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2.2 Statement of Problem

Commercialization is crucial as it has cost huge spending of the public funds. The government obligates high expectation to the universities to take this prospect to commercialize their research products. However, the commercialization activities in universities were below satisfactory level and very limited [6, 7].

According to the report by the Ministry of Higher Education website [8], the performance on commercialization of university research products was under satisfaction despite having allocated huge budget to fund research and development activities. The report highlighted that out of 313 identified with commercially potential, only 58 products were successfully commercialized from 16 public universities in Malaysia. Meanwhile, the current report illustrated until 2010, in which 20 public universities are involved in commercialization activities. However, the commercialization rate was still low. The number of research and development projects conducted by 20 public universities was 2,059. However, only 442 products were selected as commercially potential products, and about 6 % (125 products) were successfully commercialized. Hence, this has indicated that there is an urgent necessity to address the circumstances and drive the universities to a better performance level [4]. It is identified by Kamisah et al. [7] that a minimum knowledge of market orientation is stipulated as the main obstacles in commercializing university research. As a result, the research products fail to meet market expectation.

This study discusses the importance of the market orientation (MO) in commercializing university research and development products. It has been reported that MO is continuously helping organizations to achieve higher performance and significantly has positive relationship with organizational performance [9–12].

2.3 Literature Review

A. Market Orientation (MO)

MO is defined by Narver and Slater [10] as obtained information regarding customers, competitors, other market factors, inter-functional assessment, shared diagnosis, as well as coordinated action. These lead to core capabilities, competitive advantage, and business performance of an organization. In line with that statement, Buchanan and Vanberg [13] agree that it is important to be familiar with the market and to study the information about competition, customers, demand, and production possibilities because it will be useful in developing creative ideas. Therefore, more researchers have begun to understand about market knowledge as they are able to gather relevant information and transform the knowledge into market-oriented product development.

According to Kamisah et al. [7], market orientation is important to the commercialization of university research products because customers' needs are changing.

Thus, if university researchers are continuously determining what customers' needs and wants are, they will be able to identify new forms of products that are missing in current lines. It will lead to creating new products to the market; hence, university commercialization activities will be successful. Furthermore, the researchers are required to foresee the needs of the consumer in the future. From then on, only the technology or research products develop today by researchers are relevant and not be obsolete. Thus, the understanding and knowledge of future needs is important in market orientation, in order to achieve commercialization. In terms of MO concept, there are different perceptions from various researchers in the literature. According to Jaworski and Kohli [14], MO is an organizational process that involves market intelligence generation, dissemination, and responsiveness to such intelligence across department.

Meanwhile, Narver and Slater [10] provide a different concept where they define MO “as an organizational culture that most effectively and efficiently creates the necessary behaviors for the creation of superior value for buyers and thus continuous superior performance for business.” They conceive such culture as focusing on customer orientation, competitor orientation, and inter-functional coordination. Therefore, this research will adapt the market orientation conceptualization. On the other hand, Narver and Slater [10] state that MO is positively related to business performance in all types of markets. This is agreed upon by the majority of the authors such as Affendy et al. [15] as well as Asikhia [16]. Conceptually, there is a strong consensus among the researchers about the fact that the final result of MO will improve an organization performance. Hence, the following proposition is established to show the possible relationship between MO toward commercialization of university research products.

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