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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2016
Thesis number: 14413
How do technology-oriented startups establish market orientation for their businesses? A case study of five Finnish technology-oriented startups
Author: Le Thi Kim, Tuyen
Title: How do technology-oriented startups establish market orientation for their businesses? A case study of five Finnish technology-oriented startups
Year: 2016  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; markkinatutkimukset; market research; markkinat; markets; tieto; knowledge; tietämyksenhallinta; knowledge management; yritykset; companies; kasvu; growth; teknologia; technology
Pages: 86
Key terms: market orientation; technology-startups; market intelligence; disruptive innovation
Startups, especially technology startups, have been emerging as a "hot" topic given its important contribution to the economic development. However, not all startups can successfully evolve into bigger and sustainable companies, a great number of them have failed and ceased to exist. One of the key causes leading to the failure of technology startups is their inability to commercialize their products or services due to the mismatch between what they offer and the real market or customer's needs. This problem indicates that market orientation is crucial to technology startups. However, there has been mixed conclusions regarding the impact of market orientation on innovation, the key mindset of tech-startup founders and one of key success determinants of tech-startups. Hence, this study is interested in investigating how technology startups incorporate market orientation into their businesses.

By using multi-case study of five Finnish technology startups, in which semi-structured interviews were carried out with the CEOs/Founders of these startups to understand how these startups bring the market orientation concept into practice. The result shows that these CEOs/founders have a very good awareness and understanding of market orientation as well as its role to the businesses. And they build up market orientation through the activities centering around the three constructs that were established in previous research, including: (1) generation of market intelligence, (2) dissemination of market intelligence, and (3) responsiveness to market intelligence. However, the characteristics and mechanisms under each construct are different from the previous findings for big and mature firms. Moreover, whether these activities can really lead to market orientation depends on the startup's ability to balance between the "disruptive innovative idea" and the "market orientation" notion, which was found as a facilitating factor for the creation of market orientation at technology startups.

The study confirms the importance of market orientation to technology startups, and also sheds light on the topic by suggesting the activities or procedures that technology startups can employ to efficiently build up market orientation for their businesses.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.