The Impact of Market Focus on Operations Practices

T. Laosirihongthong
K. C. Tan
V. R. Kannan, Utah State University


A key element of successful organisations is the alignment of their strategy and tactics. This study explores the relationship between a firm’s competitive strategy and its operations practices in the context of a developing economy. Two competitive strategies are examined; a niche market strategy characterised by targeting specific market segments, and a broad market strategy characterised by serving a wide range of market segments. Three sets of operations practices consistent with the adoption of lean manufacturing, Total Quality Management, and relationship development in a supply chain context, are explored. Using survey data from senior managers in Thailand, results show that for firms adopting a niche market focus, competitive strategy directly influences process management and relationship development, which in turn affect workforce commitment. Only workforce commitment has a direct effect on operational performance. In contrast, for firms adopting a broad market focus, competitive strategy directly influences workforce commitment, which in turn affects process management and relationship development practices. It is the latter practices that directly influence operational performance.