Sectoral variations in market orientation and performance among small service firms in Botswana

Abstract

The quest for the diversification of Botswana’s mineral-led economy necessitates an examination of other performing ones such as the Tourism-Transport and Finance-Consulting small service sectors which have been identified as also contributing immensely to its economy. So, this paper investigates variations in market orientation and performance among small service firms in Botswana. In more specific terms, it involves analysis of variations with regard to tourism-transport and finance-consulting firms. Set in Botswana, data were obtained, using a respondent-completed questionnaire from 54 managers in the tourism-transport sector and 121 managers in the finance-consulting sector. Despite the focus of the study on sectoral variations among service firms in Botswana, the study makes major contributions to our understanding of market orientation-performance link. First, the overall level of market orientation varied significantly between the two sectors. Secondly, two of the three components of market orientation, namely intelligence generation and intelligence responsiveness also displayed statistically significant differences between each component and the two sectors. Thirdly, organizational commitment, team spirit and customer satisfaction were significantly different between the two sectors. These findings suggest the need for a sustained and systematic study aimed at finding out the relative importance of market orientation in different sectors. Such a study may be helpful in suggesting differentiated marketing orientation emphases that may help firms optimize their marketing budget. Notwithstanding the several scholarly works on market orientation and firm performance, the value of market orientation in sub-Saharan Africa has only begun to receive attention in Africa. Research evidence is scanty in the case of Botswana.

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