The influence of market and entrepreneurial orientation on strategic marketing choices: the cases of Dutch farmers and horticultural growers

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Farmers and horticultural growers are expected by society to increase production to meet the demand for food and other agricultural produce, and, simultaneously, reduce negative effects on the physical and social environment. Whether farmers and horticultural growers choose to develop their businesses this way, is not clear. A market orientation (MO) and entrepreneurial orientation (EO) of farmers and horticultural growers is propagated to increase farm profitability and stimulate the economic vigour of rural areas. An MO is a firm owners’ belief that the best way to achieve the firm's objectives is to satisfy customers more effective and efficient than competitors do. An EO is a firm owners’ willingness to innovate to rejuvenate market offerings, take risks to try out new and uncertain products, services and markets, and be more proactive than competitors towards new marketplace opportunities. However, it is not clear how MO and EO influence farmers’ and horticultural growers’ choices about how to develop their business. In this study a model is developed with hypotheses about the influence of EO and MO on strategic marketing choices of farmers. The model is tested on a sample of 588 Dutch farmers and horticultural growers. Four strategic groups were identified. A strategic group is a group of firms that have made similar choices about how to develop their business. Results show that higher levels of EO and MO are found in strategic groups that emphasise cooperating with buyers, increasing prices, and starting new activities. Lower levels of EO and MO are found in strategic groups that emphasize reducing costs and decreasing debts. EO and MO, however, have different influences on individual elements of strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-179
JournalJournal on Chain and Network Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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