Strategic orientation and performance of tourism firms: Evidence from a developing country

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This study investigates whether tourism firms in a developing country, namely Turkey, which adopt one of the four strategic orientations of Miles and Snow (1978), differ based on their financial and non-financial performance. The study results show that there is a difference in both financial and non-financial performance based on the strategic orientations followed by tourism enterprises. Generally, prospectors were found to outperform defenders, whereas analyzers showed a comparable performance to prospectors. The findings of this study imply that in developing countries, tourism businesses may be indifferent when choosing between these two strategies based on their internal characteristics since they yield similar financial results. Specific factors and developments in the macro environment and company-specific factors seem to affect tourism firms' strategic orientation as well as their performance. Better understanding and closer analysis of such factors can help improve the performance of tourism businesses in developing countries. Further research using both perceptual and objective measures is needed to confirm the present results to better assess possible differences in performance among strategic orientations in some other developing countries. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.