Exploring the Role of Social Capital in Agricultural Entrepreneurial Opportunity Recognition: Application of Smart PLSExploring the Role of Social Capital in Agricultural Entrepreneurial Opportunity Recognition: Application of Smart PLS

Mojgan Khoshmaram, Kiumars Zarafshani, Amirhossein Alibaygi, Aliasghar Mirakzadeh
2017 International Journal of Agricultural Management and Development  
Although agriculture has a major role in economy, in general, and employment opportunities for unemployed population, in particular, limited ability of individuals to recognize entrepreneurial opportunities in agriculture has reduced the share of agriculture in employment. Therefore, the enhancement of opportunity recognition skills among individuals in the agriculture sector is believed to solve unemployment challenges. Social capital is a rich source of information that permitsthe individuals
more » ... to identify different combinations of the means-ends in the creation of new products or services for a particular market. Thus, this study sought to explore the role of social capital componentsin agricultural entrepreneurial opportunity recognition in Kermanshah province. The statistical population of this study consisted of all agricultural entrepreneurs in Kermanshah province (N=136), 102 of them were selected as the sample of the study based on Krejcie and Morgan's sampling table and the use of a proportional stratified sampling method. The main instrument in this study was a questionnaire whose validity was confirmed by a panel of experts; its average variance was extracted, and its discriminant validity and reliability coefficient was established by using a Cronbach's alpha as well as the composite reliability index. Data were analyzed by SPSSV23 and Smart PLS3 softwares. The result of the Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) revealed that the social capital components (strong ties and weak ties) were the main predictors of opportunity recognition among agricultural entrepreneurs in Kermanshah province. Findings of this study carry important implications for agricultural policy makers and educators aiming to foster greater inclusion and cohesion, and to increase transparency and accountability, in order to develop the recognition and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities in the process of promoting agricultural entrepreneurship.
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