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Abstract

The dramatically changing marketing structure for agricultural products is forcing agricultural producers to become more entrepreneurial, but what does this mean? How do agricultural producers produce sustainable competitive advantage within a commodity market characterised by homogeneous producers? The convergence of two academic literatures - Market orientation from market strategy and Resource Based View from strategic management – provide a number of insights. In this paper we lay the foundation for research into the market orientation–performance link in terms of production agriculture. Building on the previous market orientation literature, we examine its ability to create a sustainable competitive advantage using a resource based view (RBV). Focusing primarily on the U.S. beef industry, we examine these two distinct literatures in tandem and show that the concept of a market orientation meets all the necessary conditions laid out in the RBV literature to create a sustainable competitive advantage, even in a commodity marketplace such as agriculture. This convergence between these two literatures has important implications and direction for future research as we attempt to analyze and evaluate the heterogeneous responses of firm the new global agri-food business environment.

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