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Abstract

A market orientation has been shown to lead to improved firm performance in a variety of industries (Narver and Slater, 1990; Deshpande et al., 1993). In previous research, it has been argued that performance benefits are a result of a greater awareness of the sources of value the product provides to the consumer, without specifically describing how value was created. Treacy and Wiersema (1993) developed the concept of value disciplines, which are three distinctive means of value provision, namely operational excellence, customer intimacy and product leadership. More recently, Narver et al. (1998) argued that market oriented firms have a clear understanding of how they provide value to customers, but this assertion has yet to be empirically tested. A new scale was developed and tested to measure the choice and clarity of value discipline. Using a sample of 343 Illinois beef producers, results show that organizational learning, innovativeness, and extreme levels of market orientation contribute to value discipline clarity while moderate levels of market orientation have the opposite effect.

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