تاثیر پاداش های هم تراز و نگرش های مدیر ارشد در تعارض و همکاری بین فروش و بازاریابی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|27559||2011||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10446 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 40, Issue 7, October 2011, Pages 1161–1171
This research was carried out using five case studies and a survey to discover how sales and marketing managers are rewarded and if alignment of rewards can improve collaboration between sales and marketing and/or reduce inter-functional conflict. In addition, it examined the role of senior managers' support for coordination on sales/marketing collaboration. The results reveal that organizations which use aligned rewards can increase sales/marketing collaboration through such reward structures, but not reduce inter-functional conflict. In addition, senior managers' support for coordination is vital, as it increases sales/marketing collaboration, and strongly reduces inter-functional conflict. This is important because inter-functional conflict has a strong negative impact on collaboration between sales and marketing in business to business firms.
This paper examines the effectiveness of rewards alignment, and the role of senior management, in improving collaboration and decreasing conflict between sales and marketing personnel in business-to-business firms. The sales/marketing interface has a direct and significant impact on customers and the revenue-earning potential of the firm. Guenzi and Troilo (2007) for example linked the effectiveness of Marketing/Sales relations, to positive outcomes such as superior value creation, and market performance. Hence, the effective management of the sales/marketing interface is possibly of greater importance in improving business performance and organizational success than any other internal interface (e.g. Dawes and Massey, 2005, Homburg and Jensen, 2007 and Le Meunier-FitzHugh and Piercy, 2007), particularly within business-to-business firms (Dawes & Massey, 2006). A key proposition investigated in this study is whether sales/marketing collaboration can be improved by aligning the reward structures of sales and marketing. A number of conceptual and empirical studies (e.g., Dewsnap and Jobber, 2000, Kotler et al., 2006 and Rouzies et al., 2005) have identified aligned or joint reward structures as a key mechanism to improve the sales/marketing interface. However, to our knowledge, this proposition has not previously been empirically tested. A major issue addressed in our study therefore is whether aligning reward structures to reflect broader “superordinate” goals (e.g., company performance) rather than individual departmental goals can facilitate collaboration and reduce tension between sales and marketing. According to Galbraith (2002:12), “The purpose of the reward system is to align the goals of the employee with the goals of the organization” and “to be successful, the focus of rewards must be compatible with the tasks and structures laid down for the organisation” (Child, 1985:202). However, Alldredge, Griffin, and Kotcher (1999) note that in many organizations, sales and marketing are being pulled in two different directions by independent goals and reward systems. Although sales and marketing are sometimes considered to be part of the same function with the same objectives, in reality they are often managed as two distinct departmental groups with independent goals (e.g. Anderson et al., 1999 and Olson et al., 2001). These goal differences may be a source of interdepartmental friction, and may indicate a lack of understanding of the importance of coordination by senior management (e.g. Colletti and Chonko, 1997, Homburg and Jensen, 2007, Lorge, 1999 and Strahle et al., 1996). The impact of senior managers' support for sales/marketing coordination on inter-functional conflict and collaboration is also explored. Tjosvold (1988) noted that as internal collaboration improves productivity and competitiveness, increasing it is a key managerial objective. There is evidence to suggest however that the sales/marketing interface is not always harmonious or collaborative (e.g. Kotler et al., 2006, Lorge, 1999 and Rouzies et al., 2005). Moreover, inter-functional conflict (e.g. working at cross purposes, low support, and obstructive behavior) in the sales/marketing interface reduces collaboration (Le Meunier-FitzHugh and Piercy, 2007 and Menon et al., 1997) and operational effectiveness. Both improving collaboration and reducing conflict between sales and marketing should be a target for senior managers according to Kotler et al. (2006), but many managers are not focused on achieving these objectives. We make a number of contributions to the literature. First, whilst a number of studies have discussed the impact of rewards on the sales/marketing interface (e.g. Dewsnap and Jobber, 2000, Kotler et al., 2006 and Rouzies et al., 2005), this is the first empirical test of this issue. Our study therefore responds to Chimhanzi (2004), who called for further research into the effects of reward systems on interdepartmental integration. Our second contribution is that we examine the role of senior managers' support for sales/marketing coordination in reducing inter-functional conflict and improving collaboration. Our study therefore not only adds to the scant literature on the sales/marketing interface, it also contributes to the debate on the impact of senior management attitudes on the interface, thereby filling a gap in our knowledge. Our specific objectives are: • To identify from the literature key constructs influencing sales/marketing collaboration. • To explore the roles of senior manager's support for collaboration, and aligned rewards in reducing inter-functional conflict, and increasing sales/marketing collaboration. • To empirically test whether aligned rewards, and senior managers' support for coordination reduce inter-functional conflict, and increase collaboration. The article is structured as follows. First we provide a review of the relevant literature and then we describe our methodological approach to the exploratory phase of our study. We present the findings from our exploratory case studies, specify our conceptual model and develop our hypotheses. The methodology for the quantitative part of the study and the results from the quantitative phase are then presented. A discussion of the findings follows, and finally we present our conclusions, the limitations of the study, and directions for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study focuses on whether senior managers' support for coordination and the use of aligned reward structures have positive effects in reducing conflict and/or improving collaboration between the sales and marketing functions. Both the quantitative and qualitative findings indicate that senior managers' support for coordination plays an essential role. Specifically, where senior managers openly support sales/marketing coordination, collaboration between sales and marketing is substantially higher. Importantly, our model testing results show that the impact of senior managers' support for coordination in reducing inter-functional conflict was much greater than its effects on improving collaboration between sales and marketing (see Table 4). This may be because inter-functional conflict manifests itself in fairly visible forms, such as antagonistic relationships and dysfunctional behaviors. Where senior management overtly supports coordination however, this will send a strong signal to managers that a solution to their problems and smooth operations are highly valued by senior management, and this should significantly reduce that conflict. Senior managers can take steps to address conflict specifically through discussion, brokering solutions and adjusting strategies. Consistent with this argument, the Head of Publishing, Publisher 1 said: “There has to be intervention, sometimes”. Our results are consistent with Homburg et al. (2008), who argued that to achieve collaboration between sales and marketing, senior managers need to create a culture of sharing, learning together, knowledge management, and structural linkages that is rarely achieved. Our findings also support Lawrence and Lorsch (1976) who suggested that inter-functional conflict may be addressed by senior managers through direct confrontation, or by the manager acting as an expert/specialist and actively intervening in the conflict. Managers unable to take either of these options may be less effective in dealing with conflict. The Sales Director from the industrial manufacturer explained how inter-functional conflict was directly addressed by senior management in the organization: “If there's a conflict between departments you just tend to go up to General Management. There is a local Management Committee here and they meet once a week and have what they call an issues meeting. So if there are any issues/inter-department issues building up, they get resolved or redressed.” Our case studies also suggest that positive informal relationships between sales and marketing personnel may have a significant impact on reducing inter-functional conflict. In the organizations that were more collaborative, the working relationships were underpinned by frequent contacts as illustrated by a quote from the Marketing Manager of Consumer Goods 2: “The Sales Manager and I get on well together. We have a formal weekly meeting with the Divisional Head, but we talk every day and this is where we tend to sort out any issues or problems that have arisen”. Consistent with our case studies, our model testing results found that increased inter-functional conflict between sales and marketing strongly reduced collaboration between these two departments. This is important because our qualitative research indicated that there was some inter-functional conflict evident in all of the organizations, even the most collaborative ones. The main issues appeared to be over planning, budgets and lack of internal communication. The reduction of inter-functional conflict is an important target for senior managers wishing to improve inter-functional relationships. According to our qualitative data this could be achieved through a clear direction from senior managers of the importance of coordination, goal alignment, good informal and formal communications, improving joint planning and a reduction of wrangles over resources. Turning now to the findings regarding rewards alignment, the extant literature suggests that setting aligned rewards should help reduce inter-functional conflict (e.g. Chimhanzi, 2004) and improve collaboration between sales and marketing (e.g. Dewsnap and Jobber, 2000 and Kotler et al., 2006). Whilst the results from the qualitative research on the impact of rewards on inter-functional conflict or collaboration were inconclusive, our PLS model testing found that aligned reward structures were positively related to sales/marketing collaboration. The more sales and marketing people are able to work together, it seems the greater the opportunities for improving collaboration. The adoption of a rewards system that reinforces attaining superordinate goals removes one of the difficulties of the sales and marketing interface; individually set and rewarded targets. If both groups are given rewards (in whatever form) to achieve the same goals, they are more likely to be motivated to cooperate and coordinate their activities. At the Industrial Manufacturer the VP Sales and Marketing explained: “Everybody gets a measure of bonus depending on the performance of the whole organization, value created and value maintained ... So yes, everyone gets bonused on performance.” However, the results from our PLS analysis also indicate that aligned rewards would not necessarily help reduce inter-functional conflict between sales and marketing. This was a surprising result as previous researchers (e.g. Chimhanzi, 2004, Gupta et al., 1987 and Souder and Chakrabarti, 1978) had suggested that rewards may be used to reduce conflict between functional groups. The proposition was that rewards can become a source of friction, especially if groups are offered strong incentives to achieve their own targets. The introduction of aligned rewards might be expected to reduce this, but the qualitative research showed that rewards packages between sales and marketing, were not a burning issue between the parties. There was a general acceptance that they were simply rewarded differently and this had always been the case. It seemed to be an accepted practice that sales remuneration package includes a reward for sales targets achieved, that is not usually offered to marketing staff. More important to the respondents was that the rewards system should be fair and that they were being rewarded for achieving targets. The Sales Manager for Consumer Goods 2 explained: “If marketing get it wrong in terms of promotions and product development, why should we be penalized for their mistakes? Additionally, why should they be rewarded on our success if they have not contributed to it?” This finding would suggest that there are additional influences that are outside our current study (e.g., organizational justice) which could help reduce inter-functional conflict between sales and marketing. Senior managers who focus on aligning goals creating a collaborative culture however, are still likely to achieve greater inter-functional collaboration than those who do not. Our results suggest that strategies to improve the sales/marketing interface should include the use of aligned reward structures. The format of these rewards; part bonus, fully salaried, or wholly based on incentives, is not critical, but both Sales Managers and Managing Managers should have their rewards linked to achieving superordinate or joint goals. Last, improving the sales/marketing interface should be a priority for senior managers. The reduction of inter-functional conflict is an important target, as this research shows that conflict has negative and direct effect on collaboration between sales and marketing. To reduce inter-functional conflict, senior managers need a proactive approach and deal with conflict directly, and to be seen to openly support and encourage sales/marketing coordination.