This work is devoted to the question of how managers can
successfully probe latent needs and uncover future needs of
customers, labeled as proactive customer orientation. To answer this
question, three stages of research are deployed: (1) An exploratory
study investigating two different dimensions of proactive customer
orientation, (2) a quantitative study investigating consequences,
antecedents, and factors that moderate the effects of proactive
customer orientation, and (3) a qualitative study investigating
situation-specific recommendations on how to increase proactive
First, based on an observation of specialized proactive customer-oriented departments, expert interviews, workshops with managers, and a meta-analysis of existing research, two dimensions of proactive customer orientation are defined, proactive customer-oriented climate and proactive customer-oriented processes. New scales are developed for the two constructs, and the reliability, validity, and generalizability of the second-order measurement models are supported by an empirical study of 218 business-to-business firms and 202 business-to-consumers firms.
Second, detailed research hypotheses are developed and tested with a cross-industry sample of 420 key informants, 82 additional informants, and 51 customers. Using structural equation modeling and hierarchical regression, the empirical results support that proactive customer-oriented climate and proactive customer-oriented processes are positively related with exploratory innovation and exploitative innovation, customer value, and superior business performance. Furthermore, four organizational values are identified as antecedents of proactive customer orientation, and several organizational characteristics moderate the relative importance of climate and processes for innovation, customer value, and performance.
Third, a systematic change process is developed to guide managers that aim to increase their company's proactive customer orientation. More specifically, a four-step process is recommended to successfully probe latent needs and uncover future needs of customers and introduce market-based innovations. However, a cluster analysis revealed different market-based innovation strategies. Typical firms for each strategy are described and situation-specific recommendations regarding resource allocation are given.
Market Orientation, Customer Orientation, Innovation, Market Strategy
Marketing and Strategy Section, Cardiff University
|start of project||2007|
|end of project||2011|
Market Orientation, Customer Orientation, Innovation, Market
Qualitative und quantitative Methoden