Marketing Orientation, Customer Satisfaction and Retention: the Case of the Telecommunications Services Market in Jordan
Ashour, Mohammed L.M
A great deal of attention has been devoted by researchers to examine different aspects of the relationship between marketing orientation (MO) and competitive advantage, mostly within causal relationship style research. However, the mechanisms and intermediate variables underlying this relationship remain vague and poorly investigated. Drawing upon mixed method research utilising qualitative and quantitative techniques, this study aims to offer further insight into this relationship within Jordan’s telecommunications market, focusing on customer satisfaction and customer retention as two prominent performance indicators in this market. Hence, this research set out to investigate the mechanisms and interrelationships that link marketing orientation and organisational performance, the issue that seems to be highly justified in the matured and competitive market where consumers have more choices, switching cost are decreasing and retention of the market base is becoming more and more difficult. As a case study undertaken in Jordan’s telecommunications market, the main four telecommunications operators in the market were represented. Quantitative data analysis was used to determine the variations between the main operators in the market regarding their adopted levels of marketing orientation. On the other hand, the qualitative technique - namely semi-structured interviews - represents the main instrument the study utilises to gain an in-depth insight into the relationship between marketing orientation (MO) and organisational performance. This qualitative tool enabled the researcher to construct a rich picture of the mechanisms and ways by which firms manage the different attitudinal dimensions of customer satisfaction and the behavioural dimensions of customer retention. Results of the research confirm significant variations between high- and low-marketing orientation telecommunications operators with regard to the approaches, drivers and mechanisms by which firms manage their capabilities to achieve customer satisfaction and customer retention. Thus, two different patterns were indicated which were associated with the adopted level of marketing orientation of these firms. The most important finding to come out of the research was that genuine marketing orientation is an integrated attitudinal-behavioural perspective. Hence, any deficiencies or even ignoring of any aspect will weaken a firm’s overall value creation capability, the main mission of the marketing-oriented firm. In addition, internal culture emerged as a critical success factor for marketing-oriented firms. It serves as the glue that ensures a firm’s values are adhered to, and also allows a clearer understanding of a firm’s vision and mission, which in turn resulted in the fact that these firms are more capable to translate their attitudes into practice on the ground. Moreover, the role of marketing orientation was substantial as it worked as a supportive environment that stimulates a firm’s capabilities to integrate and coordinate its resources and competencies into new ones in such a way as to enhance its overall performance as well as to achieve congruence with the changing business environment. The importance of this research stems from its nature and approach in studying the relationship between marketing orientation and organisational performance. The main issue being evaluated is different from the bulk of marketing orientation works that have focused on examining different aspects of marketing orientation and organisational performance within causal relationship-style research, and mostly within a short-run view. In contrast, this study is concerned with gaining in-depth understanding of this relationship through evaluating its mechanisms and interrelationships, the aspect that was treated as a black box in prior research.
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