This study contributes to the strategic marketing research by empirically investigating the role of customer orientation in explaining how firms leverage their specialized but vulnerable resources. The aim is thus to explore a subset of the means by which resources become valuable to the firm – the first criterion for a strategic resource. Hypotheses are developed and tested using CEO questionnaire responses from a sample of manufacturing firms and census accounting data. The results show that there is a strong link between industry-specific resources and return on assets for firms with high levels of customer orientation. We also report that firm-specific resources are unrelated to firm performance and that a customer orientation – investigated in isolation, may be detrimental to firm performance. Research and managerial implications are discussed.
Journal of Strategic Marketing, 2011, Vol 19, Issue 4, p. 395-412