Understanding the mechanisms through which firms realize the value of their market-based knowledge resources such as market orientation is a central interest of innovation scholars and practitioners. The current study contends that realizing the performance impact of market orientation depends on know-how deployment processes and their complementarities in functional areas such as marketing and innovation that co-align with market orientation. More specifically, this study addresses two research questions: (1) to what extent can market orientation be transformed into customer- and innovation-related performance outcomes via marketing and innovation capabilities; and (2) does the complementarity between marketing capability and innovation capability enhance customer- and innovation-related performance outcomes? Drawing upon the resource-based view and capability theory of the firm, a model is developed that integrates market orientation, marketing capability, innovation capability, and customer- and innovation-related performance. The validity of the model is tested based on a sample of 163 manufacturing and services firms. In answer to the first research question, the findings show that market orientation significantly contributes to customer- and innovation-related performance outcomes via marketing and innovation capabilities. This finding is important in that market-based knowledge resources should be configured with the deployment of marketing and innovation capabilities to ensure better performance. In answer to the second research question, the findings indicate that market orientation works through the complementarity between marketing and innovation capabilities to influence customer-related performance but not innovation-related performance. Managers are advised to have a balanced approach to managing the deployment of capabilities. If they seek to achieve superiority in customer-related performance, marketing capability, innovation capability, and their complementarity are essential for attracting, satisfying, building relationships with, and retaining customers. On the other hand, this complementarity would be considerably less important if firms placed greater emphasis on achieving superiority in innovation-related performance. In contrast to many existing studies, this study is the first to model the roles of both innovation capability and marketing capability in mediating the relationship between market orientation and specific performance outcomes (i.e., innovation- and customer-related outcomes).
In Search of Innovation and Customer-related Performance Superiority