The adoption of market orientation by small and medium enterprises : a grounded theory study
Date of Issue2012
College of Business (Nanyang Business School)
The adoption of a market orientation by companies and its effect on business performance has been a subject of numerous past studies. The concept of market orientation itself has received tremendous attention from both academia and the business world. However, research on market orientation has largely been conducted in the context of multi-national corporations (MNCs) and large institutions instead of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Even when SMEs were studied, such studies often too narrowly focus on a particular area of SME’s market orientation and do not offer any all-encompassing framework for future research. In view of this knowledge gap, we set out to investigate the potential factors affecting an SME’s level of market orientation through a grounded theory approach. Based on an extensive literature review, we formed an integrated preliminary framework that served as the foundation for our theory-building process. Then we conducted in-depth face-to-face interviews with Singaporean SME owners and managers, and carried out field observations by shadowing one of the SME owners for one day. Based on the qualitative data collected, we derived concrete theoretical concepts and relationships from the interview transcripts to build our final theory. Existing factors affecting an SME’s market orientation level were reviewed, modified or replaced with newly discovered ones, upon which a final framework was formed. We discuss the implications of our proposed theory for SME owners and managers as well as industry policymakers.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University