Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 32–51 | Cite as

Dispersion of marketing capabilities: impact on marketing’s influence and business unit outcomes

  • Michael T. KrushEmail author
  • Ravipreet S. Sohi
  • Amit Saini
Original Empirical Research


The marketing function of firms continues to evolve into many configurations, including the dispersion of marketing capabilities. This study evaluates the effects on the marketing function’s influence when marketing capabilities are dispersed across multiple boundaries. Using a sample of marketing executives, we study the effects of two forms of marketing capabilities dispersion: intra-organizational dispersion and inter-organizational dispersion. We examine the impact of these forms on marketing’s perceived influence within the firm. We also investigate marketing’s influence on customer responsiveness, along with three distal outcomes: marketing strategy implementation success, relationship portfolio effectiveness, and business unit performance. Our findings reveal that marketing’s influence may actually heighten or diminish, depending on the form of marketing capability dispersion. Further, we contribute to findings regarding marketing’s influence on business unit performance. The results provide a new lens for scholars to view and measure marketing dispersion and offer guidance to practitioners.


Marketing capabilities Dispersion Marketing influence Business unit performance Accountability 



The authors thank the Institute for the Study of Business Markets and their Doctoral Dissertation Award, as well as the Marketing Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, for supporting this research.


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael T. Krush
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ravipreet S. Sohi
    • 2
  • Amit Saini
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Management and Marketing, College of BusinessNorth Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA
  2. 2.College of Business AdministrationUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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