The Impact of Integration Mechanisms on Marketing/HR Dynamics
The resource dependency and integration theories, located within the organisational science literature, have been applied to the context of marketing to help explicate interactions between marketers and personnel from other functional units (e. g., Ruekert and Walker 1987; Maltz and Kohli 2000). As firms become leaner and flatter, marketing's integrative role in developing effective cross-unit working relationships is critical to successful marketing strategy execution (Hutt 1995; Kanter 1987). Furthermore, it is intimated that collaborative relationships confer competitive advantages at an organisational level as they allow for the synchronisation and alignment of activities so that the organisation functions coherently. Whilst the integration of marketing and a host of functions has been empirically investigated, the marketing/HR interface remains little understood. The study reported in this paper investigates the impact of integrating mechanisms on marketing/HR dynamics. The results show that joint reward systems and social networking have the greatest positive impact on both interpersonal and written communication. Further, joint reward systems help alleviate conflict levels between the two departments, whilst social networking promotes perceptions of connectedness. Non-structural integrating mechanisms have no perceptible impact on the dynamics between the two units although structural mechanisms enhanced the frequencies of both interpersonal and written communication. Managerial implications for marketing organisational issues are drawn in light of these findings.