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The role of climate and socialization in developing interfunctional coordination Barbara Ross Wooldridge and Barbara D. Minsky Introduction Interfunctional coordination is the synchronization of personnel and other resources throughout the company to create value for buyers. It is the process that assimilates the results of being customer and competitor oriented and allows coherent action. Interfunctional coordination is achieved when a firm actively coordinates the use of all company resources to create superior value for target customers. Because of an increasingly fast moving and competitive global business environment, interfunctional coordination is becoming very important. Cross-functional coordination causes internal functional boundaries to lose meaning. Thus, marketing in a market- oriented company may become less important because all the functions become focused on creating and delivering customer value. Marketing's role may become that of development and maintenance of a culture that is truly market oriented. Firms face the challenge of developing strategies that will allow them to survive while creating profits and stability for its stakeholders Booth and Philip, 1998). The goal of a firm's strategy is to obtain a sustainable competitive advantage SCA) Slater, 1996). When Day and Wensley 1988) found no consensus in either the literature or practice for the meaning of competitive advantage, they combined the two most popular definitions and asserted: competitive advantage is based on positional and performance superiority and is a consequence of relative superiority in the skills and resources a business deploys. These skills and resources reflect the pattern of past investments to enhance competitive advantage. A firm that is able to maintain and exploit a SCA will have superior performance in the marketplace. This ability to sustain a SCA allows a business to maintain a market failure and thus sustain its supernormal profitability Yao, 1988). Bettis and Hitt 1995) proposed that technology is rapidly altering the nature of competition and is accordingly altering the strategies used to acquire a competitive advantage. They identified four factors driving this new competitive environment: 1) the increasing rate of technological change and diffusion; The authors Barbara Ross Wooldridge is Assistant Professor of Marketing, College of Business Administration, The University of Texas at Tyler, Tyler, Texas, USA. Barbara D. Minsky is Assistant Professor of Management, Troy State University Dothan, Dothan, Alabama, USA. Keywords Co-ordination, Market orientation, Information, Corporate culture, Strategy Abstract Interfunctional coordination may be of primary importance to a firm developing a sustainable competitive advantage. This paper suggests that climate and socialization processes facilitate the development of interfunctional coordination, and thus its impact on firm performance. By merging the organizational culture, market orientation, climate, socialization, and competing... View Full Document

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