Determining the presence of a long-term/short-term dilemma for SMEs when adopting strategic orientation to improve performance

Simone Didonet, Andrew Fearne, Geoff Simmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study seeks to discuss a potential ‘long-term/short-term dilemma’ for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which could cause tension when adopting two strategic orientations assumed to be complementary – market orientation (MO) and sales orientation (SO). Specifically, the objective of this study is to examine the role of MO and SO as mediators of the relationship between business approach and SME performance. An empirical study of 122 SMEs in the UK grocery sector is conducted. The results reveal that an apparent conflict or tension between market and SO seems to exist in practice. SMEs emphasise both strategic orientations as a way of framing their business approach. However, this emphasis does not hold when considering SME performance. The impact of business approach on performance only occurs through MO. There is no observable significance in the mediation of SO on this relationship. Theoretical and managerial implications for SME management literature and practice are developed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-110
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Volume38
Issue number2
Early online date3 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8705-3508 Didonet Simone Regina Federal University of Paraná, Brazil Fearne Andrew University of East Anglia, UK Simmons Geoff Queen’s University Belfast, UK Simone Regina Didonet, Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba 80210-170, Brazil. Email: simonedidonet@ufpr.br 10 2019 0266242619879369 © The Author(s) 2019 2019 SAGE Publications This study seeks to discuss a potential ‘long-term/short-term dilemma’ for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which could cause tension when adopting two strategic orientations assumed to be complementary – market orientation (MO) and sales orientation (SO). Specifically, the objective of this study is to examine the role of MO and SO as mediators of the relationship between business approach and SME performance. An empirical study of 122 SMEs in the UK grocery sector is conducted. The results reveal that an apparent conflict or tension between market and SO seems to exist in practice. SMEs emphasise both strategic orientations as a way of framing their business approach. However, this emphasis does not hold when considering SME performance. The impact of business approach on performance only occurs through MO. There is no observable significance in the mediation of SO on this relationship. Theoretical and managerial implications for SME management literature and practice are developed. market orientation sales orientation SME marketing SME performance strategic orientations Invest NI, the economic development agency for Northern Ireland edited-state corrected-proof Funding The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The research for this paper was undertaken as part of the ‘Who Buys my Food Project’ at the University of East Anglia, which is funded by Invest NI, the economic development agency for Northern Ireland. ORCID iD Simone Regina Didonet https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8705-3508

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • SME marketing
  • SME performance
  • market orientation
  • sales orientation
  • strategic orientations

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