Research Themes

It is the absence of broad-based business activity, not its presence, which condemns much of humanity to suffering. Indeed, what is utopian is the notion that poverty can be overcome without the active engagement of business

Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General

Meeting on "The Business Contribution to the Millennium Development Goals"

Paris, 14 June 2005

Staff and partners of the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation at Wageningen University have recently discussed the key themes that constitute the core of our research and education. These themes are collaboratively undertaken by faculty and students at the Wageningen School of Social Sciences and their global partners through joint publications, theses, teaching, internships and projects.


GCFSI research and education starts from problems, systems and institutions in development settings and their interrelationships. These embrace the four key themes of Wageningen School of Social Sciences: Disparities; Responsible Production and Consumption; Natural Resources and the Environments; and Knowledge in Society.

At the moment, we are at an important milestone in terms of our research themes. Five broad research themes are emerging along our new value proposition. GCFSI value proposition for students, practitioners, partner universities, funding institutions and society at large is to advance research and education on management in development”. We broadly define management in development as the coordination of systems involving the business sector in development contexts. We aim to advance problem-based research and education on the coordination of systems involving the business sector.

GCFSI five areas of expertise – built in collaboration between Wageningen University Management Studies Group and partners - are:

  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation in Development
  • Value Chains & Networks in Development
  • Strategic Management & Corporate Social Responsibility in Development
  • Collective Action & New Organizational Forms in Development
  • Organizational Learning & Change in Development

For more information on specific research questions in these areas, click here

If you want to learn more about related publications at Wageningen, Management Studies, click here, and at School of Social Sciences, click here


Value Chains and Networks in Development

- Peng, G., Trienekens, J., Omta, S. O., & Wang, W. (2014). Configuration of inter-organizational information exchange and the differences between buyers and sellers. British Food Journal, 116(2), 292-316.Click here.

- Dries, L., Gorton, M., Urutyan, V., & White, J. (2014). Supply chain relationships, supplier support programmes and stimulating investment: evidence from the Armenian dairy sector. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 19(1), 98-107. Click here.

- Ingenbleek, P.T. (2014). From Subsistence Marketplaces Up, from General Macromarketing Theories Down: Bringing Marketing’s Contribution to Development into the Theoretical Midrange. Journal of Macromarketing.Click here.

- Abebe, G. K., Bijman, J., Kemp, R., Omta, O., & Tsegaye, A. (2013). Contract farming configuration: Smallholders’ preferences for contract design attributes. Food Policy, 40, 14-24. Click here.

- Abebe, G. K., Bijman, J., Pascucci, S., & Omta, O. (2013). Adoption of improved potato varieties in Ethiopia: The role of agricultural knowledge and innovation system and smallholder farmers’ quality assessment. Agricultural Systems, 122, 22-32. Click here.

- Arinloye, D. D. A., Linnemann, A. R., Hagelaar, G., Coulibaly, O., & Omta, O. S. (2013). Taking Profit from the Growing Use of Mobile Phone in Benin: A Contingent Valuation Approach for Market and Quality Information Access. Information Technology for Development. Click here.

- Ingenbleek, P., Tessema, W. K., & van Trijp, H. (2013). Conducting field research in subsistence markets, with an application to market orientation in the context of Ethiopian pastoralists. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 30(1), 83-97. Click here.

Collective Action, Governance and New Organizational Forms in Development

- Bitzer, V., & Bijman, J. (2014). Old Oranges in New Boxes? Strategic Partnerships between Emerging Farmers and Agribusinesses in South Africa. Journal of Southern African Studies, 40(1), 167-183. Click here.

- Duncan, J. (2014). The reformed Committee on World Food Security and the global governance of food security (Doctoral dissertation, City University London). Click here.

- Bijman, J., Hendrikse, G., & Oijen, A. (2013). Accommodating Two Worlds in One Organisation: Changing Board Models in Agricultural Cooperatives. Managerial and Decision Economics, 34(3-5), 204-217. Click here.

- Cechin, A., Bijman, J., Pascucci, S., Zylbersztajn, D., & Omta, O. (2013). Quality in Cooperatives versus Investor‐owned Firms: Evidence from Broiler Production in Paraná, Brazil. Managerial and Decision Economics, 34(3-5), 230-243. Click here.

- Cechin, A., Bijman, J., Pascucci, S., & Omta, O. (2013). Decomposing the Member Relationship in Agricultural Cooperatives: Implications for Commitment. Agribusiness, 29(1), 39-61. Click here.

- Zhang, L., Heerink, N., Dries, L., & Shi, X. (2013). Water users associations and irrigation water productivity in northern China. Ecological Economics, 95, 128-136. Click here.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Development

- Dentoni, D., English, F., & Schwarz, D. (2014). The Impact of Public R&D on Marketing and Supply Chains on Small Farms’ Market Sensing Capability. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 17 (1). Click here.

- Volpato, G., Rossi, D., & Dentoni, D. (2013). A reward for patience and suffering: Ethnomycology and commodification of desert truffles among Sahrawi refugees and nomads of Western Sahara. Economic botany, 67(2), 147-160. Click here.

- Dolderen, J., Blok, V., Kemp, R., & Omta, O. (2013, April). Assessing entrepreneurship and performance of microcredit clients in Ghana. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. aomafr-2012). Academy of Management. Click here.

Strategic Management and CSR in Development

- Blok, V., Sjauw-Koen-Fa, A., & Omta, O. (2013). Effective Stakeholder Involvement at the Base of the Pyramid: The Case of Rabobank. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 16(A). Click here.

- Talamini, E., Wubben, E. F., Padula, A. D., & Dewes, H. (2013). Scanning the macro-environment for liquid biofuels: A comparative analysis from public policies in Brazil, United States and Germany. Journal of Strategy and Management, 6(1), 40-60.Click here.

Organizational Learning and Change in Development

- Wals, A. E. (2014). Sustainability in higher education in the context of the UN DESD: a review of learning and institutionalization processes. Journal of Cleaner Production, 62, 8-15. Click here.

- Brouwer, H., Hiemstra, W., Vugt, S.V. & Walters, H. (2013). Analysing stakeholder power dynamics in multi-stakeholder processes: insights of practice from Africa and Asia. Knowledge Management for Development Journal, 9(3), 11-31. Click here.

- Dentoni, D., and Ross, R.B. (2013). Towards a Theory of Managing Wicked Problems through Multi-Stakeholder Engagements: Evidence from the Agribusiness Sector. Editorial Article of the Special Issue “Managing Wicked Problems In Agribusiness. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 16(A). Click here.

- Sol, J., Beers, P. J., & Wals, A. E. (2013). Social learning in regional innovation networks: trust, commitment and reframing as emergent properties of interaction. Journal of cleaner production, 49, 35-43.Click here.

- Waddell, S., McLachlan, M., & Dentoni, D. (2013). Learning & Transformative Networks to Address Wicked Problems: A GOLDEN Invitation. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 16(A). Click here.

To learn more about the research of GCFSI partners’ publications in the Wageningen School of Social Sciences, click here.

If your research fits or complements GCFSI value proposition and areas of expertise, please contact us to discuss opportunities of collaboration.