Improving marketing–operations cross-functional relationships

Niall Piercy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (SciVal)


Collaboration between marketing and operational areas is critical to business success. Despite this, in practice most companies suffer hostile and adversarial relationships between these functions. Existing research has not sufficiently addressed methods for improving this situation outside of the large corporation or manufacturing sector. This paper seeks to address this shortcoming, investigating mechanisms to support better cross-functional relationships in the small–medium enterprise and in the service sector. Five case studies are presented of companies that displayed a-typically good relationships between marketing and operations groups. A cross-comparison is conducted to identify key themes and approaches that provide for and support good cross-functional relationships. Three key methods are presented and proposed as sources of positive marketing–operations relationships: (1) manipulation of pay/reward mechanisms; (2) clear strategy and strategic leadership; and (3) an explicit focus on bringing people together.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-356
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Strategic Marketing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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