Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Sme Performance: Impact of Market, Customer and Brand Orientation

Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Sme Performance: Impact of Market, Customer and Brand Orientation

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Research interests on Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) sector have increased over the period of time (Islam et al., 2011). In developing countries, a larger portion of the private businesses belongs to Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) (Beck & DemirgucKunt, 2006). For the last three decades, SMEs have been the center of attention for the researchers as small businesses have fuelled the economic growth of a country (Ribeiro-Soriano, 2015). SMEs have been well recognized for its contributory role in creating new jobs and generating supplementary financial capital for businesses (Gilmore, 2011). Similarly, the significance of SMEs has received exclusive importance in elevating poverty through employment generation in Bangladesh, a developing country. SMEs have contributed 40 percent in employment creation in Bangladeshi economy (Chowdhury et al., 2013). Analytical policy report of the central bank of Bangladesh named as Bangladesh Bank stated that SME growth and rural infrastructural development are prerequisite for the sustainable economic growth of the country. The overall contribution of SMEs is about 6.60 percent in aggregate GDP of Bangladesh in the fiscal period of 2013-2014 (Bangladesh Economic Review, 2014). To date, no studies have ever been conducted to examine the impact of market, customer and brand orientation at the same time on performance of Bangladeshi SME firms.

The role of SMEs in Bangladesh has been salient in eradicating poverty, followed by economic development; whereas very few studies have focused on SME performance in Bangladesh (Sarker & Palit, 2015). Osuagwu (2006) postulated that some scholarly debates exist in context of applying marketing concept and theory in developing economies. On the basis of the extensive literature review, it is well surmised that marketing activity-oriented studies have merely been conducted in SME sector in developing economies like Bangladesh. On the other hand, SMEs related studies have mainly focused on the potentials and constraint of the development of SME sector rather discussing on the integration of market, customer and brand orientation on the SME firm performance. According to Chandrakumara et al. (2011), focusing on the effect of multi-diversified orientations on firm performance in developing countries is needed to be investigated. Li et al. (2008) suggested that SMEs need to balance their strategic activities with a view to fast changing market environment, with a demand to satisfy customer needs. On the other hand, marketing activities of a firm plays a powerful role in furthering firm success, in which customer orientation remains the centre of attention (Maurya et al., 2015). Since rare studies have concentrated on the effect of marketing related variables on SME performance in Bangladeshi context, this current research gap has induced and motivated the writers of this study to simultaneously investigate the impact of market, customer and brand orientation on SME firm performance in Bangladesh. Therefore, this present research study aspires to investigate the impact of Market Orientation (MO), Customer Orientation (CO) and Brand Orientation (BO) on the SME firm performance in Bangladeshi context.

LITERATURE REVIEW AND HYPOTHESES DEVELOPMENT

Market Orientation (MO) is regarded as a fundament of the marketing concept and notable for contributing to different models of business performance (Kirca et al., 2005). The well acknowledged concept of "Market Orientation" was developed by both Narver and Slater (1990) and Kohli and Jaworski (1990); in which both of them explicated MO as a vital factor for firm's success. In the research article, Narver and Slater (1990) described market orientation (MO) as "the organization culture that most effectively and efficiently creates the necessary behaviours of the creation of superior value for buyers and, thus, continuous superior performance for the business'". Simultaneously, Kohli and Jaworski (1990) coined MO as "the organization-wide generation of market intelligence pertaining to current and future customer needs, dissemination of intelligence across departments and organization-wide responsiveness to if". …

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