Golden Gate University

Project Description

Strategic orientation in nonprofit arts and cultural sector

Project Abstract

The notion of market orientation has been the philosophical foundation of marketing strategies. It not only demonstrates organizations� attitudes and behaviors toward the markets but is also instrumental in examining a firm�s strategic directions. Investigation of market orientation facilitates an advanced knowledge to the current state of organizations� marketing mindset in the presence of environmental change.

Extant research in this area, however, has been greatly emphasized on business sector. Limited attention has been given to nonprofit area, specifically the arts and cultural sector. Early research borrows the utilities of market orientation in the for-profit sector yet disregards the fundamental difference between nonprofit and for-profit. Until recently a series of studies highlight different issues and encourage more exploration into the use of the concept in the nonprofit context. Inspired by the notion that nonprofit organization delivers services that satisfy individual and societal needs, this paper sets out to investigate the use of market orientation in the US nonprofit arts context. A key postulate central to the argument is that market orientation in the nonprofit arts setting actually is inherent in a stakeholder environment. Organization�s sustainability significantly depends on its capability to align with stakeholders interests and to adapt its strategic behaviors in the same regard.

To propose the use of market orientation in the nonprofit arts and cultural context, this dissertation explores dimensions of market orientation with the implications of stakeholder concept and multi-fold performance consequences considered. A refined set of components for market orientation in the nonprofit arts is proposed and alternative conceptual frameworks are developed. Given the diverse and sometimes conflicting stakeholder interests, this paper also proposes to examine the issue of organizational capabilities in aligning with stakeholder interests and adapting strategic behaviors.

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