Business models for competitive success in the United States textile industry
Welch, James Mark
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Intensifying global competition is threatening the survival of the U.S. textile industry. This research will provide insight and propose strategic responses to this competitive economic environment. The goal of this research effort is twofold: first, to gain a better understanding of the nature of competition in industrial settings, and second, to identify opportunities for successful performance in competitive environments. This research is comprised of three papers that address issues related to strategic response to competitive pressures. The first paper in this dissertation, "Measuring Competition for Textiles: Does the U.S. Make the Grade?" provides a measure of the current competitive state of the U.S. textile industry. This paper evaluates the U.S. competitive position in the cotton yarn segment of the textile industry using established quantifiable measures and provides an overall competitive assessment. The measures employed show the United States to be at a relative competitive disadvantage when compared to major international producers of cotton yarn. However, the margin of this competitive disadvantage is shown to be relatively small. U.S. metrics of competition are trending towards price parity and are virtually equivalent with major competitors in terms of costs of production. The second paper, "Business Models for Competitive Success in the U.S. Textile Industry", provides estimates of how certain strategic decisions impact levels of firm performance in a declining industry. This research provides empirical support for the role of agency of managerial choice in determining performance outcomes. The third paper, "A Model for the High-Value Marketing Pool Concept", develops a general research model for increased marketing returns via product differentiation in the presence of heterogeneous consumer demand. This paper offers a research design to investigate the essential elements of a successful and sustainable high-value marketing pool and the potential this marketing tool might have to increase returns for agricultural commodity producers. Insight gained into the above topics will help firms and producers of the U.S. textile industry cope with increasing levels of competitive intensity. This research seeks to contribute to the store of knowledge in the disciplines of agricultural economics and strategic management through an empirical application of their theories and concepts.