Edited by Gry Agnete Alsos, Sara Carter, Elisabet Ljunggren and Friederike Welter
Chapter 5: Entrepreneurial Efforts and Change in Rural Firms: Three Case Studies of Farms Engaged in On-farm Diversification
Jorunn Grande The purpose of this chapter is to explore entrepreneurial activities and critical resources to farm businesses engaged in on-farm diversification. It builds upon theoretical streams from the resource-based view (RBV) and the entrepreneurial orientation (EO) perspective, which are wellknown theories within their respective fields of strategic management and entrepreneurship. A longitudinal study of three Norwegian farm businesses engaged in on-farm diversification was undertaken through farm visits and in-depth interviews. The case investigations show that the farm setting, its traditional production, its relative location, buildings and landscape might all be important resources adding value and uniqueness to the final product. The investigated cases seem good at idea generation and innovativeness in product development, but rather modest when it comes to risk-taking, competitive aggressiveness and proactivity towards market opportunities. INTRODUCTION Restructuring and diversification of farm businesses has received increasing attention among agricultural economists, rural sociologists and rural developers in recent years (Meert et al., 2005; Barbieri and Mahoney, 2009; Dupont and Franks, 2009). A great pressure from the World Trade Organization (WTO) to open markets has induced policy reforms within the European Union through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and in many other nations like Norway (DEFRA, 2005; European Commission, 2009). This has led to reduced state support and increased competition in the farming sector and thus significantly decreased the potential profits at many farms. Many farm business owners therefore need to look for new business opportunities to sustain sufficient income at their farms (Alsos et al., 2003; Vesala et...
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