To read this content please select one of the options below:

Social network analysis and network centrality in community enterprises: evidence from One Tambon One Product entrepreneurship program in border Thailand

Piriya Pholphirul (Center for Development Economics Studies, The Graduate School of Development Economics, National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), Bangkok, Thailand)
Akkaranai Kwanyou (Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand)
Pungpond Rukumnuaykit (Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand)
Teerawat Charoenrat (Indo-China Country International Trade and Economic Research Sector, Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies, Khon Kaen University, Nong Khai Campus, Nong Khai, Thailand)
Kitisak Srijamdee (Center for Development Economics Studies, The Graduate School of Development Economics, National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), Bangkok, Thailand)

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies

ISSN: 2053-4604

Article publication date: 17 February 2023

248

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyze social networking and network centrality in the case of community enterprises, which the existing literature has not addressed. To do so, the authors use the survey of community enterprises from the One Tambon One Product (OTOP) entrepreneurship program of Nong Khai border province in Thailand as a case study.

Design/methodology/approach

Social network analysis (SNA) is a tool to study and understand the relationship patterns of units of analysis, which can be individual, household, community or production units, and how those units interact through social or economic activities. Network positions are important when identifying the centralization of links in a particular network. If a representative is close to the center of a network, it is possible that the production unit will be able to contact or coordinate with a greater number of other members of the cluster, create knowledge sharing, promote collaboration and then typically demonstrate greater performance.

Findings

The results show that overall, local government agencies play a critical role in the community enterprise relationship network, while private entities are the least active group. Enterprises in partnerships with external agencies are mostly cooperating with branding and marketing dimensions, followed by the design dimension. There is no cooperation regarding production and distribution. Most community enterprises have established at least a one-dimensional network of cooperation with external agencies; only five community enterprises have isolated nodes with no partnerships having been created within this group.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited by the surveys having been conducted in a single area and, therefore, can be used only as a case study for this area. Surveys in larger group sizes and in a wider range of areas would lead to results with greater applicability and reliability.

Practical implications

These results bring to mind policy proposals to increase the competitiveness of community enterprises through the development of social networks as follows: firstly, knowledge should be created with community enterprise operators to understand their supply chains and analyze the strengths and weaknesses and core competencies of their enterprises; and secondly, enterprises should be educated about which agencies can assist businesses at each stage in the value chain system and encouraged to ask for help in adding value at each stage of production.

Social implications

A “OTOP to Business Networking” platform for community and private enterprises should be created with projects/activities that offer venues to exchange business learning and opportunities. Holding meetings among people in a variety of business sectors may help inspire entrepreneurs to innovate to further their businesses, which can lead to networking businesses conducting activities across community enterprises and the private sector for the mutual benefit of producing merchandise for large customers and markets. Learning systems, production techniques and cooperation should be created, as well as opportunities to increase market share and profitability, if this platform is successful.

Originality/value

This paper is the first study, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, to utilize SNA to examine the use of social networking among community enterprises participating in Thailand’s OTOP entrepreneurship program in Nong Khai province. The results show that overall, local government agencies play a critical role in the community enterprise relationship network, while private entities are the least active group. Therefore, the government can play an important role in helping to develop a network of community enterprises with external entities at each stage of the value chain to enhance the competitiveness of each enterprise.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research article is financially supported by the International Institute for Trade and Development (ITD). We would like to thank all entrepreneurs who provided input and answers in the questionnaires even though the survey period occurred during the Covid-19 lockdown in Thailand (April 2020).

Citation

Pholphirul, P., Kwanyou, A., Rukumnuaykit, P., Charoenrat, T. and Srijamdee, K. (2023), "Social network analysis and network centrality in community enterprises: evidence from One Tambon One Product entrepreneurship program in border Thailand", Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEEE-03-2022-0106

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles