When Marketing Dare Not Speak Its Name: Understanding Market Orientation in Chinese NGOs

Melanie W.Y. Lee, Allan K K CHAN, Gerard P PRENDERGAST*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The market orientation construct has proven to be of value to profit-seeking firms. It ought to be of value to NGOs too. Some previous research has been done to facilitate understanding of market orientation in NGOs, but the methodologies used have mostly been quantitative, and nothing is known about the market orientation of Chinese NGOs. To address this research gap, a qualitative case study methodology was used to develop a deeper understanding of how market orientation is practiced among NGOs in Hong Kong (China). Mapping with previous studies, the research found that three factors together explained the varying degrees of market orientation in the NGOs studied: senior management factors, organizational and institutional factors, and structural and system factors. But more importantly, an NGO’s funding base was found to moderate the relationship between these antecedents and an organization’s market orientation. The more that the NGO relies on public funding or a small number of funders the weaker the influence of the antecedents on market orientation. The more that the NGO relies on private funders, a diversified group of funders, or self-funding, the stronger the influence of the antecedents on market orientation, and the closer its understanding of market orientation is likely to be to that of a commercial entity. The article finishes with a substantive theoretical model for market orientation in the Chinese NGO context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-337
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Marketing

User-Defined Keywords

  • Case study
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • market orientation
  • NGO

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