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A Tractional Analysis Approach to the Categorisation of Corporate Marketing Behaviour

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Abstract:

This paper suggests that companies, like people, possess an 'ego'; an ontological 'inner self' which emerges from its internalised core values and affects its marketing style and activities, particularly in relation to its dealings with customers. Pareek's (1984) well-established and extensively validated 36-item instrument for assessing ego-states and life positions within individuals is adapted for completion by marketing executives in connection with the activities of their firms. Six ego-states (two parent, one adult and three child) are combined with two generic life positions (OK and not OK) to obtain twelve possible marketing styles (e.g., prescriptive, bohemian, task obsessive [all not OK]; or supportive, normative or problem-solving [all OK]). The instrument was administered to 107 companies in the UK computer supply and software industry and the results factor analysed in order to explore the relationships between a business's dominant ego-state and, inter alia, its degree of customer orientation, innovativeness, financial performance, and the likelihood of it possessing a dedicated marketing department.

Keywords: CUSTOMER ORIENTATION; ORGANISATIONAL ONTOLOGY; PAN-COMPANY MARKETING; TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725799784870397

Publication date: May 1, 1999

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