Department of Economic Science, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
Market opportunities may be more or less numerous and interesting, depending on the characteristics of the market (exogenous factors) and of the company itself (endogenous factors such as the firm strategic orientation, managerial skills, competencies, bargaining power, etc.). Therefore, we can say that the opportunities for business development grow in the competitive environment. First, they have to be identified and then converted into value by the management. The firm must develop capacity both within the organization and in relationships with external actors to take advantage of potential, otherwise scattered opportunities (Conto et al., 2016; Fiocca, 2014).
In the economic and managerial literature, there are different theories concerning how to achieve and to keep a competitive advantage, and also how to identify and to manage profitable market opportunities. According to the structuralist logic (SCP Paradigm, Bain, 1968), the firm is a machine that, in order to reach enhanced performance, must adapt itself to the structural features of its sector. In addition, it must overcome barriers created by structural factors that characterize the sector (Yip, 1982).
This conception of the adaptive firm, which does not consider the innovation and the competitive sector dynamism, has been overcome by the perspective of the resources- based view (Itami and Roehl, 1987), according to which the company is considered as a set of resources that must pursue its strategies by optimizing the relationship between available resources and the conditions of the industries and markets where it aims to compete. Intangibles resources are able to create and to maintain an effective and lasting advantage over competitors (Penrose, 1995). This is because the intangible resources are much more difficult for competitors to imitate. The condition for which the competitive advantage becomes effective is related to the firm's potential capacity to mobilize its resources better than its competitors do.
The number of dairy farms in the European Union has dramatically fallen in recent decades and continues to decline, so the dairy industry must be able to take market opportunities in order to face new sector challenges.
This chapter analyzes market opportunities from the relational perspective. The remaining sections are as follows: the next section investigates the role of trust and
Advances in Dairy Products, First Edition.
Edited by Francesco Conto, Matteo A. Del Nobile, Michele Faccia, Angelo V. Zambrini, and Amalia Conte. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Published 2018 by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
knowledge resources; the third section gives insight into the Six Sigma approach, which focuses on accuracy to provide the highest attention to the customer and market expectations. The following section sheds light on market opportunities in dairy sector. The last section presents conclusive remarks.