A review of market orientation practices for selected public Carnegie High Research Activity institutions

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Education, Health & Human Development


While many authors (Washburn, 2005; Newman, Couturier, Scurry, 2004; Kirp, 2004; Bok, 2003; Wolff and Bryan, 1999) have written about their belief that American higher education is moving toward a market orientation, limited studies have been published citing the actual practice or success/failure of an institution(s) demonstrating market orientation qualities. The purpose of this study was to determine if two selected public Carnegie High Research Activity institutions were utilizing market orientation practices (Jaworksi and Kohli, 1993; Narver and Slater, 2000) as evidenced in their organizational culture, to enhance undergraduate recruitment and retention strategies. Through case study research design the research questions queried whether a market orientation was present or emerging at two public Carnegie High Research Activity Institutions.
Further, the study attempted to determine if an organizational culture could influence market orientation practices relevant to institutional recruitment and retention outcomes. Based upon the findings and the resulting conclusions, it appeared a market orientation does positively affect retention outcomes at both institutions. Further, in these two instances, it does appear that an organizational culture can affect the "market orientation-ness" of the institution. The findings do not indicate there is conclusive evidence of a market oriented recruitment focus, with the exception of University B's effort to recruit specific and targeted groups.




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