Elgar original reference
Edited by Gry Agnete Alsos, Sara Carter, Elisabet Ljunggren and Friederike Welter
Chapter 1: Introduction: Researching Entrepreneurship in Agriculture and Rural Development
Gry Agnete Alsos, Sara Carter, Elisabet Ljunggren and Friederike Welter INTRODUCTION The agriculture sector has experienced profound changes in recent years. Policy reforms have reduced the scale of support in agriculture, while demand side changes, in the form of increasing retailer concentration and complex patterns of consumer preferences, have required the development of sophisticated market-driven strategies. Farmers have demonstrated uneven abilities to adapt and adjust to these ongoing changes. The ability and propensity of farmers to engage in entrepreneurial behaviours is a key explanation of the different patterns of responses within the sector. The ongoing changes that have occurred within the agriculture sector have attracted research attention from a variety of different disciplines. Agricultural economists and rural sociologists have documented the impact of these changes on the farming sector and their surrounding communities, while entrepreneurship scholars have focused on the abilities of some farmers to recognize and evaluate new opportunities and to use farm-based resources in the exploitation of new, often non-agricultural markets. The result has been the development of two separate disciplinary approaches, with distinctive origins, paradigms and methodologies, both of which are concerned with the role of new venture creation in rural economic restructuring, but with little evidence of any linkage between the two approaches. The aim of this edited collection is to draw together the new work of scholars – drawn from both the entrepreneurship and the agriculture research domains – that focuses on entrepreneurship in agriculture, food production and rural development. We start by exploring perhaps the most...