The family-firm life cycle as a tool in assessing regional development of horticulture.

J.H. van Niejenhuis, C.D.G. Verstappen, K.J. Leutscher

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic


    The last two years' average financial results in Dutch horticulture have been rather negative. In many regions authorities are concerned about the future of horticulture in their region and wonder how they could have a positive effect on the development of horticulture firms. Therefore, they need good insight into the actual position of the horticultural holdings and the perception of the entrepreneurs of their own situation. The possibilities to use the family-firm life cycle as a tool to develop this insight are analyzed. An inquiry was carried out among 52 horticultural family firms in a small region in the eastern part of the Netherlands. The stage of the firm in the cycle was chosen by the pollster based on her expertise from visiting all the firms and the results of the inquiry as to the age of the youngest entrepreneur, past investments, and investments plans. The distribution of holdings in different stages of the life cycle provided good insight into the position of different branches of horticulture in the investigated region and in the goals of the entrepreneurs. The use of the family firm life cycle was a suitable way to obtain quick insight into the situation and expected developments in the short run in a small region. Points for further research are the assessment of a stage to a firm and a distinction between family and firm life cycle.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)393-400
    JournalActa Horticulturae
    Publication statusPublished - 1996

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