Market orientation in universities: A comparative study of two national higher education systems

Jane Hemsley-Brown, Izhar Oplatka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Purpose: The paper's purpose is to test: whether there are significant differences between England and Israel, in terms of perceptions of market orientation (MO) in higher education (HE); which MO dimensions (student, competition, intra-functional) indicate more positive attitudes and whether the differences are significant; and the reliability of the instrument for using a larger sample of respondents internationally. Design/methodology/approach: A comparative (online) survey of 68 academics in England and Israel was conducted during the academic year 2007. The MO questionnaire used comprises 32 factor items rated on a six-point scale, categorised using three headings: market (student-customer) orientation; competitor orientation; and inter-functional coordination. Findings: Overall, academics in both countries indicated that their HE institution is oriented towards meeting students' needs and desires, and cares for students' well-being, teaching and learning. In addition, the respondents alluded to their contribution to internal marketing, i.e. to the promotion of their university through their own work tasks and performance. Research limitations/implications: The study was restricted to a comparison of only two universities, one in Israel and one in England, and the sample size is small. Practical implications: The meeting of student needs, and a student centred approach can be an institutional mission, as well as a government driven initiative imposed on universities through the introduction of a market. Originality/value: As MO frequently underpins the development and implementation of successful organisation-environment relationships, the current paper is a first attempt to trace the contextual determinants of this orientation by comparing its frequencies and elements in two different HE systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-220
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - 24 Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • England
  • Higher education
  • Israel
  • Market orientation
  • Relationship marketing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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