Developing Indicators for Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Flemish Agriculture

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Current Flemish (and European) policy makers encourage the sustainable development of farming, in which a balance between People, Planet and Profit is required. As craftsmanship alone will no longer be enough to integrate these divergent aspects, farmers need to develop entrepreneurial and managerial skills. For this reason, complementary to the economic, ecological and social aspects, sustainable entrepreneurship and management is seen as an extra pillar in the indicator based Monitoring Tool for Integrated Farm Sustainability (MOTIFS) and needs to be addressed profoundly. However, the concepts of sustainable entrepreneurship and management are multidimensional and therefore difficult to grasp. In the current paper following research question is addressed ``Which themes can be identified for assessing and/or stimulating sustainable entrepreneurship/management of Flemish farmers?''. First, viewpoints on entrepreneurship, management and sustainable development were explored with a literature review and expert consultation, resulting in a preliminary framework of themes. Although in most cases indicators for sustainable development are developed by experts, the participation of stakeholders is essential if the indicators need to be locally relevant, practicable and accepted. Accordingly, a ``multistakeholder'' approach was used involving 24 local stakeholders related to Flemish agriculture. They generated several aspects of sustainable entrepreneurship and management during a brainstorm session. These aspects were then clustered by means of an interactive group process, making use of the preliminary framework of themes determined in the first stage of the research. After evaluation and adaptation of the preliminary framework by the stakeholder group the definitive themes were determined. At last, a prioritization process was performed by asking each stakeholder to assign weights to the several themes. As a result top priority was assigned to the following themes (i) Vision/strategy and (ii) Planning/organization/control/evaluation, followed by the topics (iii) Networking/cooperation, (iv) Risk management, (v) Opportunity recognition and realization/pro-activeness, (vi) Searching and learning behaviour, (vii) Innovation and Craftsmanship (viii). The results indicate that the participating stakeholders attach a higher importance to management aspects (vision/strategy, management processes, risk management) than to entrepreneurial aspects (opportunity recognition and realization/pro-activeness, innovation and risk taking) and craftsmanship in order to stimulate sustainability in Flemish agriculture. During further research, indicators for each of the themes will be developed and applied at farm level, allowing to increase the understanding of their influence on the economic, ecological and social performance at farm level.
TaalEngels
TitelProceedings of the 5th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
EditorsA Kakouris
Aantal pagina's8
UitgeverijACADEMIC CONFERENCES LTD
Datum2010
Pagina's602-610
ISBN van elektronische versie978-1-906638-75-7
StatusGepubliceerd - 2010

Trefwoorden

  • entrepreneurship
  • management
  • craftsmanship
  • integrated sustainability
  • indicators
  • agriculture

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