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Organisational antecedents of market orientation in the public university system

Carlos Flavián (Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain)
Javier Lozano (Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 1 August 2006

Abstract

Purpose

Over recent years, the new public management system has made significant inroads in Spain, and brought about considerable change. This study seeks to analyse the application of market orientation theories in the context of the Spanish public university. More specifically, the paper aims to study the causal relationship between organisational factors which characterise University departments and the level of market orientation adopted by their teaching staff.

Design/methodology/approach

Considering the particularities of this context an exhaustive process is followed to develop the appropriate scales to measure the different constructs studied; then the psychometric properties of these scales are checked and structural equation models applied to analyse the causal relationship between the level of market orientation adopted by the teachers and their antecedent factors.

Findings

The results of the study allow one to identify and confirm that several factors significantly condition the level of market orientation adopted by the University staff in their activities of teaching, research and cultural diffusion.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis is centred on the case of the Spanish public University system.

Practical implications

University managers should take measures to increase the market orientation of departments. It is necessary to improve knowledge of society's needs, to develop an atmosphere of cohesion and an incentive system that motivates market‐oriented behaviours.

Originality/value

In this paper the market orientation concept is applied to a public service such as the University. The particular characteristics of this context called for an ad hoc re‐adaptation of the concept. Specifically, the design of the scale and its contents had to take into account the plurality of the higher education beneficiaries (students, companies, the administration, society), the three‐fold objectives of the teaching staff (teaching, research, and cultural diffusion) and the particularities of University departments.

Keywords

Citation

Flavián, C. and Lozano, J. (2006), "Organisational antecedents of market orientation in the public university system", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 19 No. 5, pp. 447-467. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513550610677771

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited