The purpose of this study is to examine how commercial beekeepers operating in two different nations perceive their role towards their community and society. The realms of role theory will be adopted.
Data among 144 commercial beekeepers operating in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom (UK) were gathered through an online questionnaire. The design of the questionnaire, which allowed extended comments from the participating commercial beekeepers, validated the use of the inductive analysis approach that enabled the emergence of various distinctive themes, and the development of a theoretical framework.
Participants from both New Zealand and UK recognised similar ways of making a positive impact. Moreover, they agreed that their contribution spanned from pollinating fields and orchards, to improving food production and preserving nature. Nevertheless, the two groups also differed in their views, notably, of the degree of knowledge or awareness among stakeholders concerning beekeepers’ contribution.
By using a comparative view of how commercial beekeepers perceive their role vis-à-vis their wider community, this study addresses a call for rethinking the social value added that emanates from entrepreneurial activities, and how such value can affect society. Furthermore, in adopting social role theory, the study proposes a framework where strong associations between the empirical results and the tenets of social role theory are revealed. This framework affords a lens through which food-producing activities aimed at balancing producers’ commercial and environmental imperatives and their relationship with broader societal expectations could be reflected upon.
No funding was obtained/received for this research.
Duarte Alonso, A., O’Shea, M., Kok, S. and Bressan, A. (2021), "Entrepreneurs’ impact on the wider community: a comparative study of commercial beekeepers through the lens of social role theory", Society and Business Review, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 459-475. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBR-01-2021-0012
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