Uncovering the influence of the international marketing function in international firms

Itzhak Gnizy, Aviv Shoham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The role played by the marketing function (MF) has been subjected to considerable academic and public media attention. Recent research reflects an ongoing debate on MF's decreasing influence attributed by some to its poor performance. However, studies have analyzed the general marketing (GM) function and domestic operations and remained silent on international marketing's (IM) influence and its impact on firms' international operations and performance as another aspect of marketing's influence. This lacuna is unfortunate, given that internationalization is crucial to many firms in today's globalizing world. The purpose of this paper is to examine the interactions between IM and GM functions as determinants of IM's influence. Design/methodology/approach: The study extends previous models to the international context, utilizes an inclusive set of strategic international orientations as consequences and mediators of IM's influence, and assesses possible synergy between orientations. Findings: IM functions are influential, valuable, and play an important role. IM-GM coordination enhances IMs' influence while IM-GM conflicts and IM's influence are unrelated. IMs' influence enhances performance directly and indirectly through orientations. Importantly, the combined orientations had a negative synergistic effect on performance. Research limitations/implications: International marketers and top management should consider tactics to increase IMs' influence and thus benefit their firms. Originality/value: The study is the first to recognize and empirically focus on the relationships between IM and GM as distinct functions. The study accounts for a combined impact of international orientations on international performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-78
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Marketing Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • International marketing function
  • International marketing influence
  • International performance
  • Strategic orientations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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