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Personal characteristics, trust, conflict and effectiveness in marketing/sales working relationshipsPurpose – The key objective of this research is to test how two trust dimensions (cognition-based trust and affect-based trust) mediate the effects of three personal characteristics (psychological distance, the marketing manager's sales experience, and the marketing manager's relative level of formal education) on the following outcome variables: dysfunctional conflict, functional conflict, and perceived relationship effectiveness. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on the interaction approach, the paper develops a conceptual framework to better understand the nature of the working relationship between marketing managers and sales managers. In total, it develops and test 13 hypotheses. Partial least squares was used to assess the validity of the measures, and to estimate the structural model. Using a cross-sectional design, data were collected from 101 marketing managers in Australia. Findings – The hypothesized model has high explanatory power and it was found that both trust dimensions strongly affected all three outcome variables. However, though both forms of trust were positively related to perceived relationship effectiveness, affect-based trust had the strongest impact on this outcome. The results also confirm that both cognition- and affect-based trust have negative effects on dysfunctional conflict, and strong positive effects on functional conflict. In addition to these new findings, the paper shows that while psychological distance has a strong negative impact on cognition-based trust, it has no impact on affect-based trust. Moreover, it was found that when marketing managers had greater levels of sales experience, it increased their affect-based trust but it had no impact on cognition-based trust. Finally, the marketing manager's relative level of formal education had no impact on either forms of trust. Originality/value – This is one of a handful of studies to employ a large-scale empirical approach to examine the neglected cross-functional relationship between marketing and sales. Also, it is one of the few studies to examine the effects of cognition-based trust and affect-based trust on performance outcomes.
Power, Interdependence and Influence in Marketing Manager/Sales Manager Working RelationshipsRelationships between Marketing Managers and Sales Managers are amongst the most important working relationships within modern firms, though to date, these have received little attention in the literature. Our study adds to knowledge of this working relationship by examining the effects of Sales unit power, total interdependence between Marketing and Sales, and the type and effects of the influence tactics employed by Sales Managers in this important CFR. Our results suggest that not all influence tactics are effective in increasing a Sales Manager’s influence within the firm. Also, our findings provide support for the notion that managers of powerful departments are less likely to spend time and effort using influence tactics to secure peer managers’ cooperation and compliance. Conversely, where peer managers are highly interdependent, they will increase their use of a wide array of influence tactics to secure desired outcomes.
The antecedents and consequences of functional and dysfunctional conflict between Marketing Managers and Sales ManagersFocusing on the working relationship between Marketing Managers and Sales Managers, our study examines two dimensions of interpersonal conflict: dysfunctional conflict and functional conflict. Drawing on relevant theory, we include three communication variables – frequency, bidirectionality, and quality – as antecedents in our structural model. Using these explanatory variables we predict the two conflict dimensions, and in turn, use these same three communication variables, and the two conflict dimensions to predict our ultimate endogenous variable — perceived relationship effectiveness. Overall, our model has high explanatory power, and we find support for nine of the thirteen hypotheses. More specifically, two of the three communication variables – communication quality and bidirectionality – significantly impact on both forms of conflict, and relationship effectiveness, though communication frequency only influenced the quality of communication between the Marketing Managers and the Sales Managers. In addition, the variables in our model better predict the levels of functional conflict in the Marketing/Sales relationship than dysfunctional conflict. Finally, an important new finding in this research is that the overall level of dysfunctional conflict between these two functional managers is relatively low, while functional conflict is high.
The Effects of Power and Dependence Asymmetry on Marketing/Sales.This paper examines how the power of the Sales unit (department), and the dependence of Marketing Managers on Sales Managers (and vice versa) affect trust in working relationships between those Marketing Managers and Sales Managers. Our results show that the greater the power of the Sales department, the lower the propensity of Marketing Managers to trust the Sales Manager. In addition, our results suggest that the effects of cross-functional dependence on interpersonal trust are not symmetric. Specifically, when Marketing Managers are highly dependent on Sales Managers, they will be more likely to trust the Sales Manager. However, when the Sales Manager is highly dependent on the Marketing Manager, this is not associated with the Marketing Manager having increased interpersonal trust in that Sales Manager.