Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2019, 67, 545-563
Published online 2019-04-29

Human Capital, Innovation and Internationalization of Micro and Small Enterprises in Rural Territory – a Case Study

Pedro Oliveira1, Jana Turčínková2

1Department of Social and Organizational Sciences, The Santarém Polytechnic Institute, Complexo Andaluz, Apartado 295, 2001‑904 Santarém, Portugal
2Department of Marketing and Trade, Faculty of Business and Economics, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic

Received August 31, 2018
Accepted February 9, 2019

This paper investigates the relationship between human capital in micro and small enterprises and their respective behaviors in innovation and internationalization. Based on a case study of interpretative nature, from 2010 till 2012 we collected data about the agri‑food complex of Tagus Valley (Portugal) through triangulation of techniques typically used in qualitative research: direct observation (in farms, units of processing, storage and packaging food stuffs and wines, and regulatory and promotional agents); semi‑structured interviews with individuals representing the various categories of agents involved, alongside a survey with 110 business agents; and statistical data gathered in the Portuguese Agriculture Census. Survey data were object of descriptive, correlational and regression analyses. Our research provides evidence of firms making use of stable partnerships with intermediary economic agents and promoting organizations and demonstrating how effective are endogenous assets (especially those of non‑mercantile nature) to the competitiveness of a rural territory, in the framework of Common Agricultural Policy. In terms of public policies for competitiveness and innovation, according to an institutional view, the state and regional/local governments, research institutions (public or private), higher education institutions and business training centers, sharing a common agenda for endogenous assets valuation, might play a strategic role in an economy strongly built on micro and small enterprises, whose sustainability depends on collaborative networking.


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