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Structuring the marketing function in complex professional service organizations

Angus W. Laing (Department of Management Studies, University of Aberdeen, UK)
Lorna McKee (Department of Management Studies, University of Aberdeen, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 1 June 2000

Abstract

The organization of the corporate marketing function has attracted increasing attention from marketers in the 1990s. This reflects both the significant conceptual developments in marketing theory and a questioning of the role of the centralized marketing department to organizations operating in post‐industrial service economies. Drawing on data from a broader research project into marketing activity in the acute health care sector in the United Kingdom, the paper examines the organizational solutions adopted by self‐governing hospitals in managing the marketing function. The core theme to emerge from the research is the imperative for such professional service organizations to facilitate the development of flexible, project focused marketing teams, effectively mirroring the notion of the buying centre, capable of integrating core technical professionals directly into the marketing process. Coupled to this is the notion of marketing professionals having to abdicate ownership, and even dominance, of the corporate marketing process.

Keywords

Citation

Laing, A.W. and McKee, L. (2000), "Structuring the marketing function in complex professional service organizations", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 34 No. 5/6, pp. 576-597. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090560010321947

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited