fanning the Spark” in Burundi, and to NUFFIC (the Netherlands organization for international co-operation in higher education) for providing the scholarship for this PhD research. The authors also thank the farmers in the study areas for their collaboration in interviews and their participation in focus group discussions. The authors are very grateful also to several anonymous abstract reviewers whose comments helped to improve the paper.
Mupfasoni, B., Kessler, A., Lans, T. and Ngenzebuke, R. (2019), "Exploring entrepreneurial-group formation by smallholder Burundian farmers", Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JADEE-12-2018-0181Download as .RIS
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