Market orientation, managerial perceptions, and corporate culture in an emerging market: Evidence from Turkeyby Attila Yaprak, Burcu Tasoluk, Cenk Kocas

International Business Review


Finance / Business and International Management / Marketing


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International Business Review xxx (2014) xxx–xxx as i ve b rket n th

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IBR-1147; No. of Pages 14

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

International Bu jo u rn al h om epag e: ww w.els1. Introduction

Market orientation (MO) has inspired a rich literature stream in marketing and organizational behavior recently. Studies, particularly meta-analyses, have shown that MO has become central in marketing strategic thinking because a positive relationship exists between MO and firm performance (FP) (Kirca, Jayachandran, &

Bearden, 2005). Most of these studies have involved firms in developed markets, however. One area that remains underresearched in this literature stream has been that related to the adoption and implementation of MO as a culture and strategic orientation in the rapidly evolving emerging markets (EMs). This is surprising because EMs have become attractive havens for marketers recently with their brand-hungry middle classes with voracious appetites for consumer goods (Kravets & Sandikci, 2014) and institutional voids that marketers can fill with more marketresponsive strategies (Khanna & Palepu, 2010).

There is also evidence that executive managers at many EM firms are eager to infuse MO mindsets in their functional and customer-level managers (Bodlaj, 2012) to instill in them a more sophisticated understanding of MO’s significance in the evolution and functioning of their firms and markets. While these managers realize that this cultural transformation will require persistent time and effort that is not immediately rewarding (Gebhardt,

Carpenter, & Sherry, 2006; Nakata, 2002), they feel that diffusing a

MO throughout their corporate network is essential in developing a sustainable competitive advantage (SCA), exploring and exploiting new market opportunities, and eventually competing effectively with more advanced rivals (Bodlaj, 2012). Indeed, as the dozen or so studies that have focused on MO in EM market contexts suggest (see for example, Bodlaj, 2012; Deng & Dart, 1999; Qu &

Ennew, 2005; Li, Sun, & Liu, 2006; Wei & Atuahene-Gima, 2009;

Zhou, Yim, & Tse, 2005; Deshpande, Farley, & Webster, 1993;

Deshpande & Farley, 2004), EM firms today want to become more

MO and customer-driven to create and deliver the kind of superior customer value that consumers demand the world over (Hult, 2011) and assure greater customer satisfaction and loyalty in the longer term (Blocker, Flint, Myers, & Slater, 2011).

Studies on MO suggest that adoption of MO mindsets is essential at multiple layers of management in the organization. * Corresponding author. Tel.: +01 734 883 8558; fax: +01 313 5775486.

E-mail addresses:, (A. Yaprak), (B. Tasoluk), (C. Kocas).

Available online xxx


Corporate culture

Emerging markets

Market orientation and EM firms’ national and corporate cultures will likely influence how MO is perceived as practiced by different levels and functional areas of managers. In this paper, we focus on this phenomenon by empirically testing whether and the extent to which managerial perceptions of MO vary across functions, managerial levels, and company cultures in one EM setting, Turkey. Based on responses gathered from 587 managers employed in 14 separate businesses spread across the different SBUs composing a diversified conglomerate, our results indicate that MO perceptions embedded in the focal firm will vary by level of management and by function. Our findings also indicate that organizational culture contexts that inspire adaptability, cohesiveness, participation, and sense of family may be more conducive to creating higher levels of MO perceptions in EM managers. We discuss these findings and offer avenues for future research.  2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. 0969-5931/ 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.Market orientation, managerial percept an emerging market: Evidence from Tu

Attila Yaprak a,*, Burcu Tasoluk b, Cenk Kocas b aDepartment of Marketing, Wayne State University, School of Business Administration, P b Sabanci University, Sabanci School of Management, 34956 Istanbul, Turkey


Article history:

Received 1 July 2013

Received in revised form 3 October 2014

Accepted 3 October 2014


Market orientation (MO) h

Many of these studies ha focusing on emerging ma may be quite different thaPlease cite this article in press as: Yaprak, A., et al. Market orientatio market: Evidence from Turkey. International Business Review (2014)ns, and corporate culture in ey is Building, 5201 Cass Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202, United States nspired a rich literature in marketing and organizational behavior recently. een conducted in developed market contexts, however, with only a few s (EM). The way MO is perceived and implemented by managers in EMs ose in developed markets. The institutional contexts typically found in EMs siness Review evier .c o m/lo cat e/ ibu s revn, managerial perceptions, and corporate culture in an emerging ,

A. Yaprak et al. / International Business Review xxx (2014) xxx–xxx2

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IBR-1147; No. of Pages 14Lam, Kraus, & Ahearne (2010) advocate that while top management commitment remains the strongest predictor of organization-wide MO, work-group socialization, that is social learning among layers of managers, is equally critical in the dissemination of customer-oriented strategies. Through their MO actions, top managers serve as role models to formal middle managers and work-group expert peers; and in turn, these conductors of market and customer-related orientations, become role models of MO behaviors to lower-level employees. Thus, it is important to identify who in the organization (e.g., middle managers, lowerlevel managers) will serve most effectively as envoys of top management in assuring the effective diffusion and implementation of MO throughout the firm (Lam et al., 2010). Bodlaj (2012) suggests that the diffusion of MO across layers of managers, and across different functional managers matter, especially in transitioning economies, since general managers need to assure throughout their organizations that achieving higher levels of