¶ … Marketing Canon: Approaches Based on Principles for Influencing Decision Making in Firms
Operating in several geographical locations, quite a number of firms have many product lines, which many marketing scholars believe are ever confronted by myriad dilemmas. To facilitate consistent decision-making processes, it is vital for the firms to come up with overall but common marketing strategies while at the same time, it is very essential for firms to permit their employees the ease to make their specific circumstances suit marketing decisions. However, allowing such flexible measures always leads to challenges in making marketing decisions because everyone, including managers often project dissimilar mental pictures and models of marketing.
Existing literature suggest two approaches for formulating a common means to making decisions that provides different levels of flexibility. The first approach is that firms could depend on mechanical approaches that influence decisions made by stipulating standard modes of operations (Homburg and Furst, 2005). The second perspective provides that firms ought to nurture shared norms and values in employees such as information sharing and teamwork in order to arrive at correct decisions (Homburg and Furst, 2005).
Statement of the Problem
Although the suggested approaches are more flexible, they fall short of the influence they are supposed to give firm managers in the process of making marketing decisions (Homburg and Pflesser, 2000). This research suggests a third approach for formulating a common ground for tackling the apparent conflicting importance of flexibility and consistency. In this research this third approach is referred to as Marketing Canon which can be defined as: an organization's peculiar principles synthesized from its practices in order to provide guidance throughout the organization in making choices in market decisions.
Purpose of the Study
The study intends to evaluate the concept of Marketing Canon in detail by adding four contributions to the existing literature.
Establish a formal definition of the construct deduced from an examination of the general idea of Canon from different literature sources where it is majorly used.
Help firms with guidance on developing their own marketing canon
Establish a conceptual framework that encompasses consequences and the antecedents of using the marketing canon
Find out how using marketing canon and its performance relationship can influence the impact of three unsteady environments namely: structural flux, market turbulence and competitive intensity.
How to apply peculiar principles of an organization accumulated from experiences and the related impacts?
H0: Why using marketing canon has uniform effects on broad contexts while in other contexts they are more valuable and have different gradations?
Ha: Can the use of market canon be applied across similar contexts and why they are more important in some contexts but vary in others?
Existing literature on making marketing decisions suggests that other influences include routines, values, and culture and market orientations in an organization (Homburg and Furst 2005). Market orientation means an organizations responsiveness, generation and dissemination of market intelligence (Jaworski and Kohli 1993).
The role of market orientation is to make a firm more focused on the competitors and the customers.(Narver and Slater 1990), while on the other hand the function of marketing canon is to provide guidance for marketing decision making, for instance, branding and segmentation in a uniformly consistent way in an organization. This concept is much more directional and specific, for example, positioning of a brand should consistently remain the same over time and across many regions. This differs from the accepted general trends in a market oriented organization.
Organizational culture refers to the values employees share amongst themselves depending on the rules of conduct provided by the organization (Deshpande and Webster 1989).Organizational values can be defined as widespread sets of beliefs about how people should act within the organization, for instance, matters relating to integrity and teamwork (Kabanoff, Waldersee, and Cohen 1995).
There are three ways in which marketing canon is different from organizational values and culture. To begin with, organizational values and culture impact on all employees by focusing on their conduct while...
Secondly, values and culture have distant and unrelated impacts on how marketing tasks perform (Sinkula, Baker, and Noordewier 1997), while marketing canon has a more direct influence. Thirdly, marketing canon basically indicates guidance from the experiences of the firm while culture and values reflect an unspecified manner of behavior (Challagalla, Murtha & Jaworski, 2014)
Routine refers to clear series of conduct for highly structured but simple problems (Bingham and Eisenhardt2011). For instance, where highly structured activities like managing customer service are concerned organizations may formulated standard operating procedures or definite routines (Homburg and Furst 2005).
But in contrast, marketing canon sets guidelines for unstructured or more complex marketing tasks. More so, marketing canon needs judgment while being applied but routines only call upon managers to identify a situation and use quasi-automatic and ready-made solutions (Cohen and Bacdayan 1994).
These comparisons mean that routines need highly standardized processes for their formulation whereas the setting up of marketing canon is apparently more involving. Scholars have suggested that the main role of marketing professionals should be to produce organization-specific knowledge because this represents a means of competitive advantages (Nonaka and Von Krogh, 2009).
This research proposes that organizations can depend on their peculiar experiences for coming up with that type of knowhow; however performance cannot be improved by drawing from experience alone (Bingham, Eisenhardt, and Furr 2007).
For that reason, organizations require procedure for converting such experiences into knowledge that can be applied. Generally, marketing literature has never examined the idea of organization derived experiences from specific principles as a possible means to competitive advantage. Many scholars have indicated that marketing may be taking a back seat mainly because senior executives have lost touch with the role and value of marketing (Webster, Malter, and Ganesan2005).
Actually, such scholars have a limited view of marketing which they related to communication in marketing. In this respect, marketing canon intends to provide an opportunity to define the role of marketing and solidify its place within organizations. When senior executives from different departments in an organization clearly appreciate the core principle of their organization they will most likely understand the value and role of marketing.
This chapter on methodology will mainly focus on 1) Explaining the rationale behind choosing the methodology that has been used and 2) aptness of the method for the overall accomplishment of the topic of this work. This chapter has been divided into relevant chapters to justify the means and methods of the methodology employed along with variations thereof. It hence establishes the method as being useful to reach the desired outcomes. (Cohen, Manion and Morrison, 2007). The research onion, a process described by Saunders et al., (2012, p.83) best explains the way to follow a research work and has hence been used here as the basic premise for this work.
According to Trochim (2006), the academia views the work of researches to get a better grasp of the subject in question. Research work also puts forth the diverse views prevalent on the topic across many regions. There are two ways of looking at it Positivism and Post-positivism. These are two constructs that aid the research work. Positivism is the approach that precludes metaphysics and makes demands on observational explanations. The other viewpoint lays stress on the perceptions that can be enlarged to development of the larger construct. They, in tandem, guide any research work of consequence.
Positivism is the experimental determination and assertion of observation in nature. It helps logical deductions and can be tested for authenticity to known means and measures. A positivist is he, who follows the rigors of controlled examination for deriving logical outcomes, and the work carried out by him depicts the testing tenets minutely. The main thrust of positivists is on objectivity rather than subjectivity. At the other spectrum is the post-positivist who emphasizes that no research could ever be entirely objective in content and result. Presumptions, they believe, are inherent in any endeavor, scientific or not. They are of the view that anticipation is a given in any pursuit.(Trochim, 2006).This study would be best served in its purposes through Post-Positivism.
Trochim (2006),has also proposed two processes that may be followed to arrive at results conclusively: inductive and deductive methods. In deductive techniques one starts by taking a perspective view of the larger influence. The parameters are then eliminated systematically sequentially to arrive at the aim of the research work. It is alternatively known as Top-down approach. Inductive technique works in exactly the reverse fashion. The basic object of research is first approached in its minutest form and is then gradually built up to accomplish the larger construct of the work under consideration. It is thus a bottoms-up approach. This approach used in this work is of inductive type.
This research employs theories-in-use and discovery-oriented approaches which incorporates detailed interviews with the existing literature as a way of…
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