Network structure in sustainable agro-industrial parks
Nuhoff-Isakhanyan, G; Wubben, EFM; Omta, OSWF; et al.Pascucci, S
Date: 28 September 2016
Journal of Cleaner Production
Recently several agro-industrial parks have been developed as applications of industrial ecology to agriculture, aiming at improved sustainability performance. Grounded in industrial ecology and the literature on inter-organizational networks, this study explores the social structure of sustainability oriented collaborations in ...
Recently several agro-industrial parks have been developed as applications of industrial ecology to agriculture, aiming at improved sustainability performance. Grounded in industrial ecology and the literature on inter-organizational networks, this study explores the social structure of sustainability oriented collaborations in agro-industrial parks. Empirical data from sixty four organizations in three Dutch agro-industrial parks are analyzed at network and at organizational level. At network level, the results show that network decentralization comes along with a high density of formal ties. At organizational level, the results show that the organizations in agro-industrial parks are more efficiently positioned (i.e. more positively perceive sustainability performance) in the network of formal ties if they can build ties with other organizations via a small number of intermediary partners (i.e. high closeness centrality) instead of having a large number of direct ties. A decentralized structure of formal ties in combination with sparse interdependency has a relatively positive influence on sustainability improvement perceptions. In conclusion, network decentralization is important for the organizations that avoid dependency on one (or a small number of) central and/or powerful actor(s). The preferable decentralized formal ties and sparse interdependencies were (quantitatively and qualitatively) most evident in the self-organized parks, confirming that, for the sake of sustainability improvements, a self-organized agro-industrial park is preferable to a planned park. With regard to the theoretical contribution, this study opened up a new area of research for waste streams exchanges among co-located heterogeneous companies by examining them as inter-organizational networks in agro-industrial parks. With regard to the practical implications, the study suggests that organizations seeking advanced environmental performance should build ties by optimizing the number of intermediary partners.
Item views 0
Full item downloads 0
Except where otherwise noted, this item's licence is described as © 2016. This version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/