Academic article

Managers’ understanding of theoretical concepts: the case of market orientation

Sogn-Grundvåg, Geir; Grønhaug, Kjell

Publication details

Journal: European Journal of Marketing, vol. 36, p. 1209-1224, 2002

Issue: 11/12

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 0309-0566
Electronic: 1758-7123

Open Access: none


Managers are frequently exposed to abstract, theoretical concepts, of which some are attended to while others are neglected. To become meaningful for managers, new abstract concepts must be reflected upon and given content. In this paper, we explore how and to what extent managers understand and make use of the exemplar concept of “market orientation”. The reported findings indicate that managers’ understanding and use of the concept of market orientation, in their goal-directed effort to perform, are influenced by the actual context in which they are embedded and operate. Our findings also indicate that managers’ understanding of market orientation can deviate substantially from the meaning reflected in the academic literature.