Market-orientation: A discussion on sales vs. market-orientation in cluster companies and a development of a customer-centric Balanced Scorecard

Tea Bjelke Hansen & Nina Guldmann

Student thesis: Master thesis


Companies today are facing high competition and it becomes increasingly important for the actors to stand out to their customer. This is especially important when looking at cluster companies since they face consumers who have a very hard time differentiating them from their competitors. This means cluster companies cannot sit back and do nothing – because then they will lose market share. This thesis investigates what cluster companies can do to become more market-oriented. A sample of cluster companies is used in a survey to clarify that there are areas within many of these companies where they can improve their market-orientation. Thus, an online-based survey with 41 international cluster companies is conducted to justify and illustrate that recommendations on how cluster companies can become more market-oriented are needed. This thesis thus strive at answering the research question: How can cluster companies become more market-oriented? To answer this, this thesis develops a customer-centric Balanced Scorecard as a strategic tool for sales-oriented cluster companies to become more market-oriented. This is created since it is assumed and argued that a company that knows their customers’ needs and preferences and use this knowledge in all aspects of the organization – from the costing method used, the role of marketing in the organization, the organizational culture to the skills needed etc. – will be able to create long term value. Consequently, it will increase the corporation’s profitability. The customer-centric Balanced Scorecard developed in this thesis build on existing literature to come up with general recommendations on four perspectives; Customers, Internal Business Processes, Learning & Growth and Financial, for cluster companies to become more marketoriented. This should ultimately help cluster companies retain customers and create more value for the company in the long run.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages141