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Author Topic: UL Professional Ideology and Marketing Implementation  (Read 1427 times)

skyhew

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Professional Ideology and Marketing Implementation

by Richard Whittington, Warwick Business School, and
Richard Whipp, Cardiff Business School, UK


Quote
The issue of marketing implementation is gaining increasing attention, in this journal especially[1-5]. This interest has been reinforced by the apparently chronic weakness of British and American manufacturers at marketing[6,7]. A persistent failing, it seems, is that marketing is only superficially implemented, achieving the trappings of change but not the substance[8].

This article will analyse the implementation problem from two perspectives that have developed outside the marketing discipline over the last decade: the "contextualist" approach to organizational change, and recent literature on the competition between the professions. The two are linked. The contextualist approach has demonstrated the importance to organizational change not only of managing complex internal processes, but also of mobilizing resources from the social context outside the organization itself[9,10]. A potentially crucial resource from this social context is the availability of an exclusive professional apparatus capable of conferring both technological competence and ideological credibility on the particular groups leading change. Recent studies of the professions have suggested that accountancy and finance have been especially successful at developing such a professional apparatus, at the expense of engineers and marketers in particular[11,121.

Here the focus will be on how managerial change initiatives can depend on the mobilization of professional ideologies. Examining two cases of marketing implementation, the article will show both how change initiatives can run against the entrenched interests of other organizational professions, and how successful change management required, in each case, the securing of superior organizational legitimacy. In these two cases, the effective mobilization of marketing ideology was important to the achievement of organizational change. It will be suggested, finally, that the extension of marketing's influence depends not only on the refinement of its techniques, but also on a more self-conscious development of its own professional ideology. In concentrating on the substance of marketing, the profession may be neglecting its trappings.
 

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