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A good leader boosts a market-oriented culture

Gotteland David
Published on
20 January 2020

A client-oriented culture makes the difference in terms of market share, profits, and even stock performance over both the short and long term. How can you develop a company’s client culture? To do so, choosing a leader with key characteristics is a determining factor.

David Gotteland is a researcher and professor in the Department of Marketing at Grenoble Ecole de Management. He is the author of research published in Décisions Marketing (Quel leadership pour implémenter et développer une culture d’orientation marché?, 2019).

“In 2016, research work demonstrated that client culture in an organization is determined in part (16%) by leadership style. This is an important indicator as leadership style is something that can be quickly and easily changed,” underlines David. “A good leader will as a reference point and provide a transformational style of leadership for the organization. He is charismatic, inspiring, stimulating and respectful. He is is also market-oriented.” 

What is a client culture? 

“A client-oriented culture is a set of values and beliefs that establishes the client and his satisfaction as the foundation of the organization’s strategy and activities. The primary idea is that an organization’s performance over the long term is supported by placing the client, user or citizen at the heart of the organization.”

A client culture leads to certain beneficial behaviors for an organization’s actors: in particular, collecting data on clients or users, and sharing and using this information in order to better satisfy the client, user, or citizen over the long term.

Encouraging a client culture

“A client-oriented culture is a set of values and beliefs that establishes the client and his satisfaction as the foundation of the organization’s strategy and activities. The primary idea is that an organization’s performance over the long term is supported by placing the client, user or citizen at the heart of the organization.”

A client culture leads to certain beneficial behaviors for an organization’s actors: in particular, collecting data on clients or users, and sharing and using this information in order to better satisfy the client, user, or citizen over the long term.

How to build a client culture?

“The formal approach builds on methodological processes spread out over three steps that are explained in organizational change theory. To transform an organization in an efficient manner and create a more client-oriented organization, you have to first overcome a phase in which the organization ‘unfreezes’ existing value systems. Then, the second phase is the ‘transformation’ phase to change the value system towards one that support a client culture. Finally, the third phase is the ‘re-freeze’ the system in order to anchor the new culture. In this process, there are many steps, metrics and tools to help managers. Particular attention must be paid to the rewards and wage system,” explains David.

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