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  • Main Document 16 May 2018

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Does a rural location matter for innovative small firms?: How rural and urban environmental contexts shape strategies of agri-business innovative small firms

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>8/07/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Management Decision
Issue number7
Volume57
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)1567-1588
Publication statusPublished
Early online date30/10/18
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Purpose
In this paper we present qualitative evidence on strategies undertaken by 34 innovative small firms.
Design
The sample of innovative firms is solely recruited from the agri-business sector and are located in contrasting environments varying from rural areas with low urban influence to areas with high urban influence and ‘main’ urban or city areas. We discuss strategies in the light of a theoretical approach that incorporates a resource-based view, dynamic capabilities and social network theory.
Findings
Although there is diversity in strategies across our 34 innovative small firms, irrespective of their ‘rural’ or ‘urban’ environment, qualitative evidence sheds light on differences in the way that strategies are pursued.
Research Implications
The study indicates that small firms in rural environments can be just as innovative as their counterparts in urban environments, however, we demonstrate that they adopt different strategies, that have been shaped by their environment, to achieve innovation. We use our qualitative evidence to develop the theory of dynamic capabilities and classify our sample into four clusters which marries the environmental context and innovative dynamic capabilities.
Originality and Value
The paper makes a contribution to a research gap on the way that the environment can shape management strategies in innovative small firms. It contributes to a limited literature in this area.

Bibliographic note

This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.