Understanding the process of agricultural entrepreneurship: Perspective from strategic movements and entrepreneurial families

Asael Islas-Moreno, Manrrubio Muñoz-Rodríguez*, Vinicio Horacio Santoyo-Cortés, Norman Aguilar-Gallegos, Enrique Genaro Martínez-González, Wyn Morris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)
145 Downloads (Pure)


This study analyses the sequence of actions carried out by successful enterprises in the agricultural sector and aims to understand the logic followed with such actions and the differences related to the types of families that develop them.

Through a multiple case study approach, the business and family trajectories of 14 successful agricultural enterprises in Mexico were analysed. The actions carried out by enterprises are conceptualized as strategic movements and are classified into seven categories: (1) growth and intensification, (2) reconversion, (3) diversification, (4) integration, (5) differentiation, (6) outsourcing and (7) digitization. Depending on their relationship with agriculture, entrepreneurial families are classified into three categories: (1) continuing families, (2) returning families and (3) incoming families.

The entrepreneurship logic follows three stages: evaluation, expansion and consolidation, through which different activities are tested, then the one that produces the best results is expanded and adopted as the main activity, and finally the expansion of the main activity and its evaluation are combined by comparing and complementing it with other agricultural activities. The difference is that continuing families adhere more to the traditional productivist model based on growth in scale and improved productivity of primary production. On the other hand, actions that imply a distinction in the quality of production such as integration and differentiation and that require links with other organizations such as outsourcing are more frequently carried out by returning and incoming families.

Research limitations/implications
The findings obtained through case studies cannot be statistically generalized to a specific population, however, our perspective can be transferred to other cases to obtain analogous findings.

The study is a unique piece in terms of the analysis of how families with different degrees of proximity to agriculture develop successful enterprises.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-341
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies
Issue number2
Early online date24 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2023


  • Agriculture
  • Entrepreneurial process
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Family business
  • Strategy


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