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The Organization of Marketing: A Study of Decentralized, Devolved and Dispersed Marketing Activity


  • Lloyd C. Harris
  • Emmanuel Ogbonna


Despite a priority research grading by the Marketing Science Institute, the issue of marketing organization is bewilderingly under explored. Whilst advances have been made in conceptualizing marketing organization in networks of large trans-national corporations, recent research has highlighted the paucity of empirical work into the intra-firm dispersion of marketing activities. This study is designed to examine just this issue. The aim is to develop data-grounded insights into the organization and dispersion of marketing activities. A case study finds an unusual form of marketing organization. This form of marketing organization is characterized by the decentralization, devolution and dispersion of community-oriented marketing management activities driven by empowered operational-level part-time-marketers who either adopt a traditional mix-management approach or more rarely a relational approach. These findings lead to a range of interesting implications for theorists and practitioners. Copyright 2003 Blackwell Science Asia Pty. Ltd..

Suggested Citation

  • Lloyd C. Harris & Emmanuel Ogbonna, 2003. "The Organization of Marketing: A Study of Decentralized, Devolved and Dispersed Marketing Activity," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 483-512, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:40:y:2003:i:2:p:483-512

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lloyd C. Harris & Nigel F. Piercy, 1998. "Barriers to Marketing Development in the Barristers’ Profession," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4), pages 19-37, October.
    2. Barry Turner, 1981. "Some practical aspects of qualitative data analysis: One way of organising the cognitive processes associated with the generation of grounded theory," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 225-247, June.
    3. Muniz, Albert M, Jr & O'Guinn, Thomas C, 2001. " Brand Community," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(4), pages 412-432, March.
    4. Karl E. Weick, 1991. "The Nontraditional Quality of Organizational Learning," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 2(1), pages 116-124, February.
    5. Paul Osterman, 1994. "How Common is Workplace Transformation and Who Adopts it?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 173-188, January.
    6. Panagiotis Kouvelis & Martin A. Lariviere, 2000. "Decentralizing Cross-Functional Decisions: Coordination Through Internal Markets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(8), pages 1049-1058, August.
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