Political market orientation: A framework for understanding relationship structures in political parties

Robert P. Ormrod, Heather Savigny

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    15 Citations (Scopus)


    This article is motivated by the growing need to integrate the current political science and marketing literature in order to provide a deeper understanding of the behaviour of political actors and their relationships with relevant stakeholder groups. In our article, we demonstrate how Ormrod’s conceptual model of political market orientation complements political science models of party organization by drawing attention to the competing interests of stakeholders in shaping party strategy and organizational structure. We treat parties as a multitude of actors rather than as monolithic entities and thus address the dearth of literature on the micro foundations of parties. Whilst the underlying conceptualization of a political market orientation draws on the management-based ‘relationship marketing’ approach, we acknowledge that the commercial and political contexts are not isomorphic, and thus we strive for contextual sensitivity. By adopting this approach it is hoped that the fears noted by political scientists that political marketing is solely concerned with applying standard management models to political parties with the resulting emphasis on communication tactics at election time, together with a more general ‘commodification’ of politics, can be assuaged.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)487-502
    Number of pages16
    JournalParty Politics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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