Market orientation and performance: the contingency role of external environment

  • Published June 3, 2016
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    Volume 7 2016, Issue #2, pp. 130-137
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    8 articles

In today’s business environment characterized by intense competition from globalization and incessantly changing customer needs, market orientation (MO) has been presented as a valuable approach for firms to safeguard themselves against market fluctuations and maintain continuous superior performance. Even though existing literature suggest that MO is a vital driver of business performance, some studies have failed to find its benefits. This is possibly because the MO-performance relationship is has been argued to be context specific and contingent to the business environment. This study thus had as objective to investigate the impact of MO on SME performance, as well as the moderating effects of the external environment on the MO- performance nexus. Using data from South Africa, this study showed that two of the three dimensions of MO (i.e. customer orientation, competitor focus) are significant drivers of business performance and that the MO-performance nexus is moderated by the external environmental factors. Specifically the MO-performance relationship is positively moderated by market turbulence and negative moderated by technological turbulence and competitive intensity. The study culminates with theoretical and practical implications that can be valuable for scholars and businesses operating in South Africa

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