Marketing implementation in smaller organizations: Definition, framework, and propositional inventory

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The process by which managers implement marketing plans in smaller industrial organizations has yet to be conceptualized in ways that can spur theoretical development or speak to the practical realities of managers from this growing, important segment of American industry. This article, based on an exploratory study of marketing strategy processes in 50 smaller, entrepreneurial organizations develops a framework to stimulate thinking and an inventory of propositions for future testing. The study finds market planning and implementation inextricably linked. Marketing implementation emerges as an organization’s adaptive response to day-to-day market events that is rarely scripted by plans and as a process that involves purposeful actions and improvisations as much as stopgap actions and firefights. The nature and extent of implementation-related improvisations appear to directly affect a firm’s market orientation, rate of growth, and strategic effectiveness.


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