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Evolving "New Marketing" Philosophies By Merging Existing Concepts: Application Of Process Within Small High-Technology Firms

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The important role of small high-technology firms in both job creation and new innovations capable of sustaining a country's competitive advantage has understandably caused many Governments to be interested in factors influencing the market performance of these types of firm. A potential hazard with alternative emerging theories about appropriate marketing philosophies is that polarisation of opinions may cause theorists to reject alternative perspectives despite the fact that observations of "real world" marketing practice may suggest that a hybrid managerial approach is the most appropriate response to prevailing market circumstances. If one accepts this perspective, it permits merger of the transactional, relationship and entrepreneurial schools of marketing thought; thereby generating alternative approaches to marketing practice based upon (i) conservative-transactional, (ii) conservative-relationship, (iii) entrepreneurial-transactional and (iv) entrepreneurial-relationship orientations.

Research questions which arise about a hybrid concept are whether orientation might influence overall performance and the level of internal organisational competencies required of the firm in the key areas of innovation, HRM, employee productivity and decision-making. The results of a mail survey measuring revenue growth suggest that an entrepreneurial-relationship orientation will enhance overall performance of small high-technology firms. The survey also suggests that as entrepreneurial high-technology firms move closer to customers they exhibit higher competencies in areas such as HRM, employee productivity, management of quality and utilisation of information in decision-making.

It is concluded that the research has some interesting implications concerning the appropriate marketing styles available to small, high-technology firms. As entrepreneurial and relationship marketing can enhance performance, then possibly an owner/manager seeking to increase sales may be able to select a style which seem appropriate both to the degree to which customers seek closer relationships with suppliers and the vision of the firm concerning the importance of innovation as a strategy for delivering customer satisfaction. Further research is needed in order to gain additional understanding of (a) the influence of organisational competencies on overall performance and (b) whether marketing style might influence how small high-technology firms acquire the knowledge they require to improve internal operational processes.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1998-05-01

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