Inter-firm Market Orientation: Its Significance and Antecedents in Distribution Networks

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It is often argued that competition takes place between networks or value chains, rather than between individual companies. This means that market orientation needs to be recognised at this level, in order to understand how an inter-firm network can become more competitive and effective in serving its final market. Still, market orientation has been analysed only as a property of individual companies. This paper stresses the importance of recognising market orientation on a network level and as an inter-firm phenomenon. The notion of inter-firm market orientation, i.e.joint activities by firms that make a network more sensitive to market demands, is thus suggested. A framework is presented that discusses the meaning and content of inter-firm market orientation in a distribution network, and how it is influenced by different network and relationship characteristics. The framework is based on previous research on market orientation, inter-firm networks and relationships.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2002

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