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“Miles ahead” – using jazz to investigate improvisation and market orientation

Noel Dennis (Teesside Business School, Middlesbrough, UK)
Michael Macaulay (Teesside Business School, Middlesbrough, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 5 June 2007

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to investigate ways in which improvisation can be used to enhance and advance market orientation.

Design/methodology/approach

The article draws upon existing market orientation literature and musical theory to extend the authors' previous work of the need for improvisation in strategic market planning (SMP) into a wider area of market orientation.

Findings

The article evinces a conceptual matrix to illustrate four basic levels of market oriented improvisation: one‐size fits all; improvisation through alternatives; single level improvisation (SLI); and multi‐level improvisation (MLI).

Practical implications

The article will demonstrate the core competences of a jazz band: musical knowledge; role definition; quasi‐autonomous leadership; open communication; and self‐reflexivity. It will discuss how these competences are directly transferable to market oriented organisations.

Originality/value

The article provides a new definition of market orientation, which posits improvisation as a central element.

Keywords

Citation

Dennis, N. and Macaulay, M. (2007), "“Miles ahead” – using jazz to investigate improvisation and market orientation", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 41 No. 5/6, pp. 608-623. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090560710737642

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited