Small businesses participation in community development: drivers, hindrances and triggers to collective action

Vilalta-perdomo, Eliseo Luis and Hingley, Martin (2015) Small businesses participation in community development: drivers, hindrances and triggers to collective action. In: IIE Annual conference and expo 2015, 30 May - 2 Jun 2015, Nashville, TN, USA.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive


This paper articulates a discussion towards how to build supply chains (SC) with potential members that do not always recognise practical advantages in working with others. The context is a typical UK regional, county-based food marketing group that provides umbrella business support for food specialist microproducers.

An approach inspired by the Community OR (COR) tradition is provided. Its aim is to design simultaneous interventions for individual and collective improvement inside microenterprise supply organisational structures. This approach, alternative to traditional efficiency, performance and economic-oriented supply chain arrangements, involves a traditional multi-stage method that helps to identify challenges of building microproducers supply chains.

The rationale for looking at COR is that gaining additional economic value is not a sufficient motivator for food microproducers to engage with traditional food supply chains. The nature of their drivers, usually related to individual lifestyle, suggests that imposing external criteria does not encourage their participation.

Findings suggest looking at microproducers, not as links constituting a chain, but as members of a community. A circular process is proposed where individuals identify which actions contribute to the collective self-construction, and simultaneously informs them how to make use of shared resources to support their individual performance. Difficulties on researching this circularity are addressed.

Keywords:food supply chain, self-organising communities
Subjects:L Social studies > L430 Public Policy
G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G200 Operational Research
N Business and Administrative studies > N215 Organisational Development
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
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ID Code:17668
Deposited On:17 Jun 2015 12:58

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