Marketing strategy and business performance evidence from small construction firms in Tianjin

Yiming Tang, Yuli Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paperpeer-review


This study examines how marketing strategy, business enviromnent, and organizational characteristics of small construction firms in mainland China are linked to their business performance. The results show that high performers have followed a long-term differentiation marketing strategy, focusing on R&D and new product development. They also have a longer business history, and are more likely to conduct regular market research. Low performers, on the other hand, have focused on current product adaptation strategy. An SME's sales revenue, employee numbers, top management's formal education and management training levels are not found to be associated with its business performance. Managerially, our findings encourage small firms in mainland China to adapt long-term differentiation strategy, focusing on R&D and on new product development. On the policy front, government should actively disseminate such information to small firms in better adapting them to the increasing competition in mainland China's post WTO (World Trade Organization) era. SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) have become a key component in the Chinese economy, accounting for 99% of the number of firms, 69.7% of their employment, 48.5% of their assets (China Enterprises Association, 2001), and 53.8% of the industrial output (National Bureau of Statistics of China, 2003a, p. 35). However, there are few studies examining SMEs' marketing practices and their link to business performance. Research effort in this area bears utmost significance to the government's policy towards SMEs, and to their long term wellbeing and development m an increasingly competitive market enviromnent in mainland China's post WTO era. This study represents a key step towards mending such research gap.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the 10th annual conference of the Asia-Pacific Decision Sciences Institute
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventAnnual Conference of Asia Pacific Decision Sciences Institute (10th : 2005) - Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China
Duration: 28 Jun 20052 Jul 2005

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