Date of Award
Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Dr. Lance Brouthers
Dr. Scott Widmier
Dr. Brian Rutherford
In response to increasing demands on firm performance, organizations have attempted to become more consumer and market responsive by adopting industry conventions, such as appointing a chief marketing officer (CMO) to the top management team (TMT). However, scholarly research on the presence or absence of a CMO, and the relationship between the presence of a CMO on the TMT and firm performance is nascent and conflicting. Thus, the purpose of these studies was to address these issues. First, using institutional theory I empirically examined the conditions of firm visibility, firm market power, and industry orientation to predict CMO presence / absence on a firm’s TMT. Second, using signaling theory I examined the same conditions under which CMO presence / absence leads to enhanced firm performance. Empirical testing was performed on a sample of U.S. based public firms over a two year period. Firm visibility and market power were found to help predict and explain the presence of a CMO on the TMT. While no direct effect of CMO presence on firm performance was observed, empirical support was found that suggests moderating relationships exist between CMO presence and firm performance, for example, the moderating influence of CMO presence on the relationship between firm visibility and firm performance. These findings add to and expand on limited knowledge about CMO presence on the TMT. In addition, prior CMO research utilized two definitions of a CMO – a “titled” CMO and someone with “marketing” in their title. By comparing both definitions in my analysis, the outcome of each study suggests important differences exist between the two. Understanding these differences could further aid firms in decisions about TMT structure.