Proceedings

PR – Experience, Learning, And Innovativness In Beef Production: Results From A Cluster Analysis

Research in agriculture and other industries has shown that innovativeness is a key driver of improved performance measures of small and medium-sized enterprises. The willingness to change current practice may be a function of the level of experience of the manager as well as the manager’s commitment to learning. Firms with more experience may suffer from confirmation bias and therefore may not see the performance benefits that stem from innovative activities. Using data from a survey of beef producers, this study employs cluster analysis to segment firms along experience and learning variables. Using a non-hierarchical clustering procedure, three clusters emerge which represent younger firms with high and low levels of learning and older firms with moderate learning scores. The study employs one-way ANOVA tests to examine differences in innovativeness and performance across clusters. Results indicate firms with a commitment to learning have a greater willingness to accept innovations and are more satisfied with overall performance. The paper concludes with some implications for managers and policy makers.

Keywords: Cluster Analysis, experience, learning orientation, innovativeness, performance

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Author(s): Micheels, E.T.

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Organizations(s): University of Saskatchewan, Department of Bioresource Policy, Business & Economics