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Article

Anthony Ayakwah, Leandro Sepulveda and Fergus Lyon

An efficient policy supporting clustered business operations necessitates an appreciation of the dynamics of rivalry and collaborations among businesses. This paper…

Abstract

Purpose

An efficient policy supporting clustered business operations necessitates an appreciation of the dynamics of rivalry and collaborations among businesses. This paper postulates that variation in competition and cooperation can significantly influence the nature of business relationships among clustered businesses, which is essential for cluster policy particularly (Newlands, 2003) as most research on rivalry and cooperation in clusters have been in developed economies. The purpose of this paper is to seek to fill the gap in the literature in African clusters based on original empirical research.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a mixed-method research design allowing for data triangulation to study two food processing clusters. The approach comprises a survey and in-depth interview with key actors along the supply chain.

Findings

The findings show that business clusters with more formal business structures tend to have minimal horizontal competition but higher vertical cooperation. Comparatively, clusters with more socially embedded milieu tend to have higher levels of cooperation and minimal competition in both vertical and horizontal relationships. The research also shows that such variations in inter-business relationships have an effect on cluster operations in terms of business access to finance, formal contract, sharing of innovation and the way they relate to different stakeholders in their supply chain.

Originality/value

This paper advances a critical case for international business theory on clusters in Africa to incorporate the distinctive business relationships in small and medium enterprises (SME) clusters. It also demonstrates how unique location-specific attributes of developing economies hold the key to sustaining the operations of SME-based clusters.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 14 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Social and Sustainable Enterprise: Changing the Nature of Business
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-254-7

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Book part

Sarah Underwood, Richard Blundel, Fergus Lyon and Anja Schaefer

Around the world, people are confronted by a variety of complex and pervasive environmental, social and economic challenges. In many cases, including anthropogenic climate…

Abstract

Around the world, people are confronted by a variety of complex and pervasive environmental, social and economic challenges. In many cases, including anthropogenic climate change, resource depletion, financial system disruption and poverty, there has been an increasing recognition that ‘wicked problems’ require entirely new ways of thinking, and that the solutions are unlikely to be found by governments, businesses or civil society actors operating in isolation. In parallel with these developments, many observers have commented on a growing interest in various forms of social entrepreneurship and in new models of enterprise that seek alternative ways of delivering products and services, while also securing the ‘triple bottom line’ of social, environmental and economic sustainability. This volume draws together a selection of contemporary entrepreneurship research studies that explore different aspects of this phenomenon. Our original call for papers was based around the themes addressed in one of ISBE's longstanding annual conference tracks. It attracted some strong submissions from within and beyond the ISBE research community. The editors reviewed papers relating to social and sustainable entrepreneurship, the environmental impacts of enterprise, and ethics and social responsibility in enterprise.

Details

Social and Sustainable Enterprise: Changing the Nature of Business
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-254-7

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Abstract

Details

Social and Sustainable Enterprise: Changing the Nature of Business
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-254-7

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part

Sarah Underwood is the Director of Student Education for Enterprise and a Lecturer in Enterprise at the Leeds Enterprise Centre, University of Leeds, UK. Her research…

Abstract

Sarah Underwood is the Director of Student Education for Enterprise and a Lecturer in Enterprise at the Leeds Enterprise Centre, University of Leeds, UK. Her research interests cover social enterprise and social innovation, with particular focus on the pedagogical development and inclusion of these topics in HEI curricula. Sarah has published several academic papers and was the founding Chair of the Institute for Small Business and Enterprise special interest group, the ‘Social and Sustainable Enterprise Network’ 2010–2012.

Details

Social and Sustainable Enterprise: Changing the Nature of Business
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-254-7

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Abstract

Details

Social and Sustainable Enterprise: Changing the Nature of Business
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-254-7

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part

Colette Henry and Susan Marlow

The field of entrepreneurship is continuously expanding, and new perspectives on existing theories continue to emerge, challenging established norms and generating…

Abstract

The field of entrepreneurship is continuously expanding, and new perspectives on existing theories continue to emerge, challenging established norms and generating exciting avenues of inquiry. The aim of the ISBE-Emerald Book Series is to facilitate such inquiry by providing a platform for leading edge research that reflects the themes of interest to contemporary entrepreneurship scholars. Each volume in the series is designed around a specific theme that is both relevant to the ISBE Conference and of importance to the entrepreneurship and small business community. While volumes will seek to explore and develop theory and practice in the field of entrepreneurship and small business, the emphasis of the research will be on quality, currency and relevance.

Details

Social and Sustainable Enterprise: Changing the Nature of Business
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-254-7

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Article

Fergus Lyon and Mark Ramsden

To explore what type of support is required by social enterprises, how this is different from mainstream business, what the preferred approaches to learning and working…

Abstract

Purpose

To explore what type of support is required by social enterprises, how this is different from mainstream business, what the preferred approaches to learning and working with support providers are, and how the provision of social enterprise support can be co‐ordinated and the capacity of support providers built up.

Design/methodology/approach

The study examined the different approaches and indicators used in conventional evaluations of social enterprises. Uses the literature and the views of those delivering support for the pilot projects to identify indicators to include social enterprises’ perceptions of the process of support provision, changes in their operations and behaviour and the extent of constraints faced. Describes the three pilot projects, comprising: Areas of Industrial Decline (Ex‐coalfield areas) pilot project, based on work with 11 eleven existing and 4 pre‐start social enterprises in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, UK, exploring the use of tools developed for conventional micro‐businesses; Black, minority and ethnic fledgling social enterprises pilot project, involving 14 social enterprises in the West Midlands, emphasizing those managed by Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) women; and Rural social enterprise pilot project, which provided advisory support to 14 organizations in Lancashire and Oxfordshire on organization structure, management and legal structures.

Findings

The results revealed the importance of meeting those technical skill gaps that are easier to identify plus those that are harder to define (lack of confidence). Concludes that social enterprises may be confused about types of support available, particularly where duplication and competition takes place.

Originality/value

Draws on the author’s official evaluation of three pilot projects that were jointly run by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Home Office and Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM).

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

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Book part

Fergus Lyon

As entrepreneurship and market mechanisms are increasingly seen as a central part of public sector reforms to health and education, this chapter examines the…

Abstract

Purpose

As entrepreneurship and market mechanisms are increasingly seen as a central part of public sector reforms to health and education, this chapter examines the entrepreneurial behaviour of public service providers in rural areas of the United Kingdom. Specific questions to be addressed include: How do rural providers (GPs, hospitals, schools) respond to the ‘market’ for provision of public services in rural areas? What are the constraints in acting entrepreneurially in these rural ‘markets’?

Methodology/approach

This chapter draws on a review of the literature and an empirical study of health care providers and schools with an emphasis on provision in rural areas and non-metropolitan urban areas. The results are based on 130 interviews with public, private and not-for-profit sector providers, and commissioners in health and education. Providers interviewed include schools, primary health care providers (General practitioners) and hospitals.

Findings

The challenges facing rural provision are examined. In terms of income generation providers reported the difficulties in having the critical mass required to keep services viable. There was particular attention to finding ways of diversifying income sources to increase turnover. Providers for rural areas are also having to find ways of coping with increased costs compared to urban providers, with limited account taken by the commissioners/buyers of services. The constraints related to introducing entrepreneurial behaviour to individuals who are resistant to risk taking and innovation based on market forces are also examined.

Research limitations

The work is based on a qualitative survey of a number of sectors. Further larger sample work is required to explore the propositions identified in more detail. The policy context has also been changing, with a need to identify how changes in government have affected the nature of entrepreneurship in public services.

Practical implications

The chapter provides policy implications and insights for providers of rural public services. There is a need to encourage diversity of income sources and to encourage collaboration between providers. There is also a need to identify where entrepreneurs in the public, private and social enterprise sectors are unwilling to deliver.

Originality/value

The chapter identifies key theoretical issues related to the role of enterprise in delivering public services. Further insights are provided regarding the role of rurality on both enterprise behaviour and public service delivery.

Details

New Perspectives on Research, Policy & Practice in Public Entrepreneurship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-821-6

Keywords

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Article

Fergus Lyon and Leandro Sepulveda

The purpose of this paper is to examine how mapping of social enterprises has been carried out in the past, and the challenges being faced by current studies. It pays…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how mapping of social enterprises has been carried out in the past, and the challenges being faced by current studies. It pays particular attention to the definitions used and how these definitions are operationalized. The challenges and future opportunities are examined, and recommendations are made for policy makers commissioning studies.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on a range of different approaches, namely literature reviews, interviews with key informants, focus group type discussions with social enterprise support providers and researchers in different UK regions (in 2004), and focus group type discussions with policy makers in 2008.

Findings

There has been a variety of approaches with different definitions and politically‐driven interpretations of definitions, which limits the ability to compare results. A particular challenge has been in interpreting what is meant by “trading income” or “social” aims. This presents interesting political dilemmas with many studies avoiding clarity in order to be inclusive thereby reducing the rigour of their data collection and analysis.

Practical implications

Research at a national and regional scale is being carried out to identify the scale of the sector so public sector support resources can be justified, support can be targeted, and public sector spending can be evaluated. These approaches will need to be explicit about how they are carrying out the research, recognise the political nature of definitions and to address the challenges identified.

Originality/value

This paper will be used by researchers examining the impact and extent of social enterprises and policy makers commissioning such studies.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

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