بازارگرایی شرکت های مهمانداری کوچک قومی تحت مالکیت اقلیت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|19545||2010||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Hospitality Management, Volume 29, Issue 1, March 2010, Pages 148–156
This paper seeks to evaluate the influence of changing co-ethnic consumer habits and the nature of competition on the market orientation of ethnic minority-owned hospitality firms in the UK. The paper reports and analyses the findings of 40 face-to-face interviews with Turkish small business owners. The findings of the study indicate that ethnic minority owned small firms operate within a strong socio-cultural environment. Not only co-ethnic customers and competitors but also both mainstream customers and competitors have a bearing on the market orientation of firms. Their market orientation is the result of the interplay between the changes in ethnic and mainstream business environments.
Ethnic enterprises are normally small businesses with 2–50 employees, owned and managed by members of a single ethnic family living in a host country (Iyer and Shapiro, 1999 and Waldinger et al., 1990). These ethnic businesses are surrounded by the cultural environment of their own community but elements such as the economic, political and socio-cultural aspects of the host country affect them (Barrett et al., 2002). Recent studies have shown that staying within the community, not being able to attract mainstream customers from outside the ethnic market or respond to changing market conditions hinder the growth of ethnic businesses (Altinay and Altinay, 2008 and Jamal, 2005). Therefore, to sustain growth and survive in a competitive environment, a strategic ‘breakout’ into mainstream markets is needed. This, however, requires innovation—‘the notion of openness to new ideas as an aspect of a firm's culture’ (Hurley and Hult, 1998, p. 44) and more specifically the adoption of a strong market orientation (Altinay and Altinay, 2008). Considered to be a form of strategic marketing, ‘market orientation sets the tone and determines the basic approach for making marketing strategies’ (Guo, 2002, p. 1158). It focuses on meeting customer needs and understanding the competitive environment by collecting and exploiting market intelligence (Kohli and Jaworski, 1990 and Narver and Slater, 1990). Market orientation can lead to better performance attained through strong internal coordination and the better understanding of, and clarity of focus towards customers and competitors (Cano et al., 2004 and Egeren and O’Connor, 1998). The market orientation of a firm is dependent upon the customer market, the competitive environment and inter-functional coordination. However, the literature is lacking in empirical insights into the relationships between market orientation and these three dimensions. In particular, it is as yet unknown how ethnic small firms respond to the dynamics of the competitive market, as the protection of ‘ethnic enclaves’ is decreased by the changing consuming habits of co-ethnic customers and by competition from mainstream competitors. The well-known ethnic enclave theory postulates that the ethnic population within which ethnic minority owned businesses operate provides ethnic firms with a competitive advantage as they are able to serve the unique needs of their co-ethnic clients (Ram and Hillin, 1994 and Waldinger et al., 1990). However, in today's world, they must also compete with mainstream businesses which sell ethnic products and also continuously seek ways to attract ‘second generation immigrant’ customers from ethnic minority owned businesses (Altinay and Altinay, 2006). Indeed, the ethnic identities of consumers co-evolve and change within the host community (Burton, 2000). This paper therefore seeks to add to the existing literature by presenting empirical evidence about the marketing practices of Turkish ethnic entrepreneurs in the UK hospitality industry and by evaluating to what extent their market orientation is sensitive to these two dimensions, namely changes in co-ethnic consumer behaviours and intensifying competition in the ethnic minority business context. The hospitality industry, including restaurants, take-aways and cafes has always been popular with ethnic minority businesses in the UK (Atkinson and Hurstfield, 2003). There is a high concentration of self-employed immigrants in the hotel and restaurant industry; some estimates suggest that 36% of all immigrants end up in this sector (Dustmann et al., 2003). This can be explained by the relatively low entry barriers, such as the low financial start-up capital required compared to other sectors (Basu and Altinay, 2002), low skill requirements (Basu and Goswami, 1999) and the cultural business traditions of ethnic groups (Basu and Altinay, 2002). To date, the research into the marketing practices of small firms has concentrated almost exclusively on practices of small businesses operating in different sectors in general (see Jamal, 2005 and Altinay and Altinay, 2008). However, there is only a limited extant literature concerning the market orientation of ethnic minority small businesses in the hospitality industry, and little is known regarding how ethnic hospitality businesses survive given the continuously changing consumer behaviours and growing competition in the market.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The proactiveness and long-term survival of an organisation is dependent upon its ability to adopt a strong market orientation. Previous studies acknowledge that the market orientation of organisations is influenced by dynamic market conditions including changes in consumer needs and wants and competitors’ moves. In spite of their pivotal role in shaping the market orientation of a firm (Guo, 2002, Kohli and Jaworski, 1990 and Narver and Slater, 1990), literature about the interface between these two contextual factors and market orientation continues to be vague and incomplete. In particular, although previous literature (Altinay and Altinay, 2008 and Jamal, 2005) acknowledges the need for ethnic firms to consider the changing nature of ethnic marketing and also break out of their ethnic enclaves and into the mainstream market, it is yet not known how the market orientations of these firms are adapting to changing market conditions. This paper enables a deeper understanding of the influence of the target market and the competitive environment on the market orientation of small ethnic minority owned hospitality businesses. Firstly, it is important to acknowledge the serious linkage between the strategic context of ethnic minority owned firms and market orientation. This paper clearly demonstrates that ethnic minority owned small firms operate within a strong socio-cultural environment. Not only co-ethnic customers and competitors, but also both mainstream customers and competitors have a bearing on the market orientation of firms. Therefore, market orientation is the result of the interplay between the changes in ethnic and mainstream business environments. Ethnic minority hospitality firms operate comfortably within their ethnic environments by targeting co-ethnic customers and competing against their co-ethnic counterparts. However, since the behaviours of the co-ethnic customers ‘modernize’ and change over time and also mainstream competitors pose direct competition by targeting ethnic consumers by selling ethnic products, ethnic hospitality firms have to break out of their ethnic enclaves and adopt a more competitive market orientation. Secondly, this study offers insights about the interface between ethnicity and market orientation. Ethnicity is an important marketing concept in multicultural societies but it has not attracted enough attention either in marketing or in hospitality theory or practice. To some extent this situation is changing, albeit slowly (Burton, 2000). This is surprising given the economic and socio-cultural contribution of the ethnic minorities to the hospitality industry. This study's findings revealed that ethnicity and ethnic affinity which create an environment of personal connection and constitute emotional ties and implicit culturally bound trust between ethnic business owners and co-ethnic customers cannot be exploited for sustainable, long-term advantage. Ethnicity and ethnic identification are not static phenomena. The consumption habits of co-ethnic consumers change and co-evolve as they interact with the host culture and this certainly requires ethnic firms to adopt a market orientation. This does not mean that they should eschew culturalist approaches to the operation of their businesses, but suggests rather that they need to develop a universal market orientation which should arise out of the interplay between their cultural embeddedness and the social and economic realities of the host country in which they operate. Thirdly, previous studies compare and contrast the market orientations of large and small firms and identify the differences and similarities in their approaches to adopting a market orientation (see Coviello et al., 2006, Pelham, 2000 and Harris and Watkins, 1998). However, there appears to be limited research which evaluates the market orientation of small firms in a particular industry. This study investigated the market orientation of small firms in the hospitality industry. It became apparent that the unique characteristics and traditions of the industry influence the market orientation of firms. Those in the hospitality industry who run restaurants, cafes, and takeaways face competition both from domestic and international catering firms, with an increasing number of outlets within the same geographical proximity and also from supermarkets selling fast food (Bowie and Buttle, 2004). Given the extent of competition in the hospitality industry, ethnic minority entrepreneurs need to take market intelligence gathering more seriously than ever before. Moreover, the hospitality industry is very customer focused. It therefore did not come as a surprise that such firms place an emphasis on customer related intelligence gathering. In addition, given that the hospitality industry has traditionally accommodated business owners and managers with experience but limited educational attainment (Basu and Goswami, 1999), one would expect that these two owner specific factors would have a bearing on the market orientation of a small firm in the hospitality industry. It became apparent that accumulated experience contributes positively to the market orientation, whereas the lack of educational attainment affects it negatively. The findings of the paper provide not only empirical insights into the influence of different contextual factors on market orientation but also managerial ‘take-away’. The competition in the hospitality industry has intensified with lots of rivalry between ethnic counterparts and aggressive competition from large organisations. It is therefore advisable to evaluate the extent of competition in the sector of the business even before start up. Ethnic minority businesses should minimize direct competition with their ethnic counterparts by not starting up new businesses in the same line (in the same sector with the same products and services) within close geographical proximity. They should be creative and innovative with their ideas when it comes to business start ups and seek for differentiation even before the start up. It is not recommended that ethnic minority business owners open a business without answering the question ‘How different is my business going to be from the others on the same street in terms of the products and services and the likely target market group?’. If they are not in a position to answer this question, they should seek for advice from ‘enterprise councils’ or other business support bodies. Those who are already operating in the market should embrace a ‘new way of’ doing things as they are at risk of being left behind in an increasingly competitive market place. We recommend that they break into mainstream markets and adopt a more professional approach to marketing and strategic development. This will involve following changing market trends and identifying current and changing consumer needs and wants; watching competitors’ moves (both ethnic and mainstream competition); constantly modifying their pricing, marketing and product/service development tactics; developing innovative products and services; and introducing new systems of operations and production in order to differentiate themselves from their competitors and their offerings. Embracing a new way of thinking and operating will certainly need an assessment of how different socio-cultural characteristics of business owners/managers contribute to the market orientation of their firms. Such an assessment could help them to diagnose their learning and training needs and attend relevant courses offered by business support units and community centers. If they are reluctant to learn and improve because of their age and/or time constraints, they should be prepared to move away from the traditional centralised management style and empower those individuals who have the appropriate experience and educational background. Finally, government, community groups and business advisers can offer training and short courses in order to help small business owners capitalize on their socio-cultural strengths in order to enhance the competitiveness of their firms and overcome those socio-cultural attributes that hinder their firm's market orientation.