Identification and analysis of marketing manager competences that determine marketing department capabilities and the underlying importance of courage traits.

  • Martin Richardson

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The aim of this research is to determine marketing manager characteristics that positively influence the capabilities of the marketing department. Its research objectives are twofold: firstly to identify competences and traits of the most effective marketing managers; and secondly, to determine the nature and extent of the relationships between marketing manager competences and traits, and marketing department capabilities.

Contributing to the domain of strategic marketing, the thesis draws on RBV theory from strategic management, competence theory from human resource management and character strength and virtues theory from positive psychology.

Gaps in existing marketing theory arise from the observation from literature that marketing’s capacity to help improve business performance, has focused on the functional or departmental capabilities of marketing, with little attention directed towards the individual marketing managers who comprise it.

Research takes a mixed methods approach using a modified Delphi method with 40 CEOs, marketing directors and HR executives, to determine specific competences and traits of the most effective marketing managers. Results provide a ranking of the most effective technical and behavioural competences and also underlying personal traits, the most important of which was found to be courage.

These findings form the basis of a research survey undertaken with 328 UK marketing managers which examines the influence of courage traits on behavioural competences, the nature of the interaction between behavioural and technical competences, and finally the influence of all three areas of characteristics on marketing department capabilities.

Findings show the particular influence of bravery, zest and perseverance, on marketing manager behavioural repertoires, and, directly, on departmental capabilities. They also show the important role of behavioural competences in moderating the influence of technical competences on departmental capabilities. The empirically demonstrated relationships between particular technical and behavioural competences and the influences of certain courage traits, mean that senior marketing executives can engage in better targeted recruitment, and tailor the development of existing marketing managers with greater confidence of achieving improved marketing department capabilities.
Date of Award12 Jun 2018
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorHeiner Evanschitzky (Supervisor) & John M Rudd (Supervisor)


  • marketing department capabilities
  • technical competences
  • behavioural competences
  • courage traits
  • Delphi study

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