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Market orientation in a developing economy public institution: Revisiting the Kohli and Jaworski's framework

Mohammed A. Mahmoud (Department of Marketing and Customer Management, University of Ghana Business School, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana)
Robert E. Hinson (University of the Free State Business School, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 24 February 2012




The aim of this study is to generate insights into whether market orientation – as defined by Kohli and Jaworski – is being practiced in the Ghanaian public sector.


Based on a case‐study of a local government, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (the Assembly), semi‐structured interviews were conducted with departmental heads and their assistants to collect data. A total of 14 key informants participated in the interviews, and this sample size compared favourably with prior qualitative studies.


The assembly collects intelligence on citizens' present needs, their earning potential and the political and technological environment, ignoring citizens' satisfaction with development projects. Meetings are regularly held by the various units in the Assembly to share and discuss the generated intelligence, yet one can see little consideration of citizens' needs and their satisfaction with projects in these discussions.

Research limitations/implications

Further research into local governments across multiple regions in Ghana, or from a range of countries within Sub‐Saharan Africa, could provide an opportunity for greater generalisability of the results.

Practical implications

Local authorities must develop formal procedures for monitoring citizens' satisfaction with services, programmes and development projects. There is need to harness the intelligence inherent among staff with the use of focused communication or knowledge management strategies.


Recent efforts to extend market orientation application to the public sector have over‐concentrated on western countries. Based upon empirical evidence from a non‐western (Ghanaian) context, this study further assuages fears that market orientation may not be applicable to public institutions like local government.



Mahmoud, M.A. and Hinson, R.E. (2012), "Market orientation in a developing economy public institution: Revisiting the Kohli and Jaworski's framework", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 88-102.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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