To read this content please select one of the options below:

Marketing or sales: the executive decision

Hei-wai Lee (Professor of Finance, College of Business, The University of Michigan – Dearborn, Dearborn, MI, USA)
Crystal J. Scott (Associate Professor of Marketing, College of Business, The University of Michigan – Dearborn, Dearborn, MI, USA)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Article publication date: 21 September 2015




The purpose of this paper is to explore and analyze the differences in organizations that choose to have a sales executive versus a marketing executive on the leadership team.


Our study examined 315 marketing and sales executives across 246 US firms taken from the S & P 1500.


Our findings suggest that the company choice of marketing or sales executive positions is driven by its customer base, branding strategy, investment in product development, and industry. The choice of executive is also associated with its firm valuation and cash flow performance.

Research limitations/implications

Further research might want to examine companies that include both a sales and marketing executive as part of the leadership team and explore industry characteristics and customer base surrounding that decision.


Research has looked at the relationship between the marketing and sales functions but has rarely taken into account the performance of companies that emphasize sales and/or marketing leadership in its executive team. This paper analyzes the differences in organizations that choose among marketing versus sales executives or an executive overseeing the dual sales and marketing function.



Lee, H.-w. and Scott, C.J. (2015), "Marketing or sales: the executive decision", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 36 No. 5, pp. 43-49.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles