A comprehensive approach to market orientation in the UK financial service sector
The last decade has witnessed a growing interest in the field of service marketing and in the financial services sector in particular. During that period, there have been many changes in the organisation of the financial services industry in the UK. Competition within the financial services industry has become a battleground for consumers' financial services expenditure. In order to survive, companies need to implement successful positioning strategies. In this context, market orientation has received considerable attention from practitioners as well as academics. This thesis examines empirically, the relationship between market orientation and business performance in the context of the financial service sector. Furthermore, this project identifies different forms of market orientation and their distinguishing characteristics in terms of performance, strategic type and information systems level in order to have a comprehensive understanding of market orientation. The unit of analysis used in this study is at the individual IFA firm level. The study results suggest a significant poistive relationship between market orientation and business performance. The effect of moderator variables on the market orientation business performance relationship was investigated, it has been ascertained that the relationship is stronger when market turbulence and technological turbulence is low. On the other hand competitive intensity had no effect on the relationship. Furthermore, four forms of market orientation were identified and labelled as fragmented orientation, customer focus orientation, comprehensive market orientation and competitive focus orientation. Each form exhibited a different market orientation profile reflected in different performance levels, strategic types and information system levels. In order to have a better understanding on each form of market orientation, four case studies were conducted each representing a different form. The targeted audience are academics as well as practitioners as the study helps firms' directors to develop strategies to improve their performance through moving from one market orientation form to another. Study limitations and future research avenues are also discussed.