The Diffusion of Market Orientation Throughout the Organization: A Social Learning Theory Perspective

Journal of Marketing, Forthcoming

56 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2010

See all articles by Son K. Lam

Son K. Lam

University of Georgia - Department of Marketing

Florian Kraus

University of Mannheim

Michael Ahearne

University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business

Date Written: April 5, 2010

Abstract

This study examines the diffusion of market orientation as a social learning process to acquire and transfer individual-level market orientation. Central to the diffusion are important work-group members, or envoys. Through their market-oriented action, top managers serve as market-oriented role models to two important types of observers in work groups — formal middle managers and work-group expert peers. These observers in turn become top managers’ envoys to role-model market oriented behavior to frontline employees. Empirical results from a three-level data set from a Fortune 500 company support this perspective. While envoys that are neither market oriented nor identified with the firm are the worst, envoys that are not market oriented but are strongly identified with the firm are also detrimental. Network size hinders the informal route of learning through expert peers but not the formal route through middle managers. By identifying whom the important work-group envoys are and under what conditions certain envoys are likely to be most effective, this study helps managers select the most effective envoys to implement market orientation.

Keywords: market orientation, customer orientation, internal marketing, organizational

JEL Classification: M3

Suggested Citation

Lam, Son K. and Kraus, Florian and Ahearne, Michael, The Diffusion of Market Orientation Throughout the Organization: A Social Learning Theory Perspective (April 5, 2010). Journal of Marketing, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1584646 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1584646

Son K. Lam

University of Georgia - Department of Marketing ( email )

GA
United States

Florian Kraus

University of Mannheim ( email )

Germany
+49.621.181 2662 (Phone)
+49.621.181 2672 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://kraus.bwl.uni-mannheim.de/de/team/prof_dr_florian_kraus/

Michael Ahearne (Contact Author)

University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business ( email )

334 Melcher Hall
Houston, TX 77204-6021
United States
713-743-4155 (Phone)
713-743-4572 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.bauer.uh.edu/Directory/profile.asp?firstname=Michael&lastname=Ahearne

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
331
Abstract Views
2,016
rank
97,210
PlumX Metrics