Shelter in the storm: marketing strategy as moderated by the hostile environment

Steven Ward (School of Business, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Perth, Australia)
Aleksandra Lewandowska (School of Business, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Perth, Australia)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Publication date: 1 December 2005



To assess which components of the marketing orientation, along with the new measure societal marketing orientation, predict the performance of the firm and which are moderated by the environment.


Survey research in 1999 and hierarchical regression of 81 items.


Competitor‐based strategy has a more positive impact on firm's performance than the market‐based alternative. Its effectiveness is enhanced by the degree of competitive turbulence in the environment – as, for example, in Singapore in 1999. Societal marketing strategies, while morally appealing, are negatively associated with performance, and further negatively moderated by competitive hostility. The study found no support for the association between market orientation and performance.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are limited somewhat by the size and nature of the sample and the low response rate, though these compare well with other studies in the field. The research shows the importance of the business environment as a moderator of the performance of business strategies.

Practical implications

Marketing intelligence gatherers and strategists should take note that choice of an appropriate business strategy is moderated by the environment. Market‐based business strategies are not necessarily the most effective.


Apart from the main findings, introduces an important measure of a firm's societal orientation.



Ward, S. and Lewandowska, A. (2005), "Shelter in the storm: marketing strategy as moderated by the hostile environment", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 23 No. 7, pp. 670-687.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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