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Worried About Strategy Implementation? Don't Overlook Marketing's Role

Stanley F. Slater

Charles and Gwen Lillis Professor of Business Administration

College of Business

Colorado State University

Fort Collins, CO 80523-1278

Phone: 970-491-2994

Fax: 970-491-5956

Eric M. Olson

Professor of Marketing and Strategic Management

College of Business and Administration

University of Colorado – Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Phone: 719-262-3345

Fax: 719-262-3494

G. Tomas M. Hult

Professor of Marketing, International Business, & Strategic Management

Eli Broad Graduate School of Management

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI 48824-1121

Phone: 517-353-4336

Fax: 517-432-1009

In press at Business Horizons

Worried About Strategy Implementation? Don't Overlook Marketing's Role


Many executives and scholars have argued that effective strategy implementation is at least as, if not more, important than developing a brilliant strategy. While there are several perspectives regarding what is required for successful strategy implementation, probably the most influential perspective is that business success requires a fit between strategy and organizational architecture. Organizational architecture subsumes structural variables and capabilities. For the past 10 years, we have studied the performance implications of matching marketing's organizational architecture to four generic business strategies (Prospectors, Analyzers, Low-Cost Defenders, and Differentiated Defenders). Through six empirical studies we have identified best practice matches between these strategy types and: 1) marketing organization culture, 2) marketing strategy, 3) market strategy formation process, 4) market-focused strategic organizational behaviors 5) marketing organization structure, and 6) marketing control systems. In this article we bring together...