Dr. Matthew M. Mars

Examining the entrepreneurial leadership proclivities of Extension educators

Authors

Ashley Jeffers-Sample
Matthew M. Mars
Amber H. Rice
Robert M. Torres

Graduate Student Thesis - Jeffers-Sample, A., Mars, M. M., Rice, A. H., & Torres, R. M. (in press). Examining the entrepreneurial leadership proclivities of Extension educators. Journal of Extension.

Date of publication:
2018

Science and engineering doctoral student socialization, logics, and the national economic agenda: Alignment or disconnect?

Authors

Matthew M. Mars
Kate Bresonis
Katalin Szelényi

This study explores the institutional logics and socialization experiences of STEM doctoral students in the context of the current American economic narrative that is specific to science and technology. Data from qualitative interviews with 36 students at three research universities first reveals a disconnect between a well-established national science and technology policy narrative that is market-oriented and the training, experiences, and perspectives of science and engineering doctoral students. Findings also indicate science and engineering doctoral students mostly understand entrepreneurship and innovation in the contexts of funding research activities and creating social impact, which parallel rather than oppose dominant academic values and norms. Based on the findings, we contend that it is both possible and prudent for universities and graduate programs to pursue strategies that align science and engineering doctoral education with the current national economic agenda and support the personal, professional values and perspectives of students without coming in conflict with the scientific core of the academy.

[Faculty] Mars, Matthew M., Kate Bresonis & Katalin Szelényi (2014). Science and engineering doctoral student socialization, logics, and the national economic agenda: Alignment or disconnect? Minerva, 52 (3), 351-379.

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Date of publication:
2014

Developing collegiate student proclivities to entrepreneurial leadership

Authors

Matthew M. Mars
Robert M. Torres

Individuals with skills specific to innovation and entrepreneurial strategy are in high demand within the contemporary workforce. This demand transcends most, if not all, professions and career paths. Yet, entrepreneurial leadership education continues to be viewed mostly as a business-oriented domain. We expand the otherwise narrow scope of entrepreneurial leadership education through an examination of the effects of an interdisciplinary, project-based entrepreneurial leadership course on student proclivities to leading change. We used a retrospective pre- and post-measure pre-experimental design to conduct the study. Our findings indicate an increase across the sample (n = 62) in entrepreneurial leadership proclivity following course completion. The insights we generate reveal opportunities for strengthening collegiate entrepreneurial leadership curriculum and instruction and enhancing the capacities of students to become effective leaders of change (i.e., change agents). [faculty]

 

Mars, Matthew M. & Robert M. Torres (forthcoming). Developing collegiate student proclivities to entrepreneurial leadership. The Journal of Leadership Education. (Accepted: December 20, 2017).

Date of publication:
2018

The value of a metaphor: Organizations and ecosystems

Authors

Matthew M. Mars
Judith L. Bronstein
Organizational scholars often adopt biological models to explain the emergence and evolution of organizations and human systems. One recent example of such adoption is the organizational ecosystem metaphor. In this article, we contend that taking a rigorous ecological approach over the application of loose ecosystem language has the potential to illuminate patterns in the life span of organizations and human systems. We first define five central properties of biological ecosystems and demonstrate their potential relevance to human-constructed systems (organizational ecosystems). We then argue the value of developing biologically based hypotheses that can be tested in the context of organizational systems. Next, we propose a set of hypotheses specific to organizational stability and disruption, using Arizona charter schools as an example to demonstrate the promise of the rigorous application of the organizational ecosystem metaphor. We close with a discussion of how the insights generated might be applied across other organizational settings and systems. [Faculty] Mars, Matthew M., & Judith L. Bronstein (2017). The promise of the organizational ecosystem metaphor: An argument for biological rigor. Journal of Management Inquiry, 1-10. (Advanced online publication) doi: 10.1177/10564926177006546

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Date of publication:
2017

The promise of the organizational ecosystem metaphor: An argument for biological rigor

Authors

Matthew M. Mars
Judith L. Bronstein
Organizational scholars often adopt biological models to explain the emergence and evolution of organizations and human systems. One recent example of such adoption is the organizational ecosystem metaphor. In this article, we contend that taking a rigorous ecological approach over the application of loose ecosystem language has the potential to illuminate patterns in the life span of organizations and human systems. We first define five central properties of biological ecosystems and demonstrate their potential relevance to human-constructed systems (organizational ecosystems). We then argue the value of developing biologically based hypotheses that can be tested in the context of organizational systems. Next, we propose a set of hypotheses specific to organizational stability and disruption, using Arizona charter schools as an example to demonstrate the promise of the rigorous application of the organizational ecosystem metaphor. We close with a discussion of how the insights generated might be applied across other organizational settings and systems. [Faculty] Mars, Matthew M., & Judith L. Bronstein (2017). The promise of the organizational ecosystem metaphor: An argument for biological rigor. Journal of Management Inquiry, 1-10. (Advanced online publication) doi: 10.1177/10564926177006546

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Date of publication:
2017

What Is Local Food Entrepreneurship? Variations in the Commercially and Socially Oriented Features of Entrepreneurship in the Southeastern Arizona Local Food System

Authors

Matthew M. Mars
Hope Schau

Entrepreneurial activities are sometimes framed as market‐based strategies that compromise the integrity of the movement against the global agrifood system. Other times, scholars have argued that entrepreneurship is a critical component of local food system viability. This study helps reconcile these conflicting views through a qualitative exploration of the variations in the commercially and socially oriented features of local food entrepreneurship in the southeastern Arizona local food system. Researchers gathered data between August 2014 and December 2016 through semistructured interviews with and direct observations of 36 southeastern Arizona local food entrepreneurs. A conceptual continuum that articulates the variations between commercial and social entrepreneurship according to market condition, mission, resource mobilization, and performance measurement guides the exploration. The findings reveal commercial and social variations in local food entrepreneurship to be … [Faculty]

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Date of publication:
2017

Entrepreneurial Science and the Training and Aspirations of STEM-Focused Agriculture Graduate Students: An Exploration.

Authors

Matthew M. Mars

The academic training and professional aspirations of students enrolled in science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM) graduate programs in three agriculture colleges were explored in the context of the current knowledge-based economy. Particular attention was placed on how, if at all, study participants associate innovation and entrepreneurship with their research interests and intended career paths. In doing so, participant awareness of and perspective on current demands and opportunities for entrepreneurial scientists were explored. Recommendations for increasing the alignment between the so-called" knowledge economy"(Powell and Snellman, 2004) and the academic training and professional aspirations of STEM graduate students enrolled in agriculture colleges were developed. [Faculty]

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Date of publication:
2017

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Institutional entrepreneurship and the negotiation and blending of multiple logics in the Southern Arizona local food system

Authors

Matthew M. Mars
Hope Schau

In this paper, we explore the entrepreneurial leadership strategies and routine work of actors located across a diverse array of organizational settings (ie, farmers’ markets, community farms, community-supported agriculture programs, food and seed banks, local food print media) that combine to shape and sustain the Southern Arizona (AZ) local food system (LFS). We use the theoretical principles of institutional entrepreneurship and logic multiplicity to show how the strategies and routine work of local food actors at the organizational level combine to negotiate system-level meaning and structure within and across the Southern AZ LFS, which is an otherwise seemingly fragmented and contentious social space. We illustrate how the entrepreneurial work performed within multiple organizations and organizational types converge to form a hybrid (or blended) local food logic. Implications are discussed and recommendations for practice are proposed. [Faculty]

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Date of publication:
2017

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Graduate STEM-Based Agriculture Education and Women Agriculturalists: An Agency Perspective.

Authors

Matthew M. Mars
Jeni Hart

In this paper, we explored the academic and professional aspirations, experiences, and perspectives of 11 women pursuing graduate degrees based in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields within research-intensive agriculture colleges at three land grant research universities in the United States (US). Using principles drawn from the theories of human agency (Bandura, 1989, 2001; Emirbayer & Mische, 1998; Locke, 1978; Lukes, 1973; Sewell, 1992; Terosky, Campbell, & O'Meara, 2014) and gendered organizations (Acker, 1990, 2012) as our conceptual guide, we explored the conditions and contexts that influence the academic experiences and professional trajectories of emergent women agriculturalists who are enrolled in STEM-based graduate programs. We were particularly attentive to how such experiences and trajectories aligned with agricultural environments that have been shown to be masculine (ie, large-scale farming and agribusiness, STEM … [Faculty]

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Date of publication:
2017

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Wild greens knowledge and consumption: a qualitative exploration of human agency in the Southern Arizona food system

Authors

Teresa De Koker
Matthew M. Mars
Robert Torres
Tanya M. Quist

Graduate Student Thesis - This qualitative, single case study explores the influence of the dominant food system (DFS) on the knowledge and consumption of three wild greens (amaranth, lambquarters, purslane) by 24 Latinxs living in Tucson, Arizona (AZ), USA. The three greens are each considered to be traditional Latinx foods. In addition to the natural occurrence of the wild greens, Tucson was selected as the study site due to its rich and diverse food tradition and deep agricultural history. A pattern of decline in the knowledge and consumption of the wild greens is observed according to three overlapping themes: generational awareness, consumer demand and scarcity, and accessibility. The bureaucratic controls that bring calculability, efficiency, and predictability to the DFS are found to be influential in the decline in wild green knowledge and consumption by the study participants. The downward knowledge and consumption pattern is further considered in the context of participant agency within the DFS. Implications for practice include strategies for more purposefully leveraging community settings and alternative marketplaces to revitalize the knowledge and consumption of wild greens and other traditional foods. Recommendations are also provided for future research on the effects of rationalization within the DFS on human agency and traditional food consumption. 

Teresa De Koker, Matthew M. Mars, Robert M. Torres & Tanya M. Quist (2018) Wild greens knowledge and consumption: a qualitative exploration of human agency in the Southern Arizona food system, Food, Culture & Society, 21:3, 331-349, DOI: 10.1080/15528014.2018.1451040

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Date of publication:
2018

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From Bread We Build Community: Entrepreneurial Leadership and the Co-creation of Local Food Businesses and Systems

Authors

Matthew M. Mars

This case study of a self-described community supported baker (CSB) in Southern Arizona explores entrepreneurial leadership as a model for promoting consumer co-creation of both local food businesses and food systems. The analytical focus of the case is the entrepreneurial strategy of the CSB to embed his customers in the creation of both his community supported business and the development of a more robust Southern Arizona local food system (LFS). Specifically, the CSB's business model positions customers not only as the purchasers of his product, but also as marketers of his breads, promoters of local grains, and champions of the Southern Arizona food movement. Data was collected through a series of individual interviews with the baker and other relevant informants, as well as through multiple instances of participant observation. The case illustrates the capacity of entrepreneurial leadership to serve as a model that promotes consumer co-creation of local food businesses and more cohesive and extensive LFSs. [Faculty]

Citation: Mars, M. M. (2015). From bread we build community: Entrepreneurial leadership and the co-creation of local food businesses and systems. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2015.053.005

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Date of publication:
2015

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Academic entrepreneurship (re)defined: significance and implications for the scholarship of higher education

Authors

Matthew M. Mars
Cecilia Rios-Aguilar

Over the past several decades higher education scholars have conducted a significant amount of research aimed at understanding the implications of enhanced interactions between the academy and the private marketplace. Accordingly, a voluminous literature that includes conceptualizations and discussions of academic entrepreneurship has emerged. This paper used content analysis to examine how researchers have conceptualized entrepreneurship in five leading higher education journals. The analysis revealed notable patterns in the application of theoretical and conceptual frameworks of entrepreneurship to higher education phenomena, as well as observable distinctions in how entrepreneurial models are applied in specific organizational, institutional, and geographical contexts. Results suggest that there is a paucity of attention paid to the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of entrepreneurship within higher education scholarship. We introduce a framework for strengthening the application of entrepreneurial models to higher education research that is grounded in the theoretical constructs of entrepreneurship as articulated in the economic and management literatures. [Faculty].

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Date of publication:
2010

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Adult Agricultural Literacy Education: Beyond the Conventional Boundaries

Authors

Matthew M. Mars

The notion of agricultural literacy is firmly rooted in a movement that mostly targets elementary and secondary student populations with a curricular focus that is heavily anchored in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) content (Kovar & Ball, 2013; Pense, Leising, Portillo, & Igo, 2005; Russell, McCracken, & Miller, 1990). In this dominant context, agricultural literacy is celebrated as a platform that simultaneously brings 'real life' applications to STEM curricula and provides K-12 students with a deeper understanding of where and how the foods, fibers, and natural resources they consume are produced. Unfortunately, the agricultural literacy movement has largely left out an important and significant demographic: adult learners. For example. Kovar and Ball (2013) found that only 12.2% of the' studies on agricultural literacy published between 1988-2011 addressed non-educator adults. This exclusion is problematic considering adults are the primary decision-makers when it comes to food and fiber consumption. The argument here is not that there is little value in expanding the agricultural knowledge of K-12 learners based on their consumer agency (or lack thereof). However, there is also little logic to neglecting the agricultural literacy needs and interests of adults, especially when considered in the consumer market context. Why has the agricultural literacy of adults been overlooked? The answer is that it has not! Adults have been mostly left out of the agricultural literacy narrative specific to formal learning. This near omission is not surprising considering the capacity to reach adult learners through formal education channels are relatively limited. One notable exception is post-secondary education, which represents a formal learning environment with unmet opportunity to expand the agricultural knowledge of young adult learners (Kovar & Ball, 2013). Moreover, not all adults attend a college or university, which further limits the scope of post-secondary education initiatives aimed at the dissemination of agricultural information and knowledge. [Faculty]

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Date of publication:
2017

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