تضاد، رهبری و بازارگرایی
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Research in Marketing, Volume 25, Issue 1, March 2008, Pages 34–45
While conflict is generally viewed as something to avoid, some conflicts benefit organizations. Against this backdrop, this article explores how a particular type of leadership (i.e., transformational) affects (a) the two dimensions of interfunctional conflict (i.e., task and relational), (b) market orientation and performance, and (c) the task/relational conflict–market orientation and performance relationships that allow for nonlinear effects. Data collected from CEOs and marketing managers show that the relationship among task/relational conflict, transformational leadership, market orientation, and performance is more complex than previously thought. The authors discuss the relevance of nonlinear effects in the context of how firms might improve their market orientation and performance.
Both academics and practitioners support the importance of forming market orientation (MO) to achieve firm success (e.g., Lear, 1963). Several studies show that MO provides superior returns for firms (e.g., Narver & Slater, 1990). For example, Kirca, Jayachandran, and Bearden (2005) suggest that MO not only leads to superior firm performance, but also to more committed employees and satisfied customers. More recently, Cano, Carrillat, and Jaramillo (2004), in an extensive study that spanned 23 countries across five continents, confirmed that there is a strong positive effect of MO on business performance. Therefore, the formation of MO should represent a central priority for marketing managers and academics alike. Kohli and Jaworski (1990), Jaworski and Kohli (1993), and Kirca et al. (2005), among others, argue that interfunctional conflict and senior management focus serve as important antecedents to MO. Because the development and formation of MO is an organizational issue, interdepartmental dynamics can determine its success. Furthermore, previous research underscores the significance of senior management in forming MO (Felton, 1959, July–August, Levitt, 1969 and Webster, 1988, May–June). Previous research in marketing and management suggests that not all conflicts are hazardous to organizations (Amason, 1996, Jehn, 1997 and Menon et al., 1996); they posit that while relational or affective conflict has negative effects, task or functional conflict can be positive. Thus, to simply claim that conflict is detrimental to MO ignores the different effects of varying types of conflict. Previous researchers such as Kohli and Jaworski (1990) and Jaworski and Kohli (1993) merely highlight the importance of senior management and consider senior management focus as a broad, general construct. To provide a more fine-grained picture of senior management focus, we extend their research to the more concrete context of leadership. Narver, Slater, and Tietje (1998, p. 244) assert that “Top management plays a critical leadership role in changing a culture in general, and in creating a market orientation in particular.” Transformational leadership (TL) in particular offers excellent grounds for demonstrating senior management focus. We investigate TL, as opposed to other types of leadership such as transactional, because it forms a strong bond with and rallying point for employees to support and nurture MO (Harris and Ogbanna, 2001 and Narver et al., 1998). In doing so, we adopt the following definition of TL: leadership that exerts influence over its followers by changing their values, beliefs, and attitudes through internalization or identification, so they align their values and goals with the broader objective of the organization ( Kelman, 1958). Our goal is to shed light on two particular antecedents of MO: interfunctional conflict and TL. We depart from prior research on several points. Specifically, we posit a tripartite role for TL in (1) affecting interfunctional conflict (i.e., task and relational), (2) influencing MO, and (3) moderating the interfunctional conflict–MO relationship. In addition to exploring MO as the final dependent variable, we also investigate firm performance. To this end, we examine the relationship among interfunctional conflict, TL, and MO/performance, allowing for nonlinearities. In the next section, we provide our proposed conceptual framework for the relationships among our key constructs, including interfunctional conflict and TL. Subsequently, we develop our hypotheses and report empirical results. We used a multiple respondent design, in which functional managers responded to questions about TL and interfunctional conflict and CEOs answered items relating to MO, to minimize common method bias. For firm performance, we used an objective measure of the firms' return on assets (i.e., net profit after tax, expressed as a percentage of total assets). We conclude by discussing some managerial and theoretical implications, limitations, and future research directions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our findings provide several important theoretical and managerial implications. From a theoretical perspective, we examined the tripartite role of TL in terms of (1) managing different types of interfunctional conflict, (2) increasing MO, and (3) moderating the TC/RC–MO relationship. That is, we investigated the relationship among TL, two different types of conflict, and MO, allowing for nonlinearities. Our study uses a cultural perspective of MO and TL and examined not only how different types of conflict affect MO, but also how TL influences TC/RC in an integrated model. Post-hoc analysis revealed some insightful findings that corroborate our proposed model. The effectiveness of TL varies depending on the nature of conflict. With TC, TL has an inverted-U shaped relationship, such that TC is highest at moderate levels of such leadership (Fig. 1). Conversely, with RC, TL experiences a U-shaped relationship, indicating that RC is minimized at moderate levels of TL (Fig. 2). Because MO reaches its highest point at moderate levels of TC (Hypothesis 3a), the results imply that encouraging moderate TL has multiple benefits in terms of reducing RC and increasing MO by stimulating TC. Beyond this level, however, more TL increases RC. We also found that TL enhances MO because the atmosphere and culture a transformational leader creates seems to match the culture that MO promotes. Our results are consistent with the argument proposed by Slater and Narver (1995), who assert that leadership plays an essential role in shaping MO. In this respect, our finding corroborates and extends the work of Harris and Ogbanna (2001) by showing that, in addition to participative and supportive leadership, TL enhances MO. To further extend these findings, additional research might consider Hart's (1992) five strategy development styles – command, symbolic, rational, transactive, and generative – and investigate how different leadership styles might transfer to these different strategy development styles, and thereby affect MO. Our post-hoc analysis also revealed that, with a few exceptions, the subdimensions of TL have a positive effect on the subdimensions of MO. For example, intellectual stimulation and charisma had positive effects on CO and INT and COMP and INT, respectively. Although TL moderates the TC–MO relationship, it does not moderate the RC–MO relationship, perhaps because a different type of leadership is needed to address RC. Perhaps because RC stems from interpersonal incompatibilities, attempts to overcome strife with an emotional or value-laden leadership style may be counterproductive. In this latter case, transactional leadership might be more effective. Additional research should explore such avenues. From a managerial perspective, this research highlights the importance of nurturing and shaping transformational leaders, depending on the goals of the organization. If the organization's objective is to use TL as a means to manage conflict, the firm must recognize that initial increases in TL will reduce RC but induce TC, then switch as TL continues to increase. Firms might use TL to enhance their MO even when high TC exists. In this scenario, TL can be effective for those organizations that want to enhance their MO, yet at the same time are concerned that a significant amount of TC may result. Our findings provide managers with some reassurance that their MO will not suffer. We found a negative linear relationship between RC and subjective and objective performance as well as a negative association between TC and objective performance. Although arguments exist for a moderate level of TC for maximum performance, our results indicate that TC works against firm performance. Thus, further research will be needed to provide clarification in this area. Unlike the TC–performance relationship, the RC–performance relationship is clearly negative for both perceptual and objective performance, attesting to the claim that RC is in no way beneficial for improving firm performance. Somewhat surprisingly, TL was not positively associated with firm performance. Waldman, Ramirez, House, and Puranam (2001) also found that transactional leadership and charismatic leadership has no positive relationship with firm performance (net income/net sales). Transactional and charismatic leadership only positively influences firm performance in climates of high environmental uncertainty. Waldman, Javidan, and Varella (2004) also found charismatic leadership to be related positively to only one (net income/net sales) of three objective firm performance measures (net income/net sales, ROE, and sales growth) at the .05 level. When they replace charismatic leadership with intellectual stimulation, the only positive relationship found was between intellectual stimulation and ROE. Consequently, in our findings the null effect of TL on firm performance is consistent with results from prior studies. Taking our results and those of previous studies, we argue that the TL-firm performance relationship must be analyzed under a contingency perspective. MO may be a mediator in the TL-firm performance relationship. Our research has shown that TL is related positively to MO and the literature has shown that MO positively influences firm performance (Deshpande & Farley, 2004). The role of MO as a mediator has been shown in the extant literature where MO partially mediates the relationship between business strategy (i.e., cost leadership, differentiation, and focus) and new product development activity (Frambach, Prabhu, & Verhallen, 2003). The effect of TL on performance may also be mediated by market-oriented HRM practices. Identifying the model that best captures this relationship may be a fruitful area for future research.