Market orientation of value chains: A conceptual framework based on four case studies from the food industry


Grunert KG, Jeppesen LF, Jespersen KR, Sonne A, Hansen K, Trondsen T & Young J (2005) Market orientation of value chains: A conceptual framework based on four case studies from the food industry. European Journal of Marketing, 39 (5-6), pp. 428-455.

Purpose - This paper extends the concept of market orientation from the firm to the value chain level and seeks to develop empirically founded propositions on determinants of different levels of market orientation of value chains. Design/methodology/approach - Four case studies on value chains within the areas of agribusiness and fisheries are conducted. For each value chain, desk research is combined with interviews with decision-makers of all types of value chain members. Interview guidelines were derived from a conceptual model of potential determinants of value chain market orientation. Findings - Degree of market orientation of value chains is found to be related to degree of heterogeneity and dynamism of end-users served, nature of chain relationships, regulations and prevailing mental models of decision-makers. Short and balanced chains are believed to further upstream market orientation. Research limitations/implications - The results point at two areas, where additional research on market orientation is called for: a better conceptualization of market intelligence and theorizing on most cost effective ways of being market oriented, including implications for the distribution of market oriented activities among value chain members. Practical implications - The paper underlines the importance of managing channel relationships, up to and including vertical integration, when serving markets with high degrees of end-user volatility. Originality/value - This paper is the first empirical contribution to the market orientation literature employing a perspective encompassing the whole value chain.

Food industry; Market orientation; Value chain

European Journal of Marketing: Volume 39, Issue 5-6

Publication date31/12/2005