Postprint version. Published in Journal of Market Focused Management, Volume 2, Issue 3, September 1, 1998, pages 241-255. Copyright 1998 Springer. The definitive version can be found online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1009703717144.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Brian Tietje was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
A market orientation is a business culture in which all employees are committed to the continuous creation of superior value for customers. However, businesses report limited success in developing such a culture. One approach to create a market orientation, the approach taken by most businesses, is the “programmatic” approach, an a priori approach in which a business uses education programs and organizational changes to attempt to implant the desired norm of continuously creating superior value for customers. A second approach is the “market-back” approach, an experiential approach in which a business continuously learns from its day-to-day efforts to create and maintain superior value for customers and thereby continuously develops and adapts its customer-value skills, resources, and procedures. Theory suggests that both approaches contribute to increasing a market orientation. It also suggests that when the a priori education of the programmatic approach is sharply focused on providing a foundation for the experiential learning, the combined effect of the two learning strategies is the largest. The implication is that the two strategies must be tailored and managed as a coordinated joint strategy for creating a market orientation.