Although there has been much academic discussion of employee behaviours as potential barriers to market orientation, comparatively little attention has been focused on organizational barriers to market orientation. No single study has undertaken a holistic review of structural, strategic and systems impediments. The aim of this paper is to extend and synthesize existing research into the obstacles to market orientation by performing a holistic analysis of the organizational characteristics which influence the extent of market orientation in an organization. This paper begins with a brief review of existing research into the barriers to developing market orientation. After a discussion of research design and methodology, the summary findings of three in‐depth case studies are presented and eight hypotheses are forwarded. Thereafter, the results of a survey of organizational barriers to market orientation are presented and the findings are discussed. The paper concludes with a number of implications for both strategic marketing and management theory and practice.
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