Date of Award

8-1-2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Business Administration

First Advisor

Clark, Terry

Second Advisor

Jarvis, Cheryl

Abstract

A growing literature suggests marketing practice is declining in influence within the firm. Diagnostic opinions as to why this is occurring, and prescriptions as to what should be done are varied. This dissertation proposes narrative as a tool for both understanding and addressing the problem of marketing's declining influence. Narratology is a humanities-based discipline which explores what stories are, what they do, and how they work. It is well suited for exploring how influence is generated, gained and/or lost, within social and organizational settings. This dissertation suggests that narrative significantly impacts understanding which business function (marketing, finance, accounting, etc.) has greater influence within the firm. Moreover, by understanding how narrative carries influence between marketing and finance, marketers may be able to compete more effectively with other business function narratives. 22 depth interviews were collected of finance and marketing managers within firms, repeated across 10 firms of various sizes and in various industries. 689 narrative events and descriptions were used for analysis. Narratological investigation revealed three themes concerning marketing and finance's narrative competition, Theme #1, "Finance as Watchdog"; Theme # 2, "Who Is Really Managing the Brand?" and Theme #3, "How Finance is Your Marketing?"

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