The bitter and the sweet

Päivi Eriksson (University of Tampere, School of Business Administration, Finland)
Keijo Räsänen (Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration, Finland)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Publication date: 1 April 1998


This paper focuses on the processes by which different manager groups can influence product mix changes. The paper analyses three different types of process ‐ dominance, compromise and integration ‐ through which the extensiveness and renewal of a product mix was shaped by groups of marketing and production managers, general managers and owner‐managers. Each of the groups developed their own understanding, or “logic of action”, about the most desirable product mix. It is shown that these logics of action play an important role in product mix changes, not as isolated elements but in interaction with one another and the industry context. This paper provides a detailed empirical analysis of a product mix pattern over a long duration by illustrating the three different forms of managerial interaction by which the product mix was achieved. The contribution of the study is twofold. First, the study shows that historical and contextual studies are required in order to understand the role and relevance of marketing activities and marketing based actors in business firms. Second, the study gives evidence for the usefulness of inter‐disciplinary research and discussion within the field of marketing studies.



Eriksson, P. and Räsänen, K. (1998), "The bitter and the sweet", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 32 No. 3/4, pp. 279-304.

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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