Analyzing the Interrelationships between Factors Influencing Entrepreneurship Process Based on Grey DEMATEL (Case Study: Iran’s Food Industries)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Management, College of Farabi, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran

2 Department of Mathematics, University of Ayatollah Boroujerdi, Boroujerd, Iran


In today’s societies, entrepreneurship has undeniable effects on economic, social, and technological development of countries. In this regard, the Iranian food industry, which includes many specific features, including the vast domestic and regional consumption market, was considered by the researchers in this study. The purpose of this research is to investigate and identify variables and to explain the effective factors on the individual entrepreneurship process in Iran’s food industry. In the first phase of the study, the survey team carried out semi-structured interviews with 13 experts in the domain of food industries. In the second phase of the study, a questionnaire based on the Grey DEMATEL method is available to experts for determining priorities and interrelationships between the factors. Based on the research data, paired comparison analysis questionnaire  has been used. The findings of the research show that among the six categories – individual, personality, occupation, food industry environment, institutional, and environmental factors – the environmental ones were the most influential factors. Also, the individual ones were the most influenced factors and at the same time the most important factor among the ones influencing the process of entrepreneurship in Iran’s food industries.


Main Subjects

  1. Agha Ebrahimi Samani, B., Makooii, A., Sadr Lahiji, M. & Homayon, V. (2008). Assessment challenges of Iranian companies in oil and gas projects by DEMATEL Technique. Sharif Science and Research Journal, 24(45), 121- 129. (Persian)
  2. Aghaee, R., Aghaee, A., & Mohammad Hoseini Najizadeh, R. (2016). Key effective factors on Agile Maintenance in vehicle industry using fuzzy Delphi method and Fuzzy DEMATEL. Journal of Industrial Management, 7(4), 641-879. (Persian)
  3. Aghajani H. A., (2009). Explaining Structural Equation Modeling Factors Affecting the Independent Entrepreneurship Process (Corporate), Explorations Commercial Management, 1, 60-77. (Persian)
  4. Alvani, M., Rudgarnejad, F., & Kiakojori, K. (2009). Toward a conceptual model of developing individual entrepreneurship. Proceedings from 7th International Conference of Management, Tehran. (Persian)
  5. Atkinson, J. W., & Raynor, J. D. (1974). Motivation and achievement. Washington: Winston.
  6. Bai, C., & Sarkis, J.  (2013). A grey-based DEMATEL model for evaluating business process management critical success factors. International Journal of Production Economics, 146(1), 281-292.
  7. Bredvold, R., & Skålén , P. (2016). Lifestyle entrepreneurs and their identity construction: A study of the tourism industry. Tourism Management, 56, 96-105.
  8. Bygrave, W. (2006). The entrepreneurship paradigm (I) revisited. In H. Neergard & J. Parm Ulhoi (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research methods in entrepreneurship (17-48), Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar.
  9. Cabrera, E. M., & Mauricio, D. (2017). Factors affecting the success of women’s entrepreneurship: A review of literature. International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, 9(1), 31-65.
  10. Cacciotti, G., Hayton, J. C., Mitchell, J. R., & Giazitzoglu, A. (2016). A reconceptualization of fear of failure in entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing, 31(3), 302-325.
  11. Clemensson, M., & Christensen, J. D. (2010). How to build an enabling  environment for youth  entrepreneurship and sustainable  enterprises. Paper for the knowledge sharing event on Integrated Youth Employment Strategies, Moscow 17-19 February, Small Enterprise Program, International Labor Office, Geneva.
  12. Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (2014). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. Sage publications.
  13. Deng, J. (1982). Control problems of grey system. Systems & Control Letters, 1, 288–294.
  14. De Pillis, E. (2007). The influence of personality traits & persuasive messages on entrepreneurial intention. Journal of Career Development International, 12(4), 382-396.
  15. Dolton, P., and Makepeace, G. (1990). Self employment among graduates. Bulletin of Economic Research. 42(1), 35-54.
  16. Ebrahim, M. (2011). Identification and explenation of individual and social factors influencing entrepreneurial intention (Master Thesis). University of Tehran (Persian).
  17. Einian,  M.  (2014). The status of industries at the periods of prosperity and depression. Tehran: Monetary and Banking Research Institute. (Persian)
  18. Envich, B. R., & Langford, M. (1997). Behaviours of entrepreneurs: A gender  comparison. Proceedings from the Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship  Annual Meeting, Dallas, March.
  19. Garrett, R.P., & Covin, J.G. (2007). A model of corporate entrepreneurship as a strategic adaptation mechanism. In G.T. Lumpkin & J.A. Katz (Eds.), Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence, and Growth: Entrepreneurial Strategic Processes. 9-31. New York: JAI.
  20. Global Entrepreneurship Research Association (2016-2017). Global entrepreneurship monitor. Retrieved from:
  21. Grote, G. F., & James, L. R. (1991). Testing behavioral consistency and coherence with the situation response measure of achievement motivation. Multivariate Behavioral Research, (26), 655-691.  doi:10.1207/ s15327906 mbr2604_5
  22. Hansemark, O. C. (1998). The effects of an entrepreneurship programme on need for achievement and locus of control of reinforcement. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research, 4(1),  28-50.
  23. Hasan Gholipour, T., Iravani, M. J., Aghazadeh, H., & Anusheh, M. (2015). Designing a model for developing the market of small and medium sized enterprises (Case of the study: Food & beverage industry). Journal of Entrepreneurship Development, 8(1), 21-40. (Persian)       
  24. Heinonen, J (2003). Entrepreneurship in public sector organizations, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  25. Howard. S. (2004). Developing entrepreneurial potential in youth the effects of entrepreneurial education and venture creation. University of South Florida Report, 317.
  26. Isenberg, D. (2011). The entrepreneurship ecosystem strategy as a new paradigm for economy policy: Principles for cultivating entrepreneurship. Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project, Babson College, Babson Park.
  27. Izquierdo, E., & Buelens, M. (2008). Competing models of entrepreneurial intentions: The influence of entrepreneurial self-efficacy and attitudes. Paper presented in Internationalizing Entrepreneurship Education and Training, IntEnt2008 Conference, 17–20 July 2008, Oxford, Ohio, USA.
  28. Jafarnejad, A., & Kia Kajoori, K. (2011). Explaining the factors influencing independent entrepreneurship process (Case study: Entrepreneurs in the city of Bandar Anzali). Journal of Entrepreneurship Development, 4(13), 69-87. (Persian)
  29. Jennings, R., Cox, C., & Cooper, C. (1994). Business elites. London: Routledge.
  30. Kiggundu, M. N. (2002). Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in Africa: What is known and what needs to be done. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 7(3), 239-258.
  31. Kreft, S. F., & Sobel, R. S. (2005). Public policy, entrepreneurship, and economic freedom. Cato Journal, 25(3), 595-616.
  32. Lerners, M., & Haber, S. (2000). Performance factors of small tourism ventures: The interface of tourism, entrepreneurship and the environment. Journal of Business Venturing, (16), 77-100.
  33. Levie, J. (1999). Entrepreneurship: My thane Reality. Science & Public Affairs. (17), 24-25.
  34. Liang, H., Ren, J., Gao, Z., Gao, S., Lou, X., Dong, L., & Scipioni, A. (2016). Identification of critical success factors for sustainable development of biofuel industry in China based on grey decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL). Journal of Cleaner Production,  131, 500-508.
  35. Markman, G. D., & Baron, R. A. (2003). Person-entrepreneurship fit: Why some people are more successful as entrepreneurs than others. Human Resource Management Review, (13), 281-301.
  36. Mason, C., & Brown, R. (2014). Entrepreneurial ecosystems and growth oriented entrepreneurship. The Hague, Netherlands: OECD.
  37. Mehregan, M. R., Razavi, S. M., & Akhavan Anvari, M. R. (2012). Identification and evaluation of strategic decisions in gas industry using DEMATEL method. Iranian Journal of Management Studies (IJMS), 5(2), 49-65.
  38. Moghimi, S. M. (2000). Examining barriers to entrepreneurship in Iran’s industries and providing basic strategies for their development. Tehran: SID. (Persian)
  39. Moroz, P., & Hindle, K. (2012). Entrepreneurship as a process: Toward harmonizing multiple perspectives. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 36(4), 781-818.
  40. Na Mi, N. (2013). Differences and similarities in the entrepreneurial process of independent new ventures and corporate new ventures (Master Thesis). university of Twente.
  41. Postigo, S. (2002). Entrepreneurship education in Argentina: The case of San Anders University. Proceedings from the Conference Entitled the Internationalizing in Entrepreneurship Education and training, Malaysia, July, 8-10.
  42. Pretorius, M., Nieman, G., & Van Vuuren, J. (2005). Critical evaluation of two models for entrepreneurial education an improved model through integration. International Journal of Educational Management, 19(5), 413-427.
  43. Rahman Seresht, H., & Ghodratian Kashan. S. A. (2010). Multi-level evaluation of factors affecting competitiveness of industries in Iran. Journal of Strategic Management Studies, 4(1), 15-41 (Persian).
  44. Rajesh, R., & Ravi, V.(2015). Modeling enablers of supply chain risk mitigation in electronic supply chains: A Grey–DEMATEL approach. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 87, 126-139.
  45. Raymond, W. S. (2003). The Learning need of high potential entrepreneur in Latin American. Presented at the international Conference on Entrepreneurship in Latin American weinde mar, chilp October, 26-28.
  46. Ren, J., Liang, H., Dong, L., Gao, Z., He, C., Pan, M., & Sun, L. (2017). Sustainable development of sewage sludge-to-energy in China: Barriers identification and technologies prioritization. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 67, 384-396.
  47. Russel, S , & Kerry, A (2008). dose school choice increase the rate of youth entrepreneurship? Economic of Education Review, 27, 429-438.
  48. Schneider, M., Taste, F., & Mintrom, M. (1995). Public entrepreneurs. Princeton University Press, 30-45.
  49. Sanders, J. M., and Nee, V. (1996). Immigrant Self-Employment: The Family Social Capital and the Value of Human Capital. American Sociological Review, 61, 231-249.
  50. Sasu, C., & Sasu, L. (2015). Demographic determinant of the entrepreneurship intentions, The case of Romania. Procedia Economics and Finance, 20, 580-585.
  51. Smith, R. (2017). Examining the characteristics, philosophies, operating practices and growth strategies of village entrepreneurs. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 23(4), 708-725.
  52. Sobel, R. S., & King, K. A. (2008). Does school choice increase the rate of youth entrepreneurship? Economic of Education Review, 27(4), 429-438.
  53. Soltani, M., Ebrahimi, E., & Fathi, M. R. (2015). Analysis of the relationship between social capital index using fuzzy DEMATEL technique. Social Capital Management Journal, 2(2), 199-220. (Persian)
  54. Tseng, M. L. (2009). A causal and effect decision making model of service quality expectation using grey-fuzzy DEMATEL approach. Expert Systems with Applications, 36(4), 7738–7748.
  55. Tzeng, G. H., Chiang, C. H., & Li, C. W. (2007). Evaluating intertwined effects in e-learning programs: A novel hybrid MCDM model based on factor analysis and DEMATEL. Expert Systems with Applications, 32(4), 1028-1044.
  56. Utsch, A., & Rauch, A. (2000). Innovativeness and initiative as mediators between achievement orientation and venture performance. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 9(1), 45-62.
  57. Wagner, J., & Sternberg, R. (2004). Start-up activities, individual characteristics, and the regional milieu: Lessons for entrepreneurship support policies from German micro data. The Annals of Regional Science, (38), 219-240
  58. Wang, W., Lin, Y., Lin, C., Chung, C., & Lee, M. (2012). DEMATEL-based model to improve the performance in a matrix organization. Expert Systems with Applications, 39(5), 4978-4986.
  59. World Economic Forum (2016-2017). The global competitiveness report. Retrieved from:
  60. Zane, L., & Kline, W. (2017). Competitive moves: the influence of industry context and individual cognitive factors. Entrepreneurship Research Journal, 7(1), 1-30.
  61. Zhou,  X., Shi, Y., Deng, X., & Deng, Y. (2017). D-DEMATEL: A new method to identify critical success factors in emergency management. Safety Science, 91, 93-104.