On the importance of matching strategic behavior and target market selection to business strategy in high-tech markets

  • Stanley F. SlaterEmail author
  • G. Tomas M. Hult
  • Eric M. Olson
Original Empirical Research


Business strategy is fundamentally concerned with the actions required to create superior customer value in the firm’s target markets with the ultimate goal of achieving superior performance. Marketing theory suggests that two critical marketing activities required to achieve this end are: (1) the adoption of appropriate strategic behaviors (i.e., customer-oriented, competitor-oriented, technology-oriented) and (2) targeting of the appropriate market segments (i.e., innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, laggards). This study builds on prior research which demonstrates that the strategic behavior—firm performance relationship is contingent on the firm’s strategy by examining this relationship in high tech markets and by considering the incremental contribution of appropriate target market selection. Responses from 160 senior marketing managers in high-tech firms reveal strong support for our framework. Thus, this study provides useful guidance to executives and managers in high-tech firms regarding the steps that they should take to increase their probability of success.


High-tech Customer orientation Competitor orientation Technology orientation Market segments Business strategy Performance 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Center for International Business Education and Research at Michigan State University (MSU-CIBER) and the College of Business Administration at University of Colorado—Colorado Springs for financial assistance. We also acknowledge the many helpful comments and suggestions of two anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley F. Slater
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. Tomas M. Hult
    • 2
  • Eric M. Olson
    • 3
  1. 1.College of BusinessColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.Center for International Business Education and Research, Marketing & Supply Management, Eli Broad Graduate School ManagementMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  3. 3.Marketing and Strategic Management, College of Business and AdministrationUniversity of Colorado—Colorado SpringsColorado SpringsUSA

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