Date of Award
Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Dr. Stacy Champbell
Dr. Greg Marshall
Dr. Brian Rutherford
Beginning with Chamberlin’s explanations of market variation in 1933, segmentation has been formally studied for eighty years. While more than 2,700 studies have been published (most as studies on statistical methods of segmentation), scant evidence has been gathered on the role market segmentation plays in strategy formulation and what has been presented has not been adequately classified to provide a basis for further comparative study. Based on Resource-Advantage theory, this dissertation defines a taxonomy of strategic segmentation that depicts how a firm’s view of a market relates to its assumed heterogeneity of the market and how a firm approaches a market based on availability of imperfectly mobile resources. Then, through experimental analysis, this dissertation assesses the level of support for the taxonomy against decisions made by marketing managers when presented with various scenarios on available resources.
As predicted, the results showed that marketing managers are aware of resource limitations for designing and creating a market segmentation scheme, so they “view” the effective heterogeneity of the market based on resources available to segment the market (H1). However, the remaining six hypotheses did not support that marketing managers consistently judge relationships between resource limitations outside their job role and their marketing actions. Given the results, overall support for the proposed taxonomy was not established. Additional research is recommended to determine if managers are conceiving resources differently from what RA theory suggests. Managers should, however, take actions to compensate for the probable lack of understanding between resources and marketing segmentation choices.