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Paper info: How Does Market Orientation Affect Business Relationships?


How Does Market Orientation Affect Business Relationships?


Achim Walter, Gabriele Helfert and
Thomas Ritter
Copenhagen Business School
Thomas Ritter

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 17th IMP-conference in Oslo, Norway in 2001.


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Many studies have shown that market orientation is important for firms because it has apositive impact on performance. However, several studies have indicated that the relationbetween a firm's market orientation and its success is sometimes weak and that moderatingvariables need to be considered at least under certain circumstances. As such the overallmessage from the market orientation studies is not clear. The usefulness of the marketorientation concept must be also questioned when looking at the realities of business markets.In most if not all cases the firms? 'surroundings? should be seen as a network of interorganizationalrelationships rather then an anonymous market. Therefore, in this paper thenotion of market orientation is explored with particular focus on inter-organizationalrelationships. Hereby, it is argued that the relationships are important and that the overallmarket orientation of firms needs to be translated to a relationship level in order to beeffective. It is further argued that market orientation on a relationship level can be interpretedin terms of a firm's employed resources and executed activities dedicated to relationalexchange processes.