University of Twente Student Theses


Does market orientation in the early startup phase pay off?

Beltman, N. (2020) Does market orientation in the early startup phase pay off?

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Abstract:This paper explores the concept of market orientation in the context of startup companies. The link between market orientation and performance has been abundantly researched. However, the effect of market orientation within startups specifically, has not been researched. The goal of this research was to find out to what extent startups adopt market orientation, and how market orientation in conjunction with the lean startup method could be developed to increase startup performance in different phases. To achieve this, 172 startups within the Netherlands and Belgium were surveyed about their market orientation, lean startup method application and growth performance. The quantitative data analysis has shown that market orientation is more pronounced in startups than in two samples of established companies that were researched previously. The performance (or success) of startups was measured as ‘’employee growth rate’’ and ‘’revenue growth rate’’. Startup performance was found to be significantly positively influenced by market orientation and the phase of the startup. No significant relationship between the lean startup method and performance was found. Additionally the marketing function and the international ambitions of a startup had a positive effect on startup performance. Company age on the other hand, negatively influences the performance/growth of a startup. The research concludes that market orientation from an early stage is beneficial for startups. To achieve success a startup is recommended to focus on moving on to the next phase while maintaining a market oriented approach. As apposed to setting continuity as a primary goal. The paper has found significant statistical evidence to support these claims in the combined Dutch and Belgian startup climates.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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