Ideological Challenges to Changing Strategic Orientation in Commodity Agriculture

Eric Arnould, Melea Press, Jeff Murray, Katie Strand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


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 pages16
JournalJournal of Marketing
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • ideology
  • marketing strategy
  • organic agriculture
  • legitimacy
  • ethnography


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