Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (PhD)

Degree Level






Committee Member

W. R. Morrison

Second Committee Member

C. R. Berry

Third Committee Member

C. P. Rao


Contemporary business firm, managerial planning, evaluating information, marketing strategy


The objectives of the study were: (1) to evaluate the processed farm-cultured catfish business in its embryonic stage during 1968 in terms of a systematic managerial planning model (MPH); (2) to focus on the managerial strategy of market segmentation and determine the relationships between the number of processed farm-cultured catfish sales and selected economic and socio-economic determinants or consumer market behavior. From the evaluation of the processed farm-cultured catfish business as it existed in 1968, it was suggestive that the planning process was not implemented thoroughly. Several areas exhibited weaknesses or unfavorable influence that were deterrents to the success of processed farm-cultured catfish production. The weak and unfavorable planning areas encompassed management availability and quality and the environmental factors of marketing competition, regional preference, race, age composition of household, occupational groups, formal education of the homemaker, and religious preference or prospective customers. To accomplish the task of focusing on the managerial strategy of segmenting the processed farm-cultured catfish market, the metropolitan areas of Little Rock and North Little Rock, Arkansas, were selected to provide the sample data. Two experimental techniques were used to measure variations in consumer behavior. They were: a matched-lot experimental design and a personal interview survey. Altogether, 246 purchasers of farm-cultured catfish and 235 non—purchasers were sampled in six Kroger Company super-markets. Nonparametric statistical tests were employed to measure and analyze differences in consumer actions, opinions, and attitudes toward farm-cultured catfish.

Among the more important suggestive inferences that were drawn from this analysis were:

(a) The substantially higher rate of sales to households in the high income status coincident with product satisfaction within the various income status groups suggested that to increase sales, promotions of processed farm- cultured catfish should be directed at the higher income segment of the market.

(b) The form or forms of processed farm-cultured catfish necessary for maximum market penetration as suggested by sales and preference for and greater satisfaction with were: (1) fresh whole fish (2) fresh steaks.

(c) Variations in sales of and the favorableness toward farm- cultured catfish in the social groupings suggested to the processed farm-cultured catfish industry the market segments with more homogeneous purchasing habits and attitudes thus giving them a means of pinpointing the potential target market for their product.

The selected economic and social determinants of consumer behavior analyzed are not all inclusive since interrelatedness exists among many of the determinants examined; however, implications are that short range planning of the processed catfish business should be directed to increasing consumer demand for their product through marketing programs directed toward one or a combination of favorable economic and social household or family determinants of consumer behavior rather than through product improvement or differentiation.