What strategies do dairy companies realize? Using content analysis to examine strategies in the German dairy market

Julia Höhler*, Rainer Kühl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

A realized strategy can be understood as the sum of a company's observable strategic actions over time. This concept of strategy is difficult to grasp empirically. However, the content analysis enables a systematic, dynamic and theoretically sound recording of realized strategies. To demonstrate the potential of the method in capturing strategies we encode 4,158 pieces of information about strategic actions of ten European dairy companies in the German market for over 11 years. Based on this we suggest a mixed methods approach to learn more about the individual companies' competitive moves and their realized strategies. The companies investigated differ in their adaptation to changing environmental conditions and in particular in their brand policy. The trend 'animal welfare' shows that most dairy companies reacted late and left the initiative to the retail trade. Our approach can be applied to many questions in strategy research and promises new insights into the strategies of companies in the food industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-650
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Food and Agribusiness Management Review
Volume22
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Content analysis
  • Dairy
  • Mixed methods
  • Realized strategy
  • Strategic management

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