Title: The business culture of a firm applying a customer-intimate philosophy: a conceptual framework

Authors: Aihie Osarenkhoe

Addresses: Department of Business Studies, University of Gavle, SE-801 76 Gavle, Sweden

Abstract: What characterises the culture of a market-oriented firm applying customer-intimacy philosophy? A conceptual framework, inspired by the resource-based perspective, is used as a descriptive and analytical device rather than as a prescriptive model to highlight the business culture of a company that has achieved competitive advantage in the Swedish market. Findings include: outcome of the firm|s strategy is attributed to the prevailing culture in the organisation; the firm|s commitment to continuous improvement and the behaviour of people in the organisation toward their customers and each other are vital sources for firms to attain sustainable competitive advantage. Concludes that moving from sales to customer-intimacy philosophy requires appreciation of current and changing needs of customers that continuously fine-tune the strategy|s compatibility with corresponding values in the firm|s business culture. Implications are that in a complete customer-intimacy philosophy, all business processes and individuals are focused on identifying and meeting the needs of customer.

Keywords: customer intimacy philosophy; business philosophy; knowledge era organisation; market orientation; organisational culture; organisational learning; resource-based view; RBV; business strategy; systems thinking; Sweden; continuous improvement; kaizen.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBSR.2009.026183

International Journal of Business and Systems Research, 2009 Vol.3 No.3, pp.257 - 278

Published online: 27 May 2009 *

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