Special Issue "How does Market Demand for Sustainability Shape Business Strategies? Exploring Innovation Paths in Agribusiness"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2016)
Prof. Alessio Cavicchi
This Special Issue will explore how the multi-faceted concept of sustainability in the agribusiness sector is influencing both consumers’ lifestyles and marketing strategies adopted by SMEs and multinational companies.
Since the 1990s, sustainability has attracted scholars (Hart, 1997) who have pointed out its role for companies (see among others Porter and Van der Linde, 1995). Background research shows that firms can adopt sustainable strategies at different stages of their lifecycle (Isaak, 2002) and for different purposes (Henriques and Sadorsky, 1996; van Marrewijk and Werre 2003; Mirvis and Googins, 2006; Markevich, 2009). Scholars have investigated the relationships between sustainable orientation and company performance in various sectors (Gilinsky et al., 2015) and a considerable part of the research has investigated the role of entrepreneurial orientation towards sustainability when shaping business strategy (see, among others, Shaltegger, 2002).
The relationship between market demand for sustainability and business strategy is critical: on the one hand, firms must reinforce their market orientation in order to achieve market competitiveness, and on the other hand, the market, according to the interest shown by stakeholders (consumers, associations, institutions, corporations) can define new paths for sustainable development.
Given the overarching focus, contributions that address the following themes are sought:
- Management of sustainability performance and reporting
- Sustainable consumption and production
- Links between sustainability and innovation in the food supply chain
- Sustainability aspects of the relationship between food, gastronomy and place
- Stakeholder engagement processes in the agribusiness sector
Prof. Alessio Cavicchi
Dr. Cristina Santini
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Hemriques, I.; Sadorky, P. The determinants of an environmentally responsive firm: an empirical approach. J. Env. Econ. Manag. 1996, 30, 381–395.
Van Marrewijk, M.; Werre, M. Multiple levels of corporate sustainability. J. Bus. Ethics 2003, 44, 107–119.
Mirvis, P.; Googins, B. Stages of corporate citizenship: A developmental framework. Calif. Manag. Rev. 2006, 48, 104–126.
Markevich, A. The evolution of sustainability. MIT Sloan Manag. Rev. 2009, 51, 13.
Gilinsky, A.; Newton, S.K.; Atkin, T.; Santini, C.; Cavicchi, A.; Romeo, A.C.; Huertas, R. Perceived Efficacy of Sustainability Strategies in the US, Italian, and Spanish Wine Industries: A Comparative Study. Int. J. Wine Bus. Res. 2015, 27, 164–181.
Schaltegger, S. A framework for ecopreneurship. Greener Manag. Int. 2002, 38, 45–58.
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- competitive advantage
- strategic management
- market orientation
- corporate sustainability
- sustainable marketing
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Title: Balancing increasing demand for shea with parkland sustainability in the context of women’s land tenurial rights and managing indigenous trees
Authors: Peter N. Lovett1 Julia Bello-Bravo 2 and Anne N. Lutomia3
Affiliations: 1 Production & Supply Chain, Savannah Nutrition Ltd., 15 Guilder Lane, SP1 1HW Salisbury, UK; 2 Center for African Studies and Illinois Strategic International Partnerships, Office of the Associate Provost for International Affairs, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Suite 401, MC-417, 507 E. Green Street, Champaign, IL 61820, USA; 3 Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, 351 Education Center, 1310 S. 6th St., Champaign, IL 61820, USA
Abstract: Generally, local people in shea parklands not only have limited land rights but there are currently few traditions which encourage planting of indigenous trees. In addition, women farmers have limited rights to access land in order to easily collect economically-sufficient quantities of sheanuts from the parkland landscape. Customary rights and traditional construction of female access to land show how the delimitation process still asserts male control in shea parklands. This situation leaves the poorest of the poor women being forced to walk vast distances to collect and then head-pan sheanuts and fuelwood back to the household. Conversely, raising international market demand for shea coupled with increased value-addition at source (including local shea butter production, without need for industrial solvent extraction or fractionation, for any edible and cosmetic markets), could encourage protection and planting of shea and fuelwood seedlings. This is critically important across the savannah zone where it is becoming apparent that cyclical farm-fallow systems are being converted to increasingly intensive food production with limited natural options for maintaining indigenous tree species in the system. Increased permanency of farming, with mechanization and high pesticide use, not only threatens biodiversity and shea production, but also presents challenges related to female land and tree tenurial and usufruct rights. With lowering shea yields and increasingly costly fuelwood, there are growing fears for the sustainability of shea production. To connect this gap, this contribution illustrates some of the implications of raising international market demand for shea and implications on improved sustainability through empowerment of local farmers, particularly women, with increased rights to care for indigenous tree seedlings within a modernizing African farming system. An opportunity which, it is proposed, would allow women to use less of their valuable resources to collect economically viable volumes of sheanuts and fuelwood (for post-harvest processing) and ensure the shea industry can grow sustainably.
Title: Learning from secondary stakeholder claims: The roles of pressure and embeddedness in Dutch agribusiness
Author: Paul Ingenbleek and Domenico Dentoni
Abstract: In spite of much research on company CSR responses to secondary stakeholders (i.e., social movements, activists, media, civil society and non-governmental organisations), the debate on how companies learn from pressure and partnering with these societal groups is still open. Building upon stakeholder and knowledge management theories, this paper tests how pressure and embeddedness from secondary stakeholders influence firms’ absorptive capacity and their CSR strategy. Data are obtained from 152 Dutch agri-food company managers. Results highlight that, first, absorptive capacity stimulate CSR strategies in terms of new product innovation, organisational innovation and product positioning. Second, firms’ embeddedness with secondary stakeholders triggers absorptive capacity more than pressure from them. Third, stakeholder pressure and embeddedness also have direct yet weaker effects on CSR strategies. These findings corroborate the idea that firms develop innovative CSR strategies when they purposively combine partnerships with secondary stakeholders and internal reflection processes.