Marija Kastelan Mrak, Danijela Sokolic and Nenad Vretenar

Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka, Rijeka, The Republic of Croatia

Industries create specific business settings that exert a backward influence on industry prospects. In this paper, the manner in which two industries - the construction industry and the food and beverage processing industry - have behaved during a crisis period is examined and compared. First, the performance indicators available from statistic sources are compared; then, the panel data of the two subsamples of the largest Croatian firms in terms of capital and employment related to construction and food processing in the period 2005-2014 are subjected to comparison. The provided data demonstrate that the five largest business firms in the two industries have a tendency to employ different business behaviors specific to the industry they are part of. The basic idea behind this research was that industry characteristics are created by individual business firms through their adjusting their behavior, i.e. strategies, organizational design and operation models to perceived industry settings. So, in the longer time period, depending on resource availability at the firm level and the market opportunities in the industry, a dominant pattern of the business model will evolve. The research showed differences in the rate of the activity and business demography during the observed period. There is also evidence of different business models being employed in construction and food processing. However, at this stage of our research, we have not been able to establish a relationship between the business model employed and the firm´s or industry performance.

Keywords: industry behavior, performance, financial crisis 2008, business models, ownership control versus contractual networks

JEL Classification: L11, L24, L25, L66, L74

Economic Horizons, 2016, Vol. 18, No 3, pp. 261-275; Published online 30 December 2016; doi:10.5937/ekonhor1603261K
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