Skip to main content
Log in

Responsive and proactive stakeholder orientation in public universities: antecedents and consequences

  • Published:
Higher Education Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

This study, based on institutional theory, dynamic capabilities, and stakeholder theory, investigates the relationships between the antecedents of responsive and proactive stakeholder orientation and their consequences in the public university context. The results obtained mainly stress that the mimetic effect of copying successful university actions, the emphasis of top university managers on both stakeholder orientations and better communication, and the relationship between managers of different university structures, have positive effects on responsive and proactive stakeholder orientation. The results suggest that those universities which are more responsive and/or proactive oriented towards stakeholders obtain better organisational performance in terms of beneficiary satisfaction, acquisition of resources, and reputation. Our findings show that to achieve specific goals in university performance, such as improving university reputation, a responsive stakeholder orientation is not sufficient, and a proactive stakeholder orientation is also needed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1

Similar content being viewed by others

Notes

  1. In for-profit firms, MO is seen as a key strategy to promote customer satisfaction and loyalty, to create a firm’s value, and to improve organizational performance (Jaworski and Kohli 1993; Narver and Slater 1990).

  2. Formative measures indicate that a latent variable is measured using one or several of its causes (indicators), which determine the meaning of that construct (Edwards and Bagozzi 2000; Jarvis et al. 2003).

  3. The causality of the reflective construct is directed from the latent construct to the indicators, with the underlying hypothesis that the construct causes changes in the indicators (Edwards and Bagozzi 2000; Fornell and Bookstein 1982; Jarvis et al. 2003).

  4. Clarkson (1995) classifies stakeholders as primary or secondary. Primary stakeholders are those whose continued participation is absolutely necessary for business (employees, suppliers, customers, and public agencies).

  5. Governmental entities, management, employees, clients, suppliers, competition, donors, communities, government regulators, non-governmental regulators, financial intermediaries, alliances and partnerships (Benneworth and Jongbloed 2010).

  6. The wider system and its inter-institutional links (Clark 1986).

References

  • Aaker, D. A., & Shansby, J. G. (1982). Positioning your product. Business Horizons, 25(3), 56–62.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Akonkwa, D. B. M. (2009). Is market orientation a relevant strategy for higher education institutions? Context analysis and research agenda. International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, 1(3), 311–333.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • American Marketing Association. (2013). Definition of marketing. https://www.ama.org/AboutAMA/Pages/Definition-of-Marketing.aspx. Accessed 23 Feb 2015.

  • Auh, S., & Menguc, B. (2009). Broadening the scope of the resource-based view in marketing: The contingency role of institutional factors. Industrial Marketing Management, 38(7), 757–768.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bennett, R., & Kottasz, R. (2011). Strategic, competitive, and co-operative approaches to internationalisation in European business schools. Journal of Marketing Management, 27(11–12), 1087–1116.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Benneworth, P., & Jongbloed, B. W. (2010). Who matters to universities? A stakeholder perspective on humanities, arts and social sciences valorization. Higher Education, 59(5), 567–588.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bjørkquist, C. (2008). Continuity and change in stakeholder influence: Reflections on elaboration of stakeholder regimes. Institute of Education, 4(2), 24–38.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bryson, J. M., Patton, M. Q., & Bowman, R. A. (2011). Working with evaluation stakeholders: A rationale, step-wise approach and toolkit. Evaluation and program planning, 34(1), 1–12.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Caruana, A., Ramaseshan, B., & Ewing, M. T. (1998). Do universities that are more market orientated perform better? International Journal of Public Sector Management, 11(1), 55–70.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cervera, A., Molla, A., & Sanchez, M. (2001). Antecedents and consequences of market orientation in public organisations. European Journal of Marketing, 35(11/12), 1259–1288.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cheng, H. L., & Yu, C. M. J. (2008). Institutional pressures and initiation of internationalization: Evidence from Taiwanese small-and medium-sized enterprises. International Business Review, 17(3), 331–348.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Churchill, G. A, Jr. (1979). A paradigm for developing better measures of marketing constructs. Journal of Marketing Research, 16(1), 64–73.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Clark, B. R. (1986). The higher education system: Academic organization in cross-national perspective. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Clarkson, M. E. (1995). A stakeholder framework for analyzing and evaluating corporate social performance. Academy of Management Review, 20(1), 92–117.

    Google Scholar 

  • D’Este, P., Tang, P., Mahdi, S., Neely, A., & Sánchez-Barrioluengo, M. (2013). The pursuit of academic excellence and business engagement: Is it irreconcilable? Scientometrics, 95(2), 481–502.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Di Stefano, G., Peteraf, M., & Veronay, G. (2010). Dynamic capabilities deconstructed: A bibliographic investigation into the origins, development, and future directions of the research domain. Industrial and Corporate Change, 19(4), 1187–1204.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • DiMaggio, P. J., & Powell, W. W. (1983). The iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. American Sociological Review, 48, 147–160.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • DiMaggio, P. J., & Powell, W. W. (Eds.). (1991). The new institutionalism in organizational analysis (Vol. 17). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Donaldson, T., & Preston, L. E. (1995). The stakeholder theory of the corporation: Concepts, evidence, and implications. Academy of Management Review, 20(1), 65–91.

    Google Scholar 

  • Duque-Zuluaga, L. C., & Schneider, U. (2008). Market orientation and organizational performance in the nonprofit context: Exploring both concepts and the relationship between them. Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, 19(2), 25–47.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Edwards, J. R., & Bagozzi, R. P. (2000). On the nature and direction of relationships between constructs and measures. Psychological Methods, 5(2), 155.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fernández, Z. (1999). El estudio de las organizaciones (la jungla dominada). Papeles de Economía Española, 78–79, 56–77.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ferrell, O. C., Gonzalez-Padron, T. L., Hult, G. T. M., & Maignan, N. I. (2010). From market orientation to stakeholder orientation. Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 29(1), 93–96.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ferrer-Balas, D., Buckland, H., & de Mingo, M. (2009). Explorations on the university’s role in society for sustainable development through a systems transition approach. Case-study of the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC). Journal of Cleaner Production, 17(12), 1075–1085.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Flavián, C., & Lozano, F. J. (2006). Organizational antecedents of market orientation in the public university system. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 19(5), 447–467.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fornell, C., & Bookstein, F. L. (1982). Two structural equation models: LISREL and PLS applied to consumer exit-voice theory. Journal of Marketing Research, 19(4), 440–452.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Evaluating structural equations models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18, 39–50.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Frasquet, M., Calderón, H., & Cervera, A. (2012). University–industry collaboration from a relationship marketing perspective: An empirical analysis in a Spanish University. Higher Education, 64(1), 85–98.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Freeman, R. E. (1984). Strategic management: A stakeholder approach. Boston: Pitman.

    Google Scholar 

  • Freeman, R. E. (1994). The politics of stakeholder theory: Some future directions. Business Ethics Quarterly, 4, 409–421.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gainer, B., & Padanyi, P. (2005). The relationship between market-oriented activities and market-oriented culture: Implications for the development of market orientation in nonprofit service organizations. Journal of Business Research, 58(6), 854–862.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gairín, J. (2006). La cultura institucional y la universidad. In M. Tomàs (Ed.), Reconstruir la universidad a través del cambio cultural (pp. 9–45). Bellaterra: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Servei de publicacions UAB.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gómez Mendoza, J. (2010). Las universidades como dinamizadoras sociales. In D. Peña (Ed.), Propuestas para la Reforma de la Universidad Española. Madrid: Fundación Alternativas.

    Google Scholar 

  • Grau, F. X. (2012). La universidad pública española: Retos y prioridades en el marco de la crisis del primer decenio del siglo XXI. Tarragona: Universitat Rovira i Virgili.

    Google Scholar 

  • Handelman, J. M., Cunningham, P. H., & Bourassa, M. A. (2010). Stakeholder marketing and the organizational field: The role of institutional capital and ideological framing. Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 29(1), 27–37.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hanson, M. (2001). Institutional theory and educational change. Educational Administration Quarterly, 37(5), 637–661.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harrison, J. S., Bosse, D. A., & Phillips, R. A. (2010). Managing for stakeholders, stakeholder utility functions, and competitive advantage. Strategic Management Journal, 31(1), 58–74.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hemsley-Brown, J., & Oplatka, I. (2010). Market orientation in universities: A comparative study of two national higher education systems. International Journal of Educational Management, 24(3), 204–220.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jarvis, C. B., MacKenzie, S. B., & Podsakoff, P. M. (2003). A critical review of construct indicators and measurement model misspecification in marketing and consumer research. Journal of Consumer Research, 30(2), 199–218.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jaworski, B. J., & Kohli, A. K. (1993). Market orientation: Antecedents and consequences. Journal of Marketing, 57(3), 53–70.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jongbloed, B., Enders, J., & Salerno, C. (2008). Higher education and its communities: Interconnections, interdependencies and research agenda. Higher Education, 56, 303–324.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kohli, A. K., & Jaworski, B. J. (1990). Market orientation: the construct, research propositions, and managerial implications. Journal of Marketing, 54(2), 1–18.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Laczniak, G. R., & Murphy, P. E. (2012). Stakeholder theory and marketing: Moving from a firm-centric to a societal perspective. Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 31(2), 284–292.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Laplume, A. O., Sonpar, K., & Litz, R. A. (2008). Stakeholder theory: Reviewing a theory that moves us. Journal of Management, 34(6), 1152–1189.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Llinàs-Audet, X., Girotto, M., & Solé-Parellada, F. (2011). University strategic management and the efficacy of the managerial tools: The case of the Spanish universities. Revista de Educacion, 355, 33–54.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lynch, R., & Baines, P. (2004). Strategy development in UK higher education: Towards resource-based competitive advantages. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 26(2), 171–187.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ma, J., & Todorovic, Z. (2011). Making universities relevant: Market orientation as a dynamic capability within institutions of higher learning. Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, 15(2), 1–15.

    Google Scholar 

  • Macedo, I. M., & Pinho, J. C. (2006). The relationship between resource dependence and market orientation: The specific case of non-profit organizations. European Journal of Marketing, 40(5/6), 533–553.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Maignan, I., Ferrell, O. C., & Ferrell, L. (2005). A stakeholder model for implementing social responsibility in marketing. European Journal of Marketing, 39(9), 956–1219.

    Google Scholar 

  • Maignan, I., Gonzalez-Padron, T. L., Hult, G. T. M., & Ferrell, O. C. (2011). Stakeholder orientation: Development and testing of a framework for socially responsible marketing. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 19(4), 313–338.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mainardes, E. W., Raposo, M., & Alves, H. (2014). Universities need a market orientation to attract non-traditional stakeholders as new financing sources. Public Organization Review, 14(2), 159–171.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Marsh, H. W., Balla, J. R., & McDonald, R. P. (1988). Goodness-of-fit indexes in confirmatory factor analysis: The effect of sample size. Psychological Bulletin, 103, 391–410.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Meyer, J. W., & Rowan, B. (1977). Institutionalized organizations: Formal structure as myth and ceremony. American Journal of Sociology, 83(2), 340–363.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mitchell, R. K., Agle, B. R., & Wood, D. J. (1997). Toward a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: Defining the principle of who and what really counts. Academy of Management Review, 22(4), 853–886.

    Google Scholar 

  • Modi, P., & Mishra, D. (2010). Conceptualising market orientation in non-profit organisations: Definition, performance, and preliminary construction of a scale. Journal of Marketing Management, 26(5/6), 548–569.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mora, J.-G. (2001). Governance and management in the new university. Tertiary Education and Management, 7(2), 95–110.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mora, J.-G., & Vidal, J. (2000). Adequate policies and unintended effects in Spanish higher education. Tertiary Education and Management, 6(4), 247–258.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Narver, J. C., & Slater, S. F. (1990). The effect of a market orientation on business profitability. Journal of Marketing, 55(4), 20–35.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Narver, J. C., Slater, S. F., & MacLachlan, D. L. (2004). Responsive and proactive market orientation and new-product success. Journal of Production Innovation Management, 21, 334–347.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Navarro, J. R., & Gallardo, F. O. (2003). A model of strategic change: Universities and dynamic capabilities. Higher Education Policy, 16(2), 199–212.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Netemeyer, R. G., Krishnan, B., Pullig, C., Wang, G., Yagci, M., Dean, D., et al. (2004). Developing and validating measures of facets of customer-based brand equity. Journal of Business Research, 57(2), 209–224.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Oliver, C. (1991). Strategic responses to institutional processes. Academy of Management Review, 16(1), 145–179.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Oliver, C. (1997). Sustainable competitive advantage: Combining institutional and resource-based views. Strategic Management Journal, 18(9), 697–713.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Padanyi, P., & Gainer, B. (2004). Market orientation in the nonprofit sector: Taking multiple constituencies into consideration. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 12(2), 43–58.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Parmar, B. L., Freeman, R. E., Harrison, J. S., Wicks, A. C., de Colle, S., & Purnell, L. (2010). Stakeholder theory: The state of the art. Academy of Management Annals, 4(1), 403–445.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Patterson, G. (2001). The applicability of institutional goals to the university organisation. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 23(2), 159–169.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pavičić, J., Alfirević, N., & Mihanović, Z. (2009). Market orientation in managing relationships with multiple constituencies of Croatian higher education. Higher Education, 57(2), 191–207.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J. Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: a critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5), 879.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rebolloso, E., Fernández-Ramírez, B., & Cantón, P. (2008). Responsibility of educational institutions for strategic change. Journal of Multidisciplinary Evaluation, 5(10), 5–20.

    Google Scholar 

  • Russo, A. P., van den Berg, L., & Lavanga, M. (2007). Toward a sustainable relationship between city and university: A stakeholdership approach. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 27(2), 199–216.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ryans, A. B. (1974). Estimating consumer preferences for a new durable brand in an established product class. Journal of Marketing Research, 11(4), 434–443.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sargeant, A., Foreman, S., & Liao, M. (2002). Operationalizing the marketing concept in the nonprofit sector. Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, 10(2), 41–64.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Scott, W. R. (1987). The adolescence of institutional theory. Administrative Science Quarterly, 32(4), 493–511.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Scott, W. R. (1995). Institutions and Organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  • Teece, D. J. (2007). Explicating dynamic capabilities: The nature and microfoundations of (sustainable) enterprise performance. Strategic Management Journal, 28(13), 1319–1350.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Teece, D. J., & Pisano, G. (1994). The dynamic capabilities of firms: An introduction. Industrial and Corporate Change, 3(3), 537–556.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Teece, D. J., Pisano, G., & Schuen, A. (1997). Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 18(7), 509–533.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thornton, P. H., Ocasio, W., & Lounsbury, M. (2012). The institutional logics perspective. New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Townley, B. (1997). The institutional logic of performance appraisal. Organization studies, 18(2), 261–285.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Van der Wende, M. (2007). Internationalization of higher education in the OECD countries: Challenges and opportunities for the coming decade. Journal of Studies in International Education, 11(3–4), 274–289.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Van Raaij, E. M., & Stoelhorst, J. W. (2008). The implementation of a market orientation: A review and integration of the contributions to date. European Journal of Marketing, 42(11/12), 1265–1293.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Voola, R., & O’Cass, A. (2010). Implementing competitive strategies: The role of responsive and proactive market orientations. European Journal of Marketing, 44(1/2), 245–266.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhou, Y., Chao, P., & Huang, G. (2009). Modeling market orientation and organizational antecedents in a social marketing context: Evidence from China. International Marketing Review, 26(3), 256–274.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to María-del-Carmen Alarcón-del-Amo.

Appendix

Appendix

See Table 5.

Table 5 Measurement scales

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Alarcón-del-Amo, MdC., Casablancas-Segura, C. & Llonch, J. Responsive and proactive stakeholder orientation in public universities: antecedents and consequences. High Educ 72, 131–151 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-015-9942-2

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-015-9942-2

Keywords

Navigation