The power of international marketing functions: antecedents and consequences

Itzhak Gnizy, Aviv Shoham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This paper addresses intra-organizational power of international marketing (IM) functions. While IM functions play an important role in firms that operate in continuously changing international environments, their power has been under-explored. Importantly, IM managers need to understand their function’s power and its implications for business performance. Methodology/approach: Drawing on resource-dependency and interaction theories, we contend that IM functions’ power is affected by the power of non-marketing functions and coordination and conflicts with them. Additionally, IM functions’ power should affect international performance. However, contingency factors may change this effect. The empirical study uses data from senior managers of B-to-B international firms. The model is tested using multiple regression analysis and extensive post-hoc tests. Findings: While IM functions are powerful, their power is enhanced by coordination with other functions and is reduced by the power held by non-marketing functions. Surprisingly, conflicts with other functions increase IM functions’ power. Finally, IM functions’ power enhances international performance but its effect is weakened by intra-IM conflicts and differs across hi- and low-tech firms. Research implications: This study provides insights about drivers and outcomes of IM functions’ power based on their relationships with non-marketing functions. Performance consequences of IM power are dependent on contingencies. The study extends knowledge on the under-researched phenomena of marketing power in a B-to-B international context. Practical implications: IM managers should manage sources of relative functional power and unique intra-firm interactions to sustain or promote their power and thus benefit their firms’ international performance. Practitioners recognize mechanisms to control IMs’ power. Originality/value/contribution: The study is the first to focus on the interactions of IM functions with non-marketing functions in B-to-B firms and thus complements prior research on IM, general marketing, and non-marketing functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-89
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Business-to-Business Marketing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • International marketing
  • business marketing
  • industrial marketing
  • interaction theory
  • international performance
  • power
  • resource dependency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Marketing


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