Edited by Gary L. Lilien and Rajdeep Grewal
Neil A. Morgan and Rebecca J. Slotegraaf Broadly defined, marketing capabilities are the processes by which organizations define, develop and deliver value to their customers by combining, transforming and deploying their resources in ways that meet market needs (e.g. Day 1994; Vorhies and Morgan 2005). Although the literature on marketing capabilities is relatively new, growing evidence suggests that firm-level marketing capabilities are associated with superior product-market (e.g. Dutta et al. 1999; Morgan et al. 2003) and financial (e.g. Krasnikov and Jayachandran 2008; Morgan et al. 2009b) performance outcomes. To enhance understanding of the nature and value of marketing capabilities for B2B firms, we expand the conceptualization of capabilities to encompass the levels of organizational analysis (ranging from the individual employee level to the inter-organizational level) and the hierarchal level of capabilities (ranging from specialized single-task capabilities to higher-order learning capabilities). Consider, for example, customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities. At the firm level, this marketing capability may be an important driver of a B2B firm’s ability to develop and sustain a competitive advantage (e.g. Krasnikov et al. 2010). Yet managers tasked with building an organization’s CRM capabilities require greater direction and insight. In particular, what are the contributing skills and processes underlying this capability, and how can they be enhanced and better orchestrated? The theoretical literature suggests that CRM capabilities are ultimately based on individual-level knowledge and skills that are applied to a range of activities, from specific single-task activities (e.g. call handling) to more complex processes that draw together the...
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