Marketing as a form of adaptation: empirical evidence from a developing economy

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The paper reports an investigation into the marketing and performance consequences of organisations operating in regulated, deregulated and open market environments in Zimbabwe's developing economy. The findings suggest that organisations do not respond to environmental changes by adapting their marketing effort, hence the environment is a poor predictor of marketing effort. Organisational strategy has a far greater impact on marketing effort than the environment. However, the environment is an important predictor of organisational performance and has significant interaction with business strategy in influencing organisational performance hence it is a quasi-moderator. Our result suggests that in regulated environments there may be “ideal-type” strategies for effectiveness and across all environments the concept of equifinality is not supported. There is evidence to suggest that more adaptable strategy types outperform their less adaptive competitors. These results extend a popular typology to developing economies and allow some findings to be generalisable across countries at different stages of economic development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-272
Number of pages17
JournalMarketing Intelligence & Planning
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2000


  • Developing country
  • Marketing environment
  • Marketing strategy
  • Organizational performance

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