Abstract

Recently, academics and practitioners have realized that different customers contribute different economic values to a company (Ryals 2005). Accordingly, they postulate that firms should concentrate their relationship marketing efforts on high value customers (Algesheimer et al. 2006, Homburg et al. 2008). This should be particularly true for new ventures, where marketing activities are frequently restricted by financial and personnel resources (Song et al. 2008). However, little is known about the organizational and cultural antecedents that support such a strategy. This might be particularly important as extant literature suggests that companies frequently fail to pursue their customer strategy (Zablah et al. 2004). Moreover, it has not been addressed, whether the effectiveness of these antecedents changes with the company development stage. Scholars argue that entrepreneurial companies often operate in highly volatile environments, which require a high degree of adaptability (Roure et al. 1990). Hence, these companies should draw on informal structures such coporate culture rather than formal structures.

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