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Ideological Challenges in Changing Market Orientation: Perspective from an Agricultural Value Chain


Speaker:Professor Eric Arnould, Professor of Marketing, University of Bath
Date: Friday 1 March 2013
Time: 2.00 pm
Location: Bateman Lecture Theatre, Building One, Streatham Court

Further details

Most of the current literature on changing marketing orientations focuses on an antecedents

and outcomes approach to market orientations with various factors assessed for their

moderating or mediating influence on the orientation or its consequences. Intimated in this

literature, but generally underdeveloped is first the idea that market orientations or strategic

paradigms may be thought of as ideologies; and secondly, that such ideologies are likely to

contend with each other. Taking such a perspective may be helpful in thinking about why

transitioning to more sustainable marketing orientations is challenging even in the presence of

financial incentives to make such a change, and why such transitions are not merely matters of

technical or structural obstacles. In assessing the transition to sustainable commodity

production and marketing in one agricultural context we find ideologies in contention that

constrain its adoption. In addition, we suggest that market orientations are not merely

adopted or even contested solely within firms but also between them. We find that

ideological contestation between firms and between a productionist and a sustainable

orientation takes the form of a marketplace drama, which at the current time has yet to be

resolved. While partisans of this or that market orientation often argue in terms of optimal

organizational outcomes, our research suggests that in the real world of ideological conflict,

the optimal is not so easily identified. Finally, our paper at once takes us back to the roots of

modern marketing in agriculture, and into the uncertain future of sustainable marketing