The literature on market orientation is silent on the process of change involved in moving firms to a market orientation. Understanding this process is important for commodity sellers or industrial organizations with a traditional sales focus. We examine the change programs of two New Zealand-based agricultural organizations. Drawing upon Lewin's three-stage change process model (unfreezing-movement-refreezing) we identify that the creation of a market orientation involves uncovering long-held assumptions about the nature of commodity products, the nature of production and marketplace power, and the 'commodity cycle'. Moving the firm towards a new set of values involves changes in the role of leadership, the use of market intelligence, and organizational learning styles. To refreeze these values, supportive policies are needed that form closer relationships between the organization and the marketplace. The degree of refreezing affects the quality of market orientated outcomes, with less effective refreezing leading to sub-optimal market-oriented behaviors. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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