Strategy, market orientation and performance: the political context



This paper investigates the fit between the strategic posture of a political party and its political market orientation, and analyses the impact of this fit on party performance. For this purpose, a configuration theory logic is applied to the context of the political market; in particular, we develop strategic profiles (i.e. strategic postures and political market orientation) of four Belgian political parties represented in the Flemish Parliament. By comparing the strategic profiles derived from a questionnaire administered to 3148 party members with those of ‘theoretically ideal’ profiles, we uncover the ‘strategic misfit’ (or ‘misalignment’) for each party and then relate this misfit to party performance. Results indicate that there is a strong, negative relationship between the misalignment of actual and perceived strategic profiles on the one hand and performance on the other. However, the ‘ideal profiles’ differ with the strategic posture of a party. Thus, our findings show that it is not so much the strategic posture itself that will determine superior performance, but it is the strategic posture that the party aligns with implementing a particular political market orientation that is the most important factor. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.