Although market orientation has been investigated in numerous studies, its complex relationship with design orientation lacks research attention, especially in countries with transitional economies. Therefore, existing models of market orientation (MO) and design orientation (DO) have been investigated. The research has been executed in several stages, combining qualitative and quantitative methods. In the first, qualitative stage, a series of face-to-face in-depth interviews were conducted. In the second, quantitative stage, an Internet survey was conducted among managers and CEOs from Croatian companies in different industries. Partial Least Square and Structural Equation Modelling analyses were conducted to examine the relationships between variables of MO and DO. Results confirm the positive relationship between design orientation and market orientation. Further, results also confirm sub-hypotheses that customer orientation and strategic marketing are positively related to all dimensions of design orientation. The model could have implications for marketers, designers and managers in practice. Both concepts, MO and DO, are very complex and multidimensional, so it was not possible to investigate all the aspects of the constructs. Another limitation of the study was the sample size, as a result of a low response rate as well as a relatively high drop-out rate. The research contributes to theory highlighting the role of design as an important element of market orientation.
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