Transition to a market orientation in China: preliminary evidence

Ian Bathgate (University of East London, London, UK)
Maktoba Omar (Napier University, Edinburgh, UK)
Sonny Nwankwo (University of East London, London, UK)
Yinan Zhang (University of East London, London, UK)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Publication date: 1 June 2006



The research objective was to assess the challenges of transition that firms face in adopting a market orientation in China, as the basis for providing a context‐specific explanation of market orientation.


A sample from the He Bei Light Industry Directory was selected by the systematic‐selection‐from‐lists procedure. The survey instrument was adapted from the widely used MARKOR scale.


Although some of the early results are consistent with those obtained in the West, an underlying lacuna needs to be addressed in order for a useful culture‐sensitive interpretation of market orientation to be offered vis‐à‐vis locale‐specific knowledge.

Research implications/limitations

While there can be little doubt that market orientation delivers superior performance in developed western economies, implementations in many transition‐economy contexts reveal a range of paradoxes, which point to some gaps in both the theory and practice of marketing.


A useful explanation of market orientation in transition economies should necessarily embed an approach that accommodates the institutional peculiarities of the environment under study, focusing the temporal, spatial and wider socio‐cultural and historical characteristics of marketing itself.



Bathgate, I., Omar, M., Nwankwo, S. and Zhang, Y. (2006), "Transition to a market orientation in China: preliminary evidence", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 332-346.

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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