The Manager's Dilemma: Role Conflict in Marketing
FUTURE DIRECTIONS FOR MARKETING, G. Fisk, J. Arndt, and G. Gronhaug, eds., pp. 78-89, Cambridge, MA: Marketing Science Institute, 1978
9 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2005 Last revised: 31 Dec 2011
Norris Brisco, Melvin Copeland, Henry Erdman, Benjamin Hibbard, George Hotchkiss, Leverett Lyon, Stanley Resor, Clarence Saunders, Harry Tosdal, Roland Vaile: Who are these people? They are great men in the history of marketing, according to Wright and Dinsdale (1974). They are marketing heroes. But riot society's heroes. Rather than hero, the marketing man is usually a villain in novels; he is the butt of jokes; and respondents to surveys think poorly of him. Why does society reward the marketing manager well, yet scorn him? This paper argues that marketing managers are generally good people who do the dirty work for organizations. Furthermore, this dirty work is not necessary. The organization's definition of the role of the marketing manager conflicts with that definition of the role which best meets the needs of society. As a result, a person who performs well in this role of marketing manager often harms society; a conflict exists between "excellence in marketing" and the "needs of society." This paper first examines the reasons for role conflict. Next it discusses how people behave in the face of such conflict, and how this behavior is translated into marketing strategies. Finally, suggestions are made for dealing with the conflict.
Keywords: Marketing, marketing manager, role conflict
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