Ideological challenges to changing strategic orientation in commodity agriculture

Melea Press, Eric J. Arnould, Jeff B. Murray, Katherine Strand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (SciVal)


Why do some firms not change their strategic orientation despite economic incentives to do so? Most current literature on changing strategic orientations has focused on an antecedents and outcomes approach to business orientations. Intimated, but rarely addressed, are the notions that (1) strategic orientations may be thought of as ideologies and (2) such ideologies are likely to contend with each other. Taking such a perspective may be helpful in discussing why it is challenging to transition to more sustainable strategic orientations even in the presence of financial incentives to do so. In assessing the transition to organic production and marketing in a commodity agriculture context, the authors find that contending ideologies restrict its adoption. In addition, they suggest that strategic orientations are not adopted or contested solely within firms but also among them. The authors find that ideological contestation among firms in this context takes the form of a marketplace drama between a chemical, productionist orientation and an organic orientation in which protagonists mobilize several forms of legitimacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-119
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Marketing
Issue number6
Early online date1 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


  • Agriculture
  • Ideology
  • Legitimacy
  • Strategic orientation
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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