Date of Award

10-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

College of Business and Management

First Advisor

Eldon Bernstein

Second Advisor

Fred Carstensen

Third Advisor

Valerie A. Storey

Abstract

Business leaders throughout the world have suffered through very difficult times within the past several years. A global financial crisis has swept through the business community with such unspeakable force that countless businesses throughout the world have been destroyed.

Yet, is it possible that many of these failed businesses could have survived this recent financial storm? Is there a company today that could be considered a shining example of what it takes to survive and thrive in the turbulent world of business?

The purpose of this business history study was to examine key distinctive qualities of a Croatian meat company, the Gavrilovic Meat Company. Founded in the 1690's as a small family-owned butcher shop, the Gavrilovic Meat Company survived through numerous brutal wars, a myriad of political ideologies, and wrenching economic turns to become the largest meat processing company in Croatia. But how did this company do it? How did this company last through all those centuries? What are some of the key distinctive that allowed it to gain and maintain its position as a market leader not only in Croatia, but throughout the world?

Findings indicated that the Gavrilovic Meat Company placed heavy emphasis on branding its name and product portfolio. This focus on branding started back in the early 1800's, and it has continued throughout the years of chaos in Croatia. High quality and name recognition, as well as long-term tradition and heritage, have been key pillars that have allowed the Gavrilovic Meat Company to become a world-wide market leader in the meat industry.

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