Purpose – This paper investigates the relationship between the strategic postures and political market orientation profile of two Danish parties. Profile stability at the organisational level is used as a control variable. Design/methodology/approach – The strategic political postures of two Danish parties are derived using a self-typing study. Based on configuration theory, ideal organisational profiles to implement these studies are juxtaposed with the actual political market orientation profile for each party, gained from two datasets analysed using Partial Least Squares. Member activity levels are used to control for organisational stability. Findings – The self-typing study revealed that Party A was perceived to follow a Relationship Builder posture, and Party B a Convinced Ideologist posture. However, both market orientation profiles resembled the organisational structures of a Convinced Ideologist. Thus, Party A exhibits a mismatch between strategic orientation and implemented organisational profile, based on configuration theory. The results were generally stable across political activity levels. Originality/value – The study contributes to understanding the concept of market orientation in the political sphere. More specifically it empirically links political market orientation as an issue of political marketing implementation on the one hand, and strategic postures of parties as a strategic issue on the other, following a configuration theory logic. Research limitations/implications – The investigation represents an intra-group analysis, i.e. it is concerned only with two parties in one political system; however, this reflects the oligopolistic character of the vast majority of electoral markets and thus further research could compare results across political systems. A link with performance variables needs to be established to assess the extent to which the organisational alignment results in competitive advantages for a party. Practical implications – Whilst there exists a general cohesiveness within parties regarding the overall strategic posture, political managers need to be aware of the subtle differences that can affect the market orientation of different groups within the party.
European Journal of Marketing, 2011, Vol 45, Issue 6, p. 852-881