Marketing Papers

Document Type

Book Chapter

Date of this Version

June 1978


Introduction: Norris Brisco, Melvin Copeland, Henry Erdman, Benjamin Hibbard, George Hotchkiss, Leverett Lyon, Stanley Resor, Clarence Saunders, Harry Tosdal, Roland Vaile: Who are these people? They are great men in the history of marketing, according to Wright and Dinsdale (1974). They are marketing heroes. But not society’s heroes. Rather than hero, the marketing man is usually a villain in novels; he is the butt of jokes; and respondents to surveys think poorly of him.

Why does society reward the marketing manager well, yet scorn him? This paper argues that marketing managers are generally good people who do the dirty work for organizations. Furthermore, this dirty work is not necessary.

The organization’s definition of the role of the marketing manager conflicts with that definition of the role which best meets the needs of society. As a result, a person who performs well in this role of marketing manager often harms society; a conflict exists between “excellence in marketing” and the “needs of society.”

This paper first examines the reasons for role conflict. Next it discusses how people behave in the face of such conflict, and how this behavior is translated into marketing strategies. Finally, suggestions are made for dealing with the conflict.


Postprint version. Published in George Fisk, Johan Arndt, and Kjell Gronhaug (eds.), Future directions for marketing: proceedings of two European colloquia, April 1976 and May 1977. Cambridge, MA: Marketing Science Institute, 1978, pages 78-89. The author has asserted his/her right to include this material in ScholarlyCommons@Penn.



Date Posted: 15 August 2006