In recent years, the concept of market orientation has become an attractive avenue for research in marketing. Despite an array of applications of market orientation in the context of religious organisations, an empirical examination of the role of market orientation in affecting church participation remains limited. The purpose of this research is to develop and test a model that explains the role of market orientation in a church participation context. Data were collected from a particular church denomination in Australia using a self-administered questionnaire. This yielded a useable sample of 344. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to test the validity and reliability of the measures, while structural equation modelling was used to test the hypotheses. The findings suggest that market orientation is significantly related to church participation. Further, competitor orientation was found to be negatively associated with church participation. These findings suggest that it is important for church leaders to: (1) understand the needs of church members (customer orientation), (2) ensure that the various ministries in the church are perceived as delivering significant value by its members (interfunctional coordination), and (3) ensure that the range of ministries offered by the church is not perceived as the strategic tools to compete with other churches (competitor orientation), but rather as the means to serve its members effectively.
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.