Is Market Orientation a Source of Sustainable Competitive Advantage or Simply the Cost of Competing? Academic Article uri icon


  • The authors use panel data constructed from the responses of repeatedly surveyed top managers at 261 companies regarding their firm's market orientation, along with objective performance measures, to investigate the influence of market orientation on performance for a nine-year period from 1997 to 2005. The authors measure market orientation in 1997, 2001, and 2005 and estimate it in the interval between these measurement periods. The analyses indicate that market orientation has a positive effect on business performance in both the short and the long run. However, the sustained advantage in business performance from having a market orientation is greater for the firms that are early to develop a market orientation. These firms also gain more in sales and profit than firms that are late in developing a market orientation. Firms that adopt a market orientation may also realize additional benefit in the form of a lift in sales and profit due to a carryover effect. Market orientation should have a more pronounced effect on a firm's profit than sales because a market orientation focuses efforts on customer retention rather than on acquisition. Environmental turbulence and competitive intensity moderate the main effect of market orientation on business performance, but the moderating effects are greater in the 1990s than in the 2000s. 2011, American Marketing Association.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 5.08

author list (cited authors)

  • Kumar, V., Jones, E., Venkatesan, R., & Leone, R. P.

citation count

  • 223

complete list of authors

  • Kumar, V||Jones, Eli||Venkatesan, Rajkumar||Leone, Robert P

publication date

  • January 2011