Theoretical Background of the Firm-Level Dimension of Competitiveness in the Agricultural Sector

Szálteleki, Péter – Pupos, Gábor – Bánhegyi, Gabriella – Pupos, Tibor

Keywords: systems theory, competition, competitiveness, corporate and functional strategies, Q18, R11, R13

It is not an exaggeration to say, as many have already formulated, that scientific literature dealing with the interpretation and measurement of the concepts of competition and competitiveness would fill a library. Nevertheless, the interpretation of the related definitions cannot be considered uniformed. This conclusion is even more true for the interpretation of the competitiveness of agricultural companies. Let us mention two possible reasons for this: on this special field the number of relevant literatures is rather moderate, and the distinguishing features of the sector require special approach. The location of agricultural production is the countryside, the rural area as a limited unit of space capable of carrying out agricultural activities, which can be interpreted in a geographical sense. The smallest spatial unit is the parcel, the agroecological potential of which can be considered as a given factor - due to natural conditions. This agroecological potential strongly determines the possible utilization, cultivation of the land. Since agricultural production has a specific relationship to natural resources and agricultural production has many characteristics, the discussion of related issues should not be without a multidisciplinary and integrated approach based on system theory.
In this paper the content elements of the product and/or company level interpretation of competitiveness are identified, along with identifying the cause-and-effect relationships and interactions between these elements in agricultural companies. The interpretation of the model of a competitive agricultural company is based on the identified content elements, the factors affecting competitiveness and the approach outlined above. With the results of factual data-based model calculations, we illustrate the economic aspects of the factors affecting competitiveness, referring also to the common points of competitiveness and sustainability, since the question of sustainability can no longer be bypassed when discussing competitiveness issues.