The loss of the marketing department’s influence: is it really happening? And why worry?
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Although research and managerial practice have demonstrated great interest in the role of marketing departments within firms and have raised repeated concerns that their influence is in sharp decline, prior research has not analyzed whether marketing departments are truly losing ground. To do so, we build on the work of Homburg et al. (1999), which assessed the influence of the marketing department two decades ago. Drawing on structurally equivalent data, the results demonstrate that the marketing department has indeed lost significant influence. Additionally, we analyze which department has benefited from this loss of influence. Interestingly, it is the sales department that has gained influence, rather than the finance department, as one might assume. We also study the performance consequences of the intraorganizational distribution of influence among the marketing, sales, R&D, operations, and finance departments. Our results are alarming because an influential marketing department makes the greatest contribution to company performance.
KeywordsMarketing department’s influence Sales department’s influence Marketing function Firm performance
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