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The entrepreneurial brew investigating the reflexive duality of drivers and determinants to antrepreneurship – a comparative analysis of the Ethiopian and Rwandan coffee markets

Dove, M. (2016) The entrepreneurial brew investigating the reflexive duality of drivers and determinants to antrepreneurship – a comparative analysis of the Ethiopian and Rwandan coffee markets. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

Entrepreneurship is an interdisciplinary process regarded to have the potential to create wide ranging socio-economic impact, however the fuller understanding of entrepreneurs operating within emerging markets or developing economies remains somewhat ambiguous. As such, this study examined entrepreneurship through the interdependence of the individual and context, examining the unique notion of co-evolution and reflexivity to and from entrepreneurial action and institutional elements within a specific context. Creating a more comprehensive understanding of the duality of the entrepreneur and operational context within an emerging market, this study addressed three main objectives, investigating: the individual internal characteristics, or drivers, of the entrepreneur; the influences from external dynamics and institutions, or determinants, on entrepreneurial outlook and action; and finally, if and how entrepreneurial action can be reflexive to and from existing institutions as both co-evolve within operational structures. The conceptual framework developed for this research was informed by Structuration Theory, which interprets entrepreneurship as a co-evolving construction of structure, agent and social system, providing a theoretical outline for the empirical analysis of entrepreneurship as a reflexive interdependent duality. Research used the coffee sectors of Ethiopia and Rwanda to structure the investigation of entrepreneurs given the similarly linear formations of each marketplace. Use of the respective coffee markets provided a framework for detailed analysis of entrepreneurship occurring across a range of entrepreneurial classifications and different business models across the coffee industries, comprising Smallholder Producers, Processors and Exporters. This comparative analysis further examined the entrepreneurial phenomenon within opposing economic systems of market liberalization and political embrace, using participatory qualitative and quantitative methods to collect and analyse data, and interpret results. Empirical analysis between the internal construct of Entrepreneurs and Non-Entrepreneurs revealed inherent differences as well as varying strengths and weaknesses of the tested drivers across the different business types. Comparative analyses of operational contexts found multiple elements to influence entrepreneurship and revealed situations of entrepreneurial constriction and entrepreneurial dynamism. Examination of entrepreneurship as an interdependent whole demonstrated the reflexive nature of entrepreneurial action on systems and structures, revealing both positive and negative outcomes of reflexivity and additionality. This thesis identified, demonstrated and explored entrepreneurship as a multifaceted, composition of the interdependence of the entrepreneur and operational context; with entrepreneurship found to have the potential for introducing change, only if embraced through the appropriate systems.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Dorward, P. and Osbahr, H.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:68417

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