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Different organisations have different cultures. The belief that organisations might possess specific cultures is found to be scattered based on business policies and strategies adopted. It has been identified that the market orientation of a firm is dependent on the culture built within an organisation as it integrates into the marketing strategies of the organisation to generate value for the consumers as well as for the organisation that affects the performance of their business. The basic aim of this essay is thus three-fold.
First to evaluate market orientation concerning the organisational culture of a firm and its effect on the performance of the business; Second, relate these points with customer-led business characteristics as well as the involved processes to maintain and create a competitive advantage for the firm. The third aim is to identify the impact of organisational culture on business performances and buyer behaviour. This essay puts forward an integrative perception of organisational culture as a beneficial metaphor to study market orientation.
The organisational culture is based on shared beliefs, values and assumptions regarding the way individuals should interact and behave as well as how work activities and decision making should be carried out (CMI, 2015). It has also been measured that organisational culture is an assumption that is always taken for granted and an individual’s behaviour that makes sense in an organisational context. It greatly contributes to the reactions and behaviour of a group of individuals to the problems they face.
Organisational culture is therefore found to have a significant impact on organisational strategy development. Though, it has been seen that powerful cultures of organisations are one of the most significant strategic possessions as it serves as the core of all the implementation and creation of strategies (Elsmore, 2017).
Every organisation has its own particular culture and personality as individuals living in a society. Organisational culture has been of great importance but it is found to be invisible in a group of individuals who are working together but it acts as an influential force that impacts the behaviours of the group members (Eric, 2018).
Organisational culture is also known as corporate culture and it is comprised of numerous elements; the flow of power and information throughout the hierarchy, the extent of freedom in terms of decision making, employee’s commitment towards shared objectives as well as organisational ways to conduct and treat their business and employees. It has been observed that the culture of an organisation has a great effect on the performance and productivity of an organisation.
Characteristics of creating a customer-led business
Successful businesses are those which can stay customer-focused in whatever they do. Such type of business is named 3D businesses as they are “Demonstrably and Dramatically Different” from their respective rivals whereas these businesses do not only meet the expectations of consumers but also try to exceed them and thus creating a loyal customer (Hanselman, 2018).
Characteristics to establish a customer-oriented business are stated below:
Response Speed: They are very quick to respond to the customer by any means.
Easy: They create easy means of purchasing both offline and online
Spontaneous planning and exceeding expectations
Empower staff: They empower their employees to act smartly and take an initiative to exceed the expectations of the customers
Handle disappointment: They consistently as well as proactively spot and gracefully deal with customer disappointment
Equip their staff: They ensure that their staff is fully equipped with skills, attitudes and respective tools to perform their tasks.
Spot and eradicate blockages: They identify touchpoints of the customer and eliminate them to undermine the buyer experience
To create a customer-led business, a company should be customer-oriented and its integral focus should be increasing its customer base through internal communications, discussions as well as team meetings.
The process of maintaining a customer-led business
To withstand consumer focus, companies need to make sure that employee and consumer feedback is steady along with the alignment of brand value according to the needs of employers and consumers. The significance of strong consumer-oriented behaviours and values along with continuing feedback will offer a framework according to which employers can evaluate performance, hire staff, propose career development strategies as well as compensate for consumer-oriented behaviour thus it will assist in creating a customer-led organisational culture that will deliver concerning customers vision.
Eventually, the impact of applying this approach and shifting from consumer strategy to consumer culture can be estimated by the increased number of reliable customers, balanced records, the progress of business and profitability. However, to maintain a customer-led organisation, the following steps should be taken into consideration: (Customer Champions, 2019).
- Organisation orientation
- Senior members of the team need to check if their behaviour is in line with the commitment to the customer vision or not.
- Consider working on relationship building as well as encouraging internal communications in the organisation
- Customer Journey Mapping should be practised.
- Conduction of training in the context of consumer needs as well as consumer benefits.
- Organisations should be customer-oriented
- Customer feedback values should be maximized.
To create a customer-focused organisation, the services, quality and competent skills should be based on customers to create a competitive advantage (MacDonald, 2019).
Theories of organisational culture and buyer behaviour
Some organisational culture theories and models are present which have a great influence on the performance of the business as well as on the consumer buying behaviour. As it can be seen that CCT (Consumer Culture Theory) has been identified as an interdisciplinary research field which is oriented to develop an enhanced understanding of what and why the consumers do and why consumer culture transforms in the form it does.
However, theorists have emphasized more comprehending the relationship between several economic, institutional, symbolic as well as social relations while evaluating their impacts on consumers, society, market place and other institutions (Arnould and Thompson, 2005).
Moreover, it has been observed that the majority of the consumer behavioural aspects are found to be culture-bound. It has been seen that the Hofstede model of culture analyses cultural associations with personality, self as well as and attitude which form the ground of consuming behaviour models, advertising as well as branding strategies. Hofstede’s model is usually applied to elaborate these variances (Mooij, 2015).
Harrison presented a model of culture in 1972 organisational culture is mainly distributed into four respective categories; task, power, role and individual culture which affects the business performance on the whole and helps an organisation to achieve its main aim.
Influence of organisational culture on buyers’ behaviour and business performance
It has been indicated that by emphasizing more on employee participation and information, higher business performance can be achieved. However, to reveal a high level of confidence among employees, a positive impact can be exerted by the managers on the performance of the company’s business. This way the organisational culture becomes economically significant. Moreover, to achieve a successful management process in any kind of organisation, supportive culture is essentially required.
As cultural changes take time to happen and cannot be achieved on short notice, thus to sustain and establish an effective organisational culture, fastening the business process on the entire hierarchical levels should be frequently pursued. Furthermore, it has also been evident that to drive a forward strategic orientation, management, as well as structural conditions, are found to contribute to superior business performance (Moormann and Grau, 2017).
Corporate culture is one of the top drivers to improve the value of a firm. Customer-led organisational culture will increase performance, and productivity as well as result in greater customer experience (Price, 2017). Organisations should be aware of the effects that corporate culture has on customer experience or their buying behaviour thus companies should emphasize the below-mentioned points to create a workplace that will consistently deliver a positive experience and in return company will get positive buyer behaviours. Below stated are some means by which organisational culture can influence buyer behaviour as well as their experience.
- Instead of being a profit-driven organisation, a firm needs to cultivate a satisfactory and happy culture for its employees as it will result in employees who will value their buyers which will eventually affect the buying behaviour of customers.
- Using customer satisfaction as a tool for on-job success has been identified as one of the definite ways to ensure great buyer behaviour.
- Establishing an organisational culture with friendly competition among employees will enable a company to offer a great customer experience and hence improve buyer behaviour.
- Employee empowerment allows them to take an initiative, take charge and solve customer related issues to create a positive impact on the company and thus improve the buying behaviour of the customers. (Colquitt et al., 2011).
The internal factors of an organisation that influence buyers’ decisions are their certain aims and objectives which need to be accepted by the systems and producer in terms of buying as well as a suitable organisational structure. These factors are found to directly or indirectly influence buying decisions. However, the aims of a firm affect the required product types of the firm as well as the particular criteria employing which it analyses purchases.
Moreover, informal organisational relations concerning various positions within a buyer organisation might influence decisions of buying. Generally, centralized organisational structures are used in family-owned companies where the family’s consent is needed for purchase decisions which is one of the reasons behind delaying buying decisions. Furthermore, policies similar to inventory procedures and holding such as bidding or payment is also identified to influence buying decisions of organisational buyers (Solomon et al., 2014).
The obvious conclusion to be drawn is that an organisational culture very effectively establishes the required and essential behaviours to invoke a greater number of buyers which ultimately increases the sustainability of business performance and profitability. Furthermore, the elaboration of the characteristics of a consumer-focused business has reflected the core concept of a consumer-led organisation that the main emphasis should be on consumer needs instead of the products. It has been identified that consumers come forward to fulfil their needs and not to purchase a product.
Moreover, the processes involved in maintaining and creating a customer-focused business reveal that to become a completely consumer-led organisation certain changes in the policies and processes can be made which can significantly affect the consumer as well as their employees.
It is a long as well as a complex process to transform into a consumer-centric organisation but is effective to achieve superior business performance as well as increasing revenues. Therefore, organisations that wish to modify their cultures should focus on consumer needs for constant improvement in organisations’ business profitability as well as sustainability.
Arnould, E.J. and Thompson, C.J., 2005. Consumer culture theory (CCT): Twenty years of research. Journal of consumer research, 31(4), pp.868-882.
CMI. 2015. Understanding Organisational Culture. [Online] Retrieved from https://www.managers.org.uk/~/media/Files/PDF/Checklists/CHK-232-Understanding-organisational-culture.pdf Retrieved on 10th of January 2019.
Colquitt, J., Lepine, J.A., Wesson, M.J. and Gellatly, I.R., 2011. Organisational behaviour: Improving performance and commitment in the workplace. McGraw-Hill Irwin.
Customer Champions. 2019. Creating a customer-orientated culture [Online] Retrieved from http://www.customerchampions.co.uk/creating-a-customer-orientated-culture/ Retrieved on 10th of January 2019.
De Mooij, M., 2015. Cross-cultural research in international marketing: clearing up some of the confusion. International Marketing Review, 32(6), pp.646-662.
Elsmore, P., 2017. Organisational Culture: Organisational Change?: Organisational Change?. Routledge.
Eric. 2018. What is Organisational Culture? – Definition & Characteristics. [Online] Retrieved from https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-organisational-culture-definition-characteristics.html Retrieved on 10th of January 2019.
Hanselman. 2018. characteristics of customer-focused businesses. [Online] Retrieved from https://www.management-issues.com/opinion/7075/10-characteristics-of-customer-focused-businesses/ Retrieved on 11th of January 2019.
MacDonald. 2019. Centric Strategy For Your Business. [Online] Retrieved from https://www.superoffice.com/blog/how-to-create-a-customer-centric-strategy/ Retrieved on 10th of January 2019.
Moormann, J. and Grau, C., 2017. Impact of Organisational Culture on Business Process Performance: An Investigation in the Financial Services Industry.
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Solomon, M.R., Dahl, D.W., White, K., Zaichkowsky, J.L. and Polegato, R., 2014. Consumer behaviour: Buying, having, and being (Vol. 10). London: Pearson.