International education is an important, and expanding, global industry. However, much remains unknown about the international student recruitment (ISR) industry, its key variables, and its performance outcomes. This study addresses this lack of understanding by developing and empirically
testing a conceptual model that investigates ISR performance indicators. The Strategic Orientation Performance (SOP) Model is proposed as an investigative framework. The model is a conceptual representation of the relationships proposed to exist between market orientation, learning orientation,
innovativeness, perceived external market effects, and perceived organisational performance. The study adopted a quantitative methodology using a self-administered questionnaire delivered to ISR practitioners via e-mail. Analysis, via partial least squares (PLS), provided support for the SOP
Model in the ISR context. The SOP Model extends previous orientation-performance models. Additionally, within a discordant body of market orientation literature, this study aligns with one of the dominant paradigms and, thereby, provides a strong impetus for further research. Furthermore,
future research will benefit significantly through the use of the SOP Model as a solid foundation for further discovery in this important research domain.