Using data envelopment analysis (DEA) to improve the sales performance in Iranian agricultural clusters by utilizing business networks and business development services providers (BDSPs)

Document Type : Research Paper


School of Industrial Engineering, Iran University of Science & Technology, Tehran, Iran


Business clusters play an important role in developing and improving the economic performance of countries and in promoting the welfare of people. Business development service providers (hereafter referred to as, BDSP) have a considerable role in providing specialized services pertinent to the conditions of active enterprises in clusters and in promoting their performance level in order to improve their competitiveness compared to large enterprises. In this study, data envelopment analysis (DEA) was used with respect to three inputs (the number of active networks, active BDSPs, staff in the cluster) and two outputs (the amount of domestic sales and exports). DEA model has been used in order to provide an accurate and comprehensive analysis of the eight agricultural clusters under study while some of the above-mentioned inputs and outputs have been considered. The performance of clusters can be compared together from different aspects and perspectives. For example, domestic sales was considered as the output factor only once, and so was export and, then, the performance of agricultural clusters were compared with each other. It should be noted that the clusters under study are active in terms of the processing of agricultural products, such as gardening products, dates, saffron, tea, and pistachios.


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