Enhancing Communication between Marketing and Engineering: The Moderating Role of Relative Functional Identification

Journal of Marketing, Vol. 61, No. 3 (Jul., 1997) (pp. 54-70)

University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-382

18 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2014

See all articles by Robert Fisher

Robert Fisher

University of Alberta - Department of Marketing, Business Economics & Law

Elliot Maltz

Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University

Bernard Jaworski

Claremont Colleges - Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management

Date Written: 1996

Abstract

Using research in social psychology, the authors illustrate how two key routes to improve communication between marketing and engineering are dependent on the strength of managers' psychological connection to their functional area compared to the firm as a whole (i. e., relative functional identification). In particular, they argue that relative functional identification moderates the relationship between strategies traditionally used to affect interfunctional relationships (information-sharing norms and integrated goals) and the frequency, bidirectionality, and coerciveness of interfunctional communication behaviors. In turn, these communication behaviors are linked to information use and perceived relationship effectiveness. The authors empirically test predictions of the framework in two studies. Study 1 results suggest that (1) the efficacy of the traditional strategies depends on marketing managers' relative functional identification and (2) the traditional strategies can have negative and unintended effects on communication behaviors. In Study 2, the authors replicate and extend Study 1 by illustrating that bidirectional communication is as important as frequency in increasing both information use by engineering personnel and the perceived effectiveness of interfunctional relationships. The authors conclude with implications for theory building and managerial practice.

Suggested Citation

Fisher, Robert and Maltz, Elliot N. and Jaworski, Bernard, Enhancing Communication between Marketing and Engineering: The Moderating Role of Relative Functional Identification (1996). Journal of Marketing, Vol. 61, No. 3 (Jul., 1997) (pp. 54-70); University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-382. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2275218

Robert Fisher (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Marketing, Business Economics & Law ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

Elliot N. Maltz

Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University ( email )

900 State Street
Salem, OR 97301
United States

Bernard Jaworski

Claremont Colleges - Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management ( email )

The Drucker School of Management
1021 North Dartmouth Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711
United States

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