A study of relationship effectiveness between marketing and sales managers in business markets

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 2006, 21 (6), pp. 346 - 360
Issue Date:
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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a structural model of the factors that explain the level of perceived relationship effectiveness between marketing managers and sales managers. Design/methodology/approach - The model integrates trust-based and power/influence/interdependence-based models of relationship effectiveness. The data were collected from 113 sales managers in the UK and Australia. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to test the validity of the measures, while AMOS Version 4 was employed to estimate the model using structural equation modelling with observed variables. Findings - The study found, on average, that the perceived level of relationship effectiveness between sales managers and marketing managers is surprisingly high. The findings clearly demonstrate the potency of interpersonal trust (both cognition-based and affect-based) in building effective cross-functional relationships (CFRs) and also show how interdependence affects both dimensions of trust and the marketing manager's level of manifest influence. In addition, the findings indicate that, when marketing managers have greater manifest influence, the CFR is more effective. Importantly, evidence is provided regarding the consequences of marketing managers using the two influence tactics of legalistic pleas and threats, in terms of their effects on trust and manifest influence. Finally, insights are given about the sequencing of these two influence tactics and how the power of the marketing unit indirectly affects relationship effectiveness. Originality/value - This is one of the very few studies to use a large empirical survey to examine the marketing and sales dyad. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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