Global marketing managers

David A. Griffith (Department of Marketing, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA)
Jessica J. Hoppner (Department of Marketing, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Publication date: 15 February 2013



Although a great deal of research has focused on global marketing strategy development and implementation, little research has focused on the global marketing managers charged with the responsibilities of developing and implementing such strategy. The aim of this paper is to develop a model that identifies a set of soft skills that have the ability to increase the effectiveness of global marketing managers in making the tactical adaptations necessary to develop and implement global marketing strategy in an increasingly complex and dynamic marketplace.


A conceptual model is developed with coinciding propositions.


The model developed theorizes that the ability of global marketing managers to make tactical adaptations to the firm's global marketing strategy (and thus enhance performance) is driven by the soft skills of tacit knowledge, experience, learning, unlearning, intuition, self‐confidence, flexibility, prioritization of problems, working under pressure and ambiguity tolerance.

Practical implications

The model highlights the specific soft skills that firms can work to foster in their global marketing managers and educators can work to incorporate within a curriculum. Through the development of these soft skills within a firm's global marketing managers, the firm can achieve a competitive position within the marketplace.


This study is one of the first to conceptualize a specific set of soft skills that enhance a global marketing manager's ability to make tactical adaptations to the firm's global marketing strategy by which the firm can be more competitive. As such, this study provides for a better understanding of how soft skills relate to the development and implementation of global marketing strategy and how firms can be more competitive by not only employing unique human capital, but by developing global marketing managers who are more effective at adapting to constantly changing global market conditions.



Griffith, D. and Hoppner, J. (2013), "Global marketing managers", International Marketing Review, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 21-41.

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