Date of Award

Summer 2001

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration-Marketing

Committee Director

John B. Ford

Committee Member

Kiran Karende

Committee Member

James P. Johnson

Committee Member

Bruce L. Rubin


Theory development is essential for the health and wellbeing of marketing as it provides boundaries and a foundation for the growth of the discipline. Kohli and Jaworski's (1990, 1993) efforts provided the critical first step in the evolution of market orientation theory. However, evidence has not confirmed regularities in various industry circumstances as well as different international marketplaces. The literature is replete with a variety of different scales that have been used. Finally, the concept of market orientation is based upon the premise that such activities enhance business performance, but requisite performance measures have not been properly matched with the strategy.

The primary purpose of the dissertation was to empirically test the basic tenets of market orientation, as defined by the MARKOR construct, in an emerging market setting. While the second purpose was to cross-culturally develop a “derived etic” market-orientation scale (Douglas and Craig 2000) that would be reconciled with the MARKOR instrument. Extensive qualitative research was conducted with practitioners and academics in Argentina and Paraguay to adequately capture the domain of market orientation and firm performance measures. Through a series of iterations, Spanish language items and measures were developed that were reliable, valid and provided a basis for comparability of results.

Multiple data collection methods were employed in Argentina—email, fax, and snowball sampling—to accumulate a response rate between 19.7% and 28.9%. A mailed questionnaire produced a net response rate of 47.9% for Paraguayan participants.

The primary findings are best understood in stages. First, market orientation, as modeled by MARKOR, is positive and significantly related to firm performance in an emerging market setting. Second, the “derived etic” scale provided only marginal improvement in explaining the market orientation-firm performance (MO-FP) relationship. Third, the newly developed firm performance composite dramatically improved the explicability of the relationship in both countries.

The unique implications of the project are—MARKOR and market orientation are reliable constructs applicable in emerging markets and appropriate performance measures can enhance strategic understanding of MO-FP relationship by 100%.


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