n Management Dynamics : Journal of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists - Market orientation and mode of focus : a study of South African firms




Market-oriented firms have been described as those that apply the marketing concept, loosely interpreted to mean that they concentrate their efforts on identifying and satisfying customer needs. Other researchers, however, have emphasised that the marketing concept, as originally espoused, centred not solely on serving customers but also on creating them, and that this customer creation also requires a focus on technology.

This study utilises a framework of strategic archetypes in South African firms and then compares these firms in terms of measures of their levels of market orientation. It is found that exhibit markedly lower levels of information generation, information dissemination, responsiveness and overall market orientation than do the other archetypes. Somewhat surprisingly, however, the differences between (those that supposedly follow the marketing concept most closely) are not nearly as dramatic as the literature would have one expect. Limitations are identified, implications for management singled out, and avenues for future research highlighted.


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