Competences as a Core Factor Impacting Market Research Usage in Poland: Luxury of Thriving Business or Necessity of Struggling One – State of Market Research Industry in Poland

Competences as a Core Factor Impacting Market Research Usage in Poland: Luxury of Thriving Business or Necessity of Struggling One – State of Market Research Industry in Poland

Zofia Bednarowska, Michał Andrzej Chrzanowski
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1656-9.ch011
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Almost two-thirds of Polish companies declare that the most important source of information are their own observations and personal experience (Kaper & Kuziak, 2006, p. 6). Only 32% of companies use benchmarking as an external source of information, while over two thirds of the companies do not measure their effectiveness at all (Bednarowska, 2015). They do not mention market research, which is an essential element in the management and development of enterprises. Not only they provide knowledge about the environment, but also support knowledge management in the enterprise. In order to proceed with acquiring knowledge, it is necessary to overcome a group of internal and external determinants that prevent many Polish companies from proceeding with market research. However, one of the crucial one are competences of decision makers and power sponsors of market research projects.
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1. Introduction

1.1. Knowledge Management

In a knowledge-based economy companies have to adapt to the rapidly changing reality of the market, which is driven by innovation. As Peter Drucker predicted, knowledge replaced equipment, capital, materials and labour to become the most important element in production and, as a consequence, competitive advantage is determined by knowledge resources (Wang & Wang, 2012: 8899, Drucker, 1993). It has been noticed that the foundation of organizational competitiveness in the contemporary economy has shifted from physical and tangible resources to knowledge (Wong & Aspinwall, 2005: 64).

In this context it is crucial to understand how organizations identify, create, share and accumulate knowledge. This is studied by researchers from a relatively new discipline – knowledge management (Darroch, 2005: 101). It is actually both a field of science and a very practical imperative of mature organizations. Private companies will be examined here as an example of organizations.

According to research carried out by Jenny Darroch (2005), an organization capable in knowledge acquisition, knowledge dissemination and responsiveness to knowledge is more innovative and performs better (2005: 112). According to the study, the most influential factor of company innovation and performance is the company’s capability in terms of the following:

  • Organization values employee attitudes and opinions.

  • Organization has a well-developed financial reporting system.

  • Organization is sensitive to information about changes in the marketplace.

  • Organization works in partnerships with international customers.

  • Organization gets information from market surveys (2005: 112).

This chapter will focus on one of those capabilities – a company’s ability to acquire knowledge about its marketplace and clients through market research information. How does this information translate into knowledge and help the company develop?

It is worth specifying that knowledge and information are two different concepts. Knowledge is defined as an asset or resource, unlike information or data, is not easily understood, classified, shared and measured. It is invisible, intangible and difficult to imitate. Expanding the knowledge base within an organization is not the same as expanding its information base (Terra & Angeloni, 2003: 2). In this paper, knowledge is understood as a familiarity or understanding of facts by an employee, gained by receiving and processing information. This approach emphasizes the role of the employee’s competences to process information – necessary in the creation and accumulation of knowledge in the company.

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