Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

CMO: Chief Marketing Officer or chief “marginalized” officer
by Carver, James Richmond, Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2009, 136; 3355006
Abstract (Summary)

Traditionally, research investigating marketing's role and influence within the firm has focused on the marketing department and its ability to affect future firm strategies. Consequently, little is known about the antecedents of a Chief Marketing Officer's (CMO) role or influence. Yet the position of CMO is quite unique. Unlike other executive officers (e.g., CFOs), no reliable external validation or accreditation is generally recognized, required, or mandated. Similarly, firms are increasingly calling for their CMOs to justify their own existence, and many are even considering abandonment of the position entirely.

The goal of this investigation is to understand how CMOs can generate influence within their respective firms given a lack of reliable external credentials. However, the current business press seems to suggest that there currently exists a great bias towards marketing in general and CMOs in particular. As a result, the current investigation uses a competing models approach to study CMO influence.

Drawing upon the literature pertaining to competition, the author suggests that individuals, like firms, can generate their own competitive advantage by possessing unique bundles of resources (e.g., information). This is the common element in both models. As the uniqueness of the information provided by the CMO increases, other executive officers within the firm are more likely to confer expertise power to the CMO, which in turn leads to greater influence.

The two models diverge as organizational legitimacy is introduced. In one model, the Socially Contingent model, the CMO can only garner expertise power to the extent that s/he possesses organizational legitimacy. In such a case, CMOs that lack organizational legitimacy will be unable to realize any gains in expertise power regardless of the uniqueness of their informational resources (i.e., organizational legitimacy moderates the relationship between the uniqueness of the information provided and expertise power).

In the second model, the Merit-Based model, organizational legitimacy mediates the relationship between a CMO's expertise power and his/her influence. As a CMO's perceived expertise increases, other executive officers are more likely to support the CMO's initiatives, which in turn lead to greater influence during strategy design and implementation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lusch, Robert F.
Commitee: Erickson, Lance-Michael, Janakiraman, Narayan, Webster, Jr., Frederick E.
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Management
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 70/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Marketing, Management
Keywords: CMO, Chief marketing officer, Influence, Legitimacy, Resource advantage theory, Resource-based, Resource-based view
Publication Number: 3355006
ISBN: 9781109129557
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