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The Discovery and Exploitation of Opportunities in the Dairy Industry



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The dairy industry has undergone a dynamic phase during the past two decades. Innovations in terms of technologies, processes, and products have changed the way the production of milk is done. This research takes an exploratory approach to look at the process of opportunity discovery within farm businesses and what firms in the dairy industry are doing to become more innovative. In addition, this research looks at the strategies farmers are using to successfully implement those innovations. An important factor that could affect the performance of a firm is the degree of which the firm is able to become aware of and exploit innovations that help bridge productivity and opportunity gaps. Data is collected through qualitative tools, including in-depth interviews of dairy producers from Saskatchewan, Canada and Aguascalientes, Mexico. Such data collection provides this research with specific insights into the process of opportunity discovery. It also indicates which managerial practices moderate the successful discovery and exploitation of business opportunities in the dairy industry. A theoretical framework was developed around four managerial factors; networking, human capital, market orientation and entrepreneurial orientation. Several propositions were built to identify the impact of these factors on the discovery and exploitation of opportunities in the dairy industry in both Canada and Mexico. This research shed more light on why some producers are more productive than others and how this is allowing some dairy producers to be more profitable. In addition, findings compare both industries and the differences and similarities are shown in terms of operations, managerial styles and processes in which the discovery and exploitation of opportunities take place.



Dairy industry, Implementation of Innovations, Mexico, Saskatchewan, discovery, business opportunities.



Master of Science (M.Sc.)


Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics


Agricultural Economics


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