Joint Marketing and Sales Appointment: Uncertainty from Intertwining of Marketing and Sales in One Position
The integration of diverging thought worlds of marketing and sales can have many synergistic benefits for industrial firms. However, intertwining marketing and sales in one position introduces coordination costs—costs that have, for the most part, been ignored by the existing B2B literature. The authors argue that appointment announcements of new executives to joint marketing and sales positions (M&S) puts these costs in stark relief, especially relative to new marketing-only (M) or sales-only (S) appointments’ announcements. Leveraging event-study methodology and latent instruments, this research examines secondary data on over 800 executive appointment announcements, 436 of which are related to marketing and sales. The authors find that new appointments to joint M&S positions introduce hard to simultaneously balance change across diverging thought worlds that results in uncertainty and hurt firm value. Drawing on structural-contingency framework, this study finds that less formalization of tasks, represented by insider status of an appointee, can mitigate this disruption, by stabilizing structures during change. Furthermore, specialization in B2B marketing technology weakens the negative effect of announcements of joint M&S appointments, because such positions lean heavily toward sales and thus require less coordination between the two functions. However, specialization with respect to industry environment, represented by market concentration, exacerbates the disruptive effect of appointing new executives to joint M&S positions.
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