Exploring the character of rural businesses: Performing change and continuity

Hanne B. Finke*, Gary Bosworth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


The purpose of this paper is to use a series of business interviews in the UK and Denmark as a means of interrogating the categorisation of rural businesses presented in an earlier publication which sought to understand the rural character of different businesses. Rather than defining a rural business purely on its geographical location, the engagement of a business within a rural economy and its relations with both rural and urban environments are more complex issues. A wider conceptualisation how rural social relations, cultural influences and landscape values forms the basis for analysing how these assets can create value for rural businesses. Understanding these issues can better inform organisations that are seeking to support the rural economy and rural communities. It can also guide business owners themselves as to how they might benefit from being a part of, or associated with, the rural economy in capturing the possibilities linked to a growing urban population. The findings reveal how landscape assets are intertwined in the business concepts as positive drivers despite many voices within rural and economic research pointing at disadvantages relating to distance, sparseness of infrastructure or service provision. The research analysis draws on actor-network theory and this tool reveals promising prospects for future place-based studies in how landscape assets can be enacted in the development of the rural economy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-636
Number of pages18
JournalLocal Economy
Issue number5
Early online date1 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


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