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EMAC 2022 Annual

Is relative power between Marketing & Sales associated with departmental authority, conflict and company performance?

Published: May 24, 2022


Konstantinos Lionakis, Athens University of Economics & Business; Maria Psimouli, ACG; Ioannis Rizomyliotis, University of West Attica; Kleopatra Konstantoulaki, St Petersburg State University


This paper explores the role of the relative power of Marketing and Sales departments in the creation of effective cross functional relationships. Specifically the study is focusing in the association between departmental power and (a) the authority of Marketing and Sales for the execution of strategic marketing activities (such as segmentation, targeting and positioning), (b) the level of conflict between these two departments and (c) company performance. The study analyzes data from both Marketing and Sales managers in 132 consumer packaged goods companies, concluding that the dispersion of influence between these two departments is connected with their power over market-related decisions, whereas power imbalances may have a bearing in higher levels of conflict between these two units and lower performance. To the best of our knowledge this is the first study to explore issues of intra-departmental power, authority and conflict through the eyes of both M&S managers per company.