Skip to main content
Doctoral thesis, 2023

Quantifying internal and external influences on Swedish farmers’ strategic choices and performance outcomes

Nybom, Jozefine


The Swedish agricultural sector is undergoing a period of rationalization and structural change where farms have become fewer and larger. This has created a number of challenges for the remaining farms in terms of how to survive and prosper in the changing competitive landscape. This compilation thesis investigates how the external environment (competitive intensity), social environment (advisors and family) and internal environment (identity) influences farmers’ strategic choices related to strategic orientation and entrepreneurship as well as outcomes related to performance.

Based on a sample of 388 randomly selected farmers, paper I revealed that as perceptions of competitive intensity increase, farmers tend to become more market and Lean production oriented, but not entrepreneurial oriented. Fittingly, those farms that adopted a more market or Lean production orientation experienced better overall performance than those who increased their entrepreneurial orientation.

In paper II, a three-group between subject experimental design was conducted on 122 Swedish farm management students in order to investigate the influence of “cultural intolerance” on the advice given to a farmer considering different strategic options to develop their farm. As the subject’s cultural intolerance (as measured through their level of “Jante”) increased, their recommendations towards adopting entrepreneurship decreased.

Paper III in this thesis used a survey of 269 Swedish farmers to measure social identity and the level of involvement of family members on the farm in order to predict strategic choices related to financial, social and environmental sustainability goals. Findings reveal that family influences sustainability goals, however this influence is limited to social sustainability goals, but not economic or environmental sustainability goals. The findings can be useful to understand farmer’s social justification to be in business.

Finally, the kappa in this thesis employs a post-literature scoping review in order to reflect on the choices made in conceptualizing, operationalizing, and positioning the work in order to develop recommendations for future research.


Entrepreneurial orientation; Market orientation; Lean Production orientation; Competitive intensity; Subjective performance; Entrepreneurship; The law of Jante; Motivation; Founder social identity; Family influence; Agriculture

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2023, number: 2023:52
ISBN: 978-91-8046-156-6, eISBN: 978-91-8046-157-3
Publisher: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    SLU Authors

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Business Administration
    Sociology (excluding Social work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

    Publication Identifiers


    Permanent link to this page (URI)