Marketing Logics for Competitive Advantage?
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Purpose: In this paper we address two issues facing marketing management: firstly, the need to make marketing a more central function of the firm and secondly to explore ways in which marketing can be more innovative. We do this by investigating the logic of marketing management as practiced by Corporate Marketing Executives (CME). Logics describe the sense making activities of managers which help explain the disparate ways in which marketing managers approach similar marketing problems. Methodology: The paper develops a framework for analysing managerial decision making. The research applies a Grounded Theory technique and 15 personal in-depth interviews are carried out with top managers in marketing (CMEs) in 3 financial services companies, 3 telecommunications and IT companies and 9 pharmaceutical companies. Findings: Our results suggest 4 main logics: Performance, Communication, Stakeholder and Innovation. These are then defined in terms of management and marketing capabilities. Implications for marketing managers and further research are discussed. Research Limitations / Implications: The paper develops a framework in which to examine the use of logics in marketing management. In the actual survey we examined only a relatively small sample of organisations in a few industries, but in considerable depth. The research does however give the basis for a more quantitative study to generalise the existence of these logics and investigate their links with company performance. Practical Implications: This paper gives important managerial insights into the ways in which managers' logics both limit and provide opportunities for managerial action. The findings will help managers become more reflexive towards the tacit assumptions they make about the business environment, the tasks that they undertake and the capabilities that they need to develop. Originality / Value: The paper represents a new and unique way of addressing marketing management. Management logics and sense-making have been studied in the management literature but their repercussions for marketing managers have not been fully explored. It paves the way for further research into the role of marketing logics in influencing managerial action.
European Journal of Marketing
© 2009 Emerald. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Marketing Management (incl. Strategy and Customer Relations)