September 20, 2018

1:00-2:00 p.m.

Please note: This event is for invited researchers only.

The Role of Positive Deviance in Sustainable Agribusiness Development

Talk description:
The agribusiness sector is undergoing transformational challenges requiring agribusiness professionals and organizations to rethink their approach to sustainability. Problem-focused/deficit gap approaches are insufficient to tackle these transformational challenges. Alternative approaches to local agribusiness may provide valuable insights overlooked given their perceived value in the commercial agriculture value chain. Sustainability with positive organizational scholarship (POS) (abundance gap approach) offers an alternative perspective to examine the best of what is along the agribusiness value chain.

At the presentation, Pamela will share her dissertation work involving interviews with agribusiness owners who have been able to produce positive impacts. Her initial work suggests that there are common characteristics among positive deviance in the domains of sustainability and positive organizational scholarship (e.g., positive deviance).


Pamela Robinson, Doctoral Student of Management
Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University

Pamela Robinson holds the distinction of being a Doctor of Management (DM) Management Design and Innovation Fellow, Fowler Center Sustainability Fellow and Non-Profit Management Fellow from the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. Pamela’s qualitative research aims to shed light on what gives life to sustainable agribusiness. She is interested in lifting the strengths across the agribusiness value chain through the lived experiences of actors closest to the ground activities, particularly in developing countries.

Pamela’s motivation for her research stems from the design thinking of the Peter B. Lewis building and her executive experience integrating an economic and social impact business model into her company. Founded in 1999, Financial Voyages LLC delivers insightful, engaging learning experiences to help people in the international community significantly transform businesses, lives, and communities for the better.

View Pamela’s research journey at

Research is the heart of Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS), and we want to make sure that we support each other in developing high quality research. To that end, we created the Adderley Positive Research Incubator for sharing and encouraging POS-related research ideas that are at various stages of development.

Learn more about the Adderley Positive Research Incubator here and direct questions about individual sessions to Amy Young at