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Worried about strategy implementation? Don't overlook marketing's role


  • Slater, Stanley F.
  • Olson, Eric M.
  • Hult, G. Tomas M.


Many executives and scholars have argued that effective strategy implementation is at least as important as--if not more important than--developing a brilliant strategy. While there are several extant viewpoints regarding what is required for successful strategy implementation, perhaps 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 findings from each of these studies to provide a comprehensive overview of those marketing actions and policies that are associated with superior firm performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Slater, Stanley F. & Olson, Eric M. & Hult, G. Tomas M., 2010. "Worried about strategy implementation? Don't overlook marketing's role," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 469-479, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:bushor:v:53:y::i:5:p:469-479

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Olson, Eric M. & Slater, Stanley F., 2002. "The balanced scorecard, competitive strategy, and performance," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 11-16.
    2. Robert E. Quinn & John Rohrbaugh, 1983. "A Spatial Model of Effectiveness Criteria: Towards a Competing Values Approach to Organizational Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(3), pages 363-377, March.
    3. Varadarajan, P. Rajan & Clark, Terry, 1994. "Delineating the scope of corporate, business, and marketing strategy," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 31(2-3), pages 93-105.
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