Are Farmers in Alternative Food Networks Social Entrepreneurs? Evidence from a Behavioral Approach

Social entrepreneurship, individual activities with a social objective, is used in this study as a conceptual tool for empirically examining farmers’ participation in alternative food networks. This study verifies whether their participation is driven by the social entrepreneurship dimension to satisfy social and environmental needs. We develop a more inclusive view of how social entrepreneurship is present among farmers participating in AFNs by using a behavioural approach based on three main psychological constructs: attitude, objective, and behaviour. The empirical results show that two types of farmers participate in AFNs. One type is closer to commercial entrepreneurs; the main attitudes and objectives affecting their behaviour are oriented toward profit maximization and farm progress. The second type is closer to social entrepreneurial activity; the main objectives affecting their behaviour are oriented towards satisfying social and environmental needs. The study’s results offer implications and suggest recommendations concerning social entrepreneurial practices and the motivations of the farmers who participate in AFNs
Keywords Alternative agriculture  Short supply chain  Local food  Entrepreneurship
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DOI 10.1007/s10806-015-9562-y
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A Positive Theory of Social Entrepreneurship.Filipe M. Santos - 2012 - Journal of Business Ethics 111 (3):335-351.

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