THE EFFECT OF STRATEGIC ORIENTATION AND GENDER ON SURVIVAL: A STUDY OF POTENTIAL MASS MERCHANDISING SUPPLIERS
TAMI L. KNOTTS
STEPHEN C. JONES
KAREN L. BROWN
While a market orientation is associated with superior performance (Narver and Slater, 1990; Kara et al., 2005), it may not be the only approach for small manufacturers (Noble et al., 2002). Our study examines whether two other orientations â production and marketing â influence the survival rate for small manufacturers wanting to supply the mass merchandising marketplace. We also investigate the impact of gender-related preferences on the continued existence of these firms.The sample for this study consisted of 1,690 small, independently-owned manufacturers who participated in an evaluation program in order to become a supplier for a major mass merchandiser. Results showed that surviving firm owners placed more emphasis on production than marketing activities, while non-surviving firm owners did the opposite. When gender was considered, male-owners showed similar preferences as the general sample, but the reverse was true for female entrepreneurs. We conclude that an exclusive focus on a market orientation may be counterproductive to a firm's long-term success. For small manufacturers in the mass merchandising industry, both a production and marketing orientation are needed to survive.
Strategic orientation, market orientation, gender, mass merchandising, supplier
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