Marketing: The Engineer's Perspective
Engineers form a single professional grouping, the individuals of which work in a number of functions including R&D and manufacturing. Attitudes of engineers to marketing can affect the relationship between engineers and marketers. There is at present little research into the attitudes of engineers, at all functional levels, towards marketing and marketers, as most of the interfunctional studies concern R&D and marketing, particularly in the US. This study addresses this issue by asking engineers their views on marketing and their marketing colleagues. Using factor analysis and content analysis the study finds that, in general, engineers take a reasonably broad, positive view of marketing and marketers. However, the research also shows that those who have received marketing training are significantly more likely to have a deeper understanding of marketing issues and to have a more positive attitude towards marketing and their marketing colleagues. In spite of this more positive attitude, engineers with marketing training do not exhibit any significant differences in their view of the engineering-marketing relationship when compared to those without training. Other factors such as age, industry sector, engineering background and a person's managerial status have also been investigated. Age was found to have very little effect on attitude, whereas industry affects the activities that engineers associate with marketing and their view of the engineering-marketing relationship. Engineering background affects engineers' attitudes to marketing activities and the relationship to some extent. Finally managerial status affects attitudes in both of these areas, which is of particular interest as most previous research has questioned only managers and directors and not individuals at all levels in an organisation.
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