An examination of the influence of market-oriented behaviours on the layers of organisational culture
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Examines the Influence that Market-Oriented behaviours have on the layers of an organisation’s culture: namely, its values, norms and artifacts. Since the early 1980s there has been a surge of research in the area of Market Orientation from which two perspectives of this concept have transpired: namely, a Cultural Perspective and a Behavioural Perspective. The traditional and widely supported Cultural Perspective of Market Orientation is of the belief that culture drives behaviour(s) in organisations. However, in recent years, this perspective has been challenged by an emerging Behavioural Approach to Market Orientation, which is of the belief that behaviours create and drive Organisational Culture. This thesis considers a causal relationship between Market-Oriented behaviour and Market-Oriented culture. The relationships between Market-Oriented behaviours and the three specific layers of an organisation’s culture (i.e. values, norms and artifacts) have remained unexplored from this perspective. Consequently, the role that behaviours play in creating and driving the specific culture of Market Orientation was unclear. Adopting a large-scale (n = 952) quantitative survey by questionnaire, this study examines the identified research gap. Correlation analysis identifies a positive relationship in all three cases: increases in Market-Oriented behaviours are associated with increases in cultural values (r = .48), norms (r = .64) and artifacts (r = .45). Moreover, multiple regression analysis demonstrates that, the higher the degree of Market-Oriented behaviour, the higher an organisation is likely to score on its values, norms and artifacts overall. In all, the research findings indicate that Market-Oriented behaviours have a positive influence on all three layers of an organisation’s culture, particularly its norms (R2 = 32.4%), thus influencing Organisational Culture as a whole. Supported by the literature, these findings theoretically imply that Market-Oriented behaviour may be an antecedent and, ultimately, the inception of a Market-Oriented Organisational Culture. Consequently, this study concludes that the Behavioural Approach to Market Orientation, and Market-Oriented behaviour in general, is worthy of much more consideration and attention than it has previously been awarded in the literature Drawing on these research findings, clear and practical guidance is offered to managers who are seeking to actively change their organisation’s culture and/or become MarketOriented. In such a case, managers are advised to employ Market Orientation as a behavioural construct, rather than the cultural construct that has dominated the literature, and use this as their starting point. It is recommended that managers assess the degree to which they engage in the relevant behaviours and, then, proactively work to strengthen this degree. Strong implementation of the relevant behaviours will encourage corresponding values, norms and artifacts to transpire, ultimately embedding a MarketOriented Organisational Culture. This is desirable as a strong, positive connection between Market Orientation and organisational performance is now widely recognised in the literature.
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