The copycat CMO: firms’ imitative behavior as an explanation for CMO presence

Original Empirical Research


The present study adds to the CMO literature the perspective of firms’ imitative behavior on why firms have CMOs in their TMT. We propose that a firm’s decision to have a CMO on its TMT is driven not only by contingency-reated considerations but also by social ones, as the decision is significantly influenced by industry peers. Empirical findings based on 505 large US firms from 2000 to 2012 indicate that firms’ imitative behavior is a significant driver of CMO presence, especially when firm uncertainty is strong and inference uncertainty is low. Post hoc analyses indicate that this imitation behavior tends to be performance neutral at best.


Chief marketing officer Imitation Neoinstitutional theory Herding Uncertainty 

Supplementary material

11747_2017_533_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (83 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 83 KB)
11747_2017_533_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (130 kb)
ESM 2 (PDF 129 KB)
11747_2017_533_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (208 kb)
ESM 3 (PDF 208 KB)


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Strategic and International Management, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social SciencesTechnical University DortmundDortmundGermany

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