The adoption of a SME dual market strategy and its influence on organisational culture: The case of employee motivation

Weber, Andrea (2018) The adoption of a SME dual market strategy and its influence on organisational culture: The case of employee motivation. DBA thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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Following a dual market strategy can lead to conflicts with regards to focus, process complexity or governance. Such conflicts are likely to be especially pronounced and difficult to solve in SMEs due to a limited workforce and employees having to work for both strategies. This may have an impact on their work motivation. Such influence of (a dual) market strategy on employee motivation is currently not well researched. To advance our understanding of employee behaviour in a multi-strategy environment I performed an at-home ethnography (Alvesson, 2009) in a German SME that operates in the personal care industry with two competing market strategies – selective market/brand vs. mass-market/private label. As previous research indicated that organisational culture could be a potential bridging element between strategy and motivation I explored facets of that SME’s organizational culture, which evolved as a consequence of adopting a dual market strategy. I further explored how this may influence work motivation of employees having to satisfy both strategies. Data was formed through a qualitative approach using multiple methods including document and website analysis, observant participation, and in-depth interviews (in total 17) in the three departments of the organisation working concurrently for both strategies. That allowed in-depth understanding of work motivation against the backdrop of the two strategies and the thereto-related facets of organisational culture. The findings of the research illustrate that the two competing market strategies have been translated into conflicting cultural values and that these impact on work motivation primarily via levels of value congruence levering the fulfilment of psychological needs. Impairment of the needs-related motivators due to the prevalence of one strategy and entailed imbalance of strategy associated values, cultural values, and employees’ personal values, frustrates self-motivation to work and identification with the organisation – prestige-based pride being the root cause. The research further suggests pleasure to work to associate market strategy with work motivation and organisational identification, depleting pleasure reducing both motivation and identification. The research moreover supports the view that culture is a dynamic element, which is hardly manageable and that employees show rather behavioural compliance to than genuine acceptance of changing cultural values (Ogbonna & Wilkinson, 2003). Apart from detailing on these theoretical contributions the thesis concludes with managerial implications of the findings to create a frame for facilitating work motivation in a dual strategy environment.

Item Type: Thesis (DBA)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs); Personal care industry; Dual market strategy; Employee motivation; Germany
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD2340.8 Small and Medium-sized businesses, artisans, handcrafts, trades
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > HD58 Organizational behavior, change and effectiveness. Corporate culture
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5549 Personnel management. Employment management
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2019 14:40
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2023 12:54

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