Market-orientation of Tanzanian banking institutions : a case of CRDB Bank
The thrust of this research is the "MARKET-ORIENTATION OF TANZANIAN BANKING INSTITUTIONS: A CASE STUDY OF CRDB BANK". Being the first of its kind within the context of the study, it is largely an exploratory study on the marketorientation (MO) with twin purposes of: (a) examining the extent of MO in CRDB Bank as perceived by employees and (b) exploring the development and implementation of MO culture in the bank, with a special focus on the facilitating and hindering factors. Emanating from these purposes are four main objectives of the research that underpinned the research namely (1) to explore the existing marketing philosophies in the bank, (2) to measure the employees perceived level of MO and its constituent dimensions, including the development of the MO scale that is suitable to a banking institution, (3) to explore whether the perception of the level of MO differs according to the following attributes (a) hierarchical levels of the organisation (top, middle and lower management and between head office and branches offices of the bank), (b) employee-specific(personal) attributes(c) size of branches ( large, medium and small), (d) location of branches ( between those in competitive areas and in least competitive areas) and (e) profitability performance ( between above-median and below-median performing branches), and (4) to explore the facilitating and hindering factors for the development and implementation of MO in CRDB Bank and Tanzanian financial sector in general. The main methodology used in this research is a case study. This enabled us to use method triangulation, whereby both qualitative and quantitative methods were used. Principally, we applied the following research tools/techniques in data gathering: interviews, documentary analysis, survey questionnaire and personal observation. The field research involved two phases. The first was a pilot study that entailed conducting discovery-oriented interviews with 9 bankers in six banks. The second phase was conducting the substantive research in CRDB Bank. The findings of the study are fascinating and may have far- reaching implications both in terms of theory and practice. From a themantic dimension, we successfully reconceptualised MO, by developing a scale for measuring the extended MO. We clarified this as the Simultaneous Market orientation, SMO, which composes five key dimensions: external customer-orientation, competitor-orientation, interfunctional orientation, internal 111 customer-orientation and profit-orientation. The scale was tested and validated for its psychometric properties. In other words, the SMO scale was found, reliable and valid, implying that the five components fully represented the SMO. External customerorientation and profit-orientation were ranked as first and second most important dimension of SMO in the bank. Competitor-orientation, interfunctional co-ordination and internal customer-orientation were ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively. From the practice perspective, our findings indicates that marketing-orientation and salesorientation are the dominant marketing philosophies, while production-orientation and societal marketing-orientation are the less marketing philosophies. This in practice indicates a co-existence of different marketing philosophies in the organisation contrary to the main stream literature exhortations. Also, the research revealed an integration perspective of employees on SMO culture. Essentially, this has established the importance of internal customer-orientation in influencing or leading to employees' participation, morale, training, job satisfaction and retention as a critical determinants of successful SMO implementation. Furthermore, we have identified the main facilitative and hindering factors for the development and implementation of MO in the specific context of CRDB bank and the Tanzanian financial sector in general. These antecedent factors have a profound effect on MO implementation. In general, our findings have set a solid base and raised issues that are likely to chart the future direction of MO situation not only in Tanzania, but also in other African countries that are undergoing market-driven transformation of their economies. The main public policy implication of this study is that there is a need to strengthen the macroenvironment and to mount public education in order to foster MO behaviour and practice. Similarly, at the management level, there is a need for effective and adequate management leadership and support for adoption and implementation of MO culture and the need for sustained or continuous changes given the emergent internal and external environment. The essential role of informed "change agents" in fostering MO could not be discounted.