“Miles ahead” – using jazz to investigate improvisation and market orientation

Noel Dennis, Michael Macaulay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this article is to investigate ways in which improvisation can be used to enhance and advance market orientation.
Design/methodology/approach: The article draws upon existing market orientation literature
and musical theory to extend the authors’ previous work of the need for improvisation in strategic market planning (SMP) into a wider area of market orientation.
Findings: The article evinces a conceptual matrix to illustrate four basic levels of market oriented
improvisation: one-size fits all; improvisation through alternatives; single level improvisation (SLI); and multi-level improvisation (MLI).
Practical implications – The article will demonstrate the core competences of a jazz band: musical knowledge; role definition; quasi-autonomous leadership; open communication; and self-reflexivity. It will discuss how these competences are directly transferable to market oriented organisations.
Originality/value: The article provides a new definition of market orientation, which posits
improvisation as a central element.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-623
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number5/6
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2007


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