13th Congress Proceedings
Use Of Information, Product Innovation And Financial Performance On Belgian Glasshouse Holdings
In order to meet the changing needs and preferences of consumers it will be important for Belgian glasshouse growers to change from a production-driven to a customer-driven strategy. More than ever, use of information and product innovation become critical factors in the changing competitive environment. The aim of the research is to analyse the relationship between business and managerial characteristics, use of information sources, product innovation and financial performance of the firm. The results indicate that the average Belgian glasshouse grower makes low use of external information sources for production decisions. However an important variation in information use can be observed among the growers. The results reveal that vegetable producers make more use of external information than producers of ornamental plants, which can be related to their co-operational organisation. Although the predictors of information use can vary substantially across information sources, the results reveal that, independent of sector differences, the value attached to ‘creativity and innovation’ is an important determinant of information use. A significant positive relationship was found between the use of information and product innovation. The results indicate that product innovation and financial performance are associated, however this association was only statistically significant for the growers of ornamental plants.