AGRI-FOOD CHAIN MANAGEMENT

Crediti: 
8
Settore scientifico disciplinare: 
ECONOMIA ED ESTIMO RURALE (AGR/01)
Anno accademico di offerta: 
2016/2017
Semestre dell'insegnamento: 
Primo Semestre
Lingua di insegnamento: 

English

Obiettivi formativi

By the end of the course, you will have:
• Developed an understanding of the main theories of change as applied to agri-food chain management;
• Gained familiarity with methods and approaches to explain change in agri-food chains at individual, organizational, institutional and systemic levels;
• Built competencies for activating, participating and steering processes of change in in agri-food chains.

Contenuti dell'insegnamento

The course is structured in five parts, which are hereby summarized:
• PART I: Understanding the nature of problems in agri-food systems
• PART II: Social innovation and social entrepreneurship in agri-food systems
• PART III: Inter-organizational partnerships for change in agri-food systems
• PART IV: Organizational learning and change in agri-food systems
• PART V: Practicing change in agri-food systems

The topics, theories, methods and related readings are illustrated below along the ten lectures that will take place during the course.

Programma esteso

Lecture 1: Course introduction. Views and approaches to change in agri-food chains.

In the introduction lecture, we discuss the basic difference between a static and dynamic perspective on agri-food chain management. The static perspective investigates the broad question: why agri-food chains are organized as they are today? Instead, the dynamic perspective instead tackles the question: How can agri-food chains be reorganized to address the existing problems? This course will depart from the static perspective and embrace the dynamic perspective which takes the name of “change management in agri-food chains”.

Suggested readings (all readings will be posted online by September 15th, 2016):

Omta, S. W. F., Trienekens, J. H., & Beers, G. (2002). A framework for the knowledge domain of chain and network science. In Paradoxes in Food Chains and Networks. Fifth international conference on chain and network management in agribusiness and food industry. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Noordwijk, The Netherlands (pp. 13-20).

Dentoni, D., Hospes, O., & Ross, R. B. (2012). Managing wicked problems in agribusiness: the role of multi-stakeholder engagements in value creation. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 15(B), 1-12.

Senge, P., Hamilton, H., & Kania, J. (2015). The dawn of system leadership. Stanford Social Innovation Review 27-33.

PART I: Understanding the nature of problems in agri-food systems

Lecture 2: Wicked problems in agri-food chains.

This theory helps to understand the nature of problems in agri-food systems.

Suggested readings:

Batie, S. S. (2008). Wicked problems and applied economics. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 90(5), 1176-1191.

Dentoni, D., & Ross, R. B. (2013). Towards a Theory of Managing Wicked Problems through Multi-Stakeholder Engagements: Evidence from the Agribusiness Sector. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 16(A), 1-10.

Cavicchi, A., Rinaldi, C., & Corsi, M. (2013). Higher education institutions as managers of wicked problems: place branding and rural development in Marche Region, Italy. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 16(A).

Lecture 3: Systems dynamics

This method (applied with a participatory approach) helps to recognize, diagnose, map and discuss problems in agri-food systems.

Suggested readings:

Kirkwood, C. W. (1998). Chapter 1: System Behavior and Causal Loop Diagrams. System Dynamics Methods: A Quick Introduction, 1-14.

Vermaak, H. (2011). Nobody has all the answers, but collectively we can find them Using Causal Loop Diagrams to deal with ambiguity. In Fifth International Conference on Management Consulting.

Dentoni, D. (2016). Instructions to develop a simplified, participatory causal loop diagram and a value network analysis to tackle societal problems. Wageningen University, The Netherands, August 2016.

PART II: Social innovation and social entrepreneurship in agri-food systems

Lecture 4: Innovation and social innovation

This theory helps to understand the challenges and approaches of introducing new products and processes in agri-food chains.

Suggested readings:

Culpan, R. (2014). Open Innovation Business Models and the Role of Interfirm Partnerships. In Open Innovation through Strategic Alliances (pp. 17-39). Palgrave Macmillan US.

Samson, D. and Gloet, M. (2016). Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Chapter 1. Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Australia, p. 1-20 and 36-40.

Maiolini, R. (2016). Lo stato dell’arte della letteratura sull’innovazione sociale. In: Caroli, M.G., Modelli ed Esperienze di Innovazione Sociale in Italia: Secondo rapporto sull’innovazione sociale, Franco Angeli, Milano, Italy, p. 23-37.

Lecture 5: Entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship

This theory helps to understand the challenges and approaches of building new ventures and other value creation processes in agri-food chains

Suggested readings:

Samson, D. and Gloet, M. (2016). Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Chapter 8. Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Australia, p. 215-229.

Deakins, D., & Freel, M. S. (2009). Social entrepreneurship. In: Deakins, D., & Freel, M. S. 2009, Entrepreneurship and small firms, McGraw-Hill College, p. 106-124.

Pesenti Compagnoni, G. (2016). Five examples to inspire REconomy in Italy. Web source accessed at http://www.reconomy.org/ (Retrieved on August 25th, 2016).

PART III: Inter-organizational partnerships for change in agri-food systems

Lecture 6: Partnerships and institutional change

This theory helps to understand the drivers and consequences of changes in public, private and public-private institutions in agri-food chains

Suggested readings:

Selsky, J. W., & Parker, B. (2005). Cross-sector partnerships to address social issues: Challenges to theory and practice. Journal of management, 31(6), 849-873.

Montgomery, A. W., Dacin, P. A., & Dacin, M. T. (2012). Collective social entrepreneurship: Collaboratively shaping social good. Journal of Business Ethics, 111(3), 375-388.

Tencati, A., & Pogutz, S. (2015). Recognizing the limits: Sustainable development, corporate sustainability and the need for innovative business paradigms. Sinergie Italian Journal of Management, 37-55.

Lecture 7: Value network analysis

This method (applied with a participatory approach) helps to map the existing partnerships that address or cause the problems in and around agri-food chains and discusses how to build new partnerships.

Suggested readings:

Peppard, J., & Rylander, A. (2006). From value chain to value network: Insights for mobile operators. European Management Journal, 24(2), 128-141.

Allee, V. (2015). What is ValueNet Works™ Analysis? In: Allee, V., Schwabe, O., & Babb, M. K.. Value Networks and the true nature of collaboration. Meghan-Kiffer Press. Available online from: http://www.jarche.com (Retrieved on August 25th, 2016).

Dentoni, D. (2016). Instructions to develop a simplified, participatory causal loop diagram and a value network analysis to tackle societal problems. Wageningen University, The Netherands, August 2016.

Lecture 8: Strategy and sustainable strategies

This theory helps to understand the incentives and resources that encourage organizations to make changes in agri-food chains

Suggested readings:

Peterson, H. C., Wysocki, A., & Harsh, S. B. (2001). Strategic choice along the vertical coordination continuum. The International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 4(2), 149-166.

Peterson, H. (2009). Transformational supply chains and the wicked problem of sustainability: aligning knowledge, innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Journal on Chain and Network Science, 9(2), 71-82.

Perrini, F., & Tencati, A. (2011). La responsabilità sociale d’impresa: strategia per l’impresa relazionale e innovazione per la sostenibilità. Sinergie Italian Journal of Management, (77), 23-43.

PART IV: Organizational learning and change in agri-food systems

Lecture 9: Organizing for systemic change

This theory helps to raise awareness of the key organizational elements and interventions that your organization may need to operate in a complex or uncertain environment, to support or steer systemic change, or to address societal problems.

Suggested readings:

Brown, S. L., & Eisenhardt, K. M. (1997). The art of continuous change: Linking complexity theory and time-paced evolution in relentlessly shifting organizations. Administrative science quarterly, 1-34.

Dentoni, D., & Veldhuizen, M. (2012). Building Capabilities for Multi-Stakeholder Interactions at Global and Local Levels. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review 15 (B), 95-103.

Dentoni, D. (2016). Slides on organization development: The four intervention types that change an organization. Wageningen University, The Netherands, March 2016.

Lecture 10: Individual competencies for systemic change

This theory helps to raise awareness of the individual skills and competencies that you need to activate, participate and steer processes of change in agri-food systems.

Suggested readings:

Senge, P. M., Scharmer, C. O., Jaworski, J., & Flowers, B. S. (2004). Awakening faith in an alternative future. Reflections, 5(7), 1-11.

Jackson, M. (2007). Systems approaches to management. Springer Science & Business Media.

Dentoni, D., Blok, V., Lans, T., & Wesselink, R. (2012). Developing Human Capital for Agri-Food Firms’ Multi-Stakeholder Interactions. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 15(A).

PART V: Practicing change in agri-food systems

This final part of the course entails continuous interaction among course participants, instruction and guest lecturers in relation to the case that course participants work on. This part leads to the final assessment for this course as explained in section 3 above.

Bibliografia

Lecture 1: Course introduction. Views and approaches to change in agri-food chains.
Lecture 2: Wicked problems in agri-food chains.
Lecture 3: Systems dynamics
Lecture 4: Innovation and social innovation
Lecture 5: Entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship
Lecture 6: Partnerships and institutional change
Lecture 7: Value network analysis
Lecture 8: Strategy and sustainable strategies
Lecture 9: Organizing for systemic change
Lecture 10: Individual competencies for systemic change

Metodi didattici

The course will combine the following activities:
• Individual study of suggested readings (****) and of supplementary readings related to a case chosen by the course participants;
• Group-based research, report writing and interaction (through presentations and role plays) under instructor’s supervision;
• Instructor’s lectures;
• Guest lectures from stakeholders and change agents in agri-food systems;
• Course participants’ interviews of stakeholders and problem owners in agri-food systems.

****All readings will be posted online through the instructor’s website by September 15th, 2016. Readings are suggested and not compulsory, that is, the course participants can decide autonomously to focus their attention only on few of them depending on their specific interest and on the case that they select for the final group report).

Modalità verifica apprendimento

The final course assessment is composed of four interrelated activities that participants will undertake under the supervision of the course instructor (*):
• Group-based report (40% of the final mark): In groups of 3-4 people (**) and based on detailed instructions, participants will analyze the case of an organization (e.g., company, farm, consortium, government, municipality, non-government organization, university or start-up) to recognize, diagnose and address a complex problem in or around agri-food chains and submit a final report accordingly;
• Group-based presentation (15%): In groups of 3-4 people (**) and based on detailed instructions, participants will provide a short presentation of their group-based report including a questions and answers (Q&A) session;
• Role play (15%): Either in groups of 3-4 people (**) or individually (***) and based on detailed instructions, participants will perform the role of an actor in an organization in interaction with other stakeholders as a follow up of their group-based presentation;
• Individual report (30%): Based on detailed instructions, participants will individually write a short 3-page report to provide a critical synthesis and a recommendation on the case that they worked on in groups.

*The detailed instructions of the four activities that will constitute the final course assessment will be shared by September 15th, 2016.
**Course participants are free to self-select their group partners for this activity.
***This may be structured as an individual or group-based activity depending on the total number of course participants.

Altre informazioni

This course focuses on understanding, explaining and activating processes of change in and around agri-food chains. This will provide you, as course participants, with a dynamic, process-based perspective to agri-food chain management. You will reflect and act upon the following questions:
• How do companies or other organizations (governments, municipalities, non-government organizations, universities and start-ups) recognize and diagnose social, environmental and economic problems in or around agri-food chains and develop strategies to address them?
• How can individuals, including you, support these organizations in recognizing, diagnosing and addressing problems through suitable strategies?
By providing recent theories and methods to tackle these questions, the course is inherently interdisciplinary and designed to integrate students’ diverse backgrounds and education with the collective problems - and the suitable strategies sought by stakeholders - that we are currently experiencing in local and global agri-food systems.