Ho_whole_thesis.pdf (3.21 MB)
A resource-advantage theory approach on competitive advantage and financial performance of beef cattle value chain in Vietnam Central Highlands
thesisposted on 2023-05-28, 09:28 authored by Ho, LPK
Over the past several decades, the globalisation and liberalisation of the agricultural marketplace are creating a new competitiveness. This trend has led to transitions of the agricultural market from homogenous, commodity and price-driven market to more differentiated and fragmented products based on customers' needs to provide superior value to the market. Examples of the typical transitions of agricultural product are grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and organic crop products. In spite of these transitions, beef cattle producers still depend on their own capital resources to improve their business performances. Within the complexity of the agricultural market, especially the beef cattle value chains, actors may be able to leverage their knowledge and understanding about customers and competitors, and their other resources to achieve a competitive advantage and superior business performance. Therefore, this thesis addresses the problem of how beef cattle value chain actors in the Central Highlands of Vietnam utilize their resources to create a competitive advantage to improve the business' financial performance. Because this study employs a multi-disciplinary investigation of complex agricultural value chain, it adopted a sequential mixed method design based on the combination of positivism and constructivism-interpretivism using the pragmatist paradigm. The research sequence has two phases, of which the first phase, a quantitative study, is conducted using a survey of 190 beef cattle value chain actors. This phase uses existing measurement scales to measure the level of resources, market orientation, innovation, competitive advantage, and the relationship of these latent constructs on financial performance. The data from this phase was analysed using IBM.SPSS and AMOS 24. The second phase qualitative study is conducted through interviews with 30 selected beef cattle value chain actors, which then was analysed using NVivo 11 for thematic analysis, to explain the relationship among the constructs from phase one. The study found that market orientation, resources, and innovation are significant drivers of competitive advantage and financial performance. In particular, customer orientation, competitor orientation, resources, and innovation enable value chain actors to achieve strategy of differentiation, while inter-functional coordination and innovation create a low-cost strategy of the beef cattle value chain. Moreover, customer orientation, inter-functional coordination, and resources are the essential factors to generate innovation in the beef cattle value chain. Findings also indicate that differentiation and innovation are an option of value chain actors to improve the financial performance. This thesis contributes to the existing literature by assessing the constructs of market orientation, innovation, competitive advantage, and business performance in the context of an agricultural value chain in a developing country; thus, the framework of resource advantage theory is confirmed and validated in this context. The study also contributes to the on-going debates on the application of mixed methods design in marketing and related strategic management studies.