Marketing-entrepreneurship interface in small and medium size enterprises : the case of Singapore
Marketing and entrepreneurship may be described as being both sides of the same coin. Both are different and yet similar. While their focus may differ, both need to co-exist in a firm as they complement and overlap each other. However, the extent of the overlap will depend on contextual issues such as the type of economic, the stage of economic development, the type of entrepreneurial activity pursued and the strategic orientation of the firm. This research study explores the extent of the marketing-entrepreneurship interface in small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore. The choice of Singapore as the context is highly relevant for three main reasons. First, no similar study on Singapore has been done before. Second, Singapore has achieved much since her independence in 1965 and is excellent example of a successful mixed economy and relatively well-developed economy in Asia. Third, continuing efforts by the government to 'remake' Singapore by fostering entrepreneurship makes it a highly suitable context. A hybrid of qualitative and quantitative research approaches were used in this research study. The findings of this study indicate that while marketing orientation and entrepreneurial orientation are clearly related, entrepreneurial orientation appears to be more important than marketing orientation in contributing to the firm's overall performance. This does not mean that marketing is less important to the SMEs; it means that all things being equal, an entrepreneurial orientation may be more crucial to the firm's performance. This study also confirms the importance of entrepreneurship if Singapore is to continue to succeed into the future. The low-cost competitive advantage that Singapore had enjoyed in the past is being eroded as other countries in the region catch up with lower costs. Foreign Multinational Corporations (MNCs) now have many other choices of countries to invest in. Furthermore, Singapore's small population of 4 million means that there is no critical mass to provide a ready market for these MNCs. This research reinforces the need for politicians, policy planners and firms to give greater support to promoting entrepreneurship.