International collaboration formation in entrepreneurial food industry: evidence of an emerging economy

Seyed Hossein Razavi Hajiagha, Saeed Alaei, Hannan Amoozad Mahdiraji, Fatemeh Yaftiyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: International collaboration is a crucial requirement of entrepreneurship, particularly in developing emerging economies. This collaboration seems so necessary in the food industry as a major contributor to environmental, social and economic problems. This paper aims to identify, analyse the influential network relationship and prioritise the key success factors (KSFs) of international collaboration formation in the entrepreneurial food industry with a case study on Iran's emerging economy.

Design/methodology/approach: To identify a list of KSFs, a qualitative method, literature review, is initially used. A quantitative method, fuzzy-Delphi, then is employed to finalise the main KSFs based on the entrepreneurial food industry experts' opinion. To analyse the causal relationship, and prioritise the KSFs, a fuzzy decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL)-analytic network process (ANP) methodology, i.e. FDANP, is applied. At the first stage, the cause–effect diagram of KSFs is extracted using fuzzy DEMATEL and then, the KSFs weights and priorities are evaluated using a fuzzy ANP.

Findings: The results illustrate that the characteristics of effective development workers are the leading dimension of a successful international collaboration that directly affects other dimensions. On the other hand, increased marketing and trading is the most important KSF that is directly related to international entrepreneurial collaboration team capabilities and professionalism. The leading and casual role of team members also plays a vital role in strategic and communication issues affecting the collaboration success, e.g. market research and new product development. Availability of financial resources and the ability of partners in continuous financing is also a crucial and required factor for a successful collaboration.

Originality/value: Using an extensive review of the literature to extract the KSFs of international entrepreneurial collaboration and finalising them using a fuzzy-Delphi method and examining the cause-effect relations between them, as well as prioritising the KSFs are the main contributions of this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2012-2038
Number of pages27
JournalBritish Food Journal
Issue number7
Early online date12 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2022


  • International collaboration formation
  • Fuzzy DEMATEL
  • Fuzzy ANP
  • Entrepreneurial food
  • industry
  • Emerging economy


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