SR9241 - Assessing the
Competitiveness of Ontario Food Processing Industry: A Capability
Development and Stakeholder Engagement Approach
The Ministry funded this project through the 2010-11 New Directions
Erna Van Duren, Department of Business, College of Management and
Economics, University of Guelph
- Develop a conceptual approach that enables policy makers and
business and organization decision makers to understand which
factors influence competitiveness and at which levels of the external
and internal contexts in which they manage these factors are controlled
or influenced (Appendix 1).
- Measure the degree of competitiveness of Ontario's food processing
- standard techniques
- one trial innovative technique (for example, scenario based
assessment of the influence of various drivers or competitiveness
at the industry and firm level)
- Engage industry, other research institutes and government in
the research process to enhance the ability of diverse stakeholders
to understand others' perspectives and needs.
- Assess the drivers and dynamics that enhance or impede competitiveness
and identify public policy and organizationally controlled variables
that could be used to enhance industry competitiveness
- Develop the human capital of future industry decision maker,
policy analysts and others.
- Contribute to the ongoing development of the College of Management
and Economics and OAC's ability to train undergraduate and graduate
students for management and related careers in Ontario's agrifood
- Provide workshops, web-based communications and other knowledge
transfer vehicles that will engage businesses, industry associations,
academics and policy makers in developing relevant research and
The research will provide knowledge to improve understanding of
macro, general industry, specific industry, value chain and company
specific factors that can be controlled or influenced in order to
enhance the food processing industry competitiveness (business/organizational
action, public policy and programs).
- A competitive food processing sector is one key to a profitable,
sustainable and innovative Ontario farm/food community.
- Engagement of industry stakeholders in the research process
will strengthen value-chain collaboration and the ability of diverse
industry participants to understand others' perspectives, needs
and challenges and strategically orient their individual and joint
activities to gain international market share. Engagement will
be accomplished through research workshops, the use of an advisory
board and the research methods themselves.
- On-going engagement of other research institutes will ensure
that their current research projects (e.g. Conference Board of
Canada's agri-food competiveness research, the collaboration of
George Morris Centre with the Institute for Competitiveness and
Prosperity) are informed by this project's results and vice versa.
- Use of undergraduate and graduate research assistants, who are
supported by course options through the College of Management
and Economics that develop their consulting, industry, analytical
and communications abilities, will create a foundation of skills
and knowledge which will continue to contribute to the human capital
of the industry as these students enter the work force
- Scholarly research that is conducted by a diverse team comprising
researchers with expertise in economics, strategic management,
operations/value chain management, public policy and policy processes
and financial management along with decades of industry and related
experience, will ensure that all analysis is methodologically
sound yet innovative, but informed and validated by practical
business and policy contexts.
The multiple year approach to the research expands its scope and
provides opportunities to build upon lessons learned.
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