The Role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in strategic company decisions and strategic partnerships

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Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftswissenschaften für Ingenieure und Naturwissenschaftler
Bachelor; Master


  • Carolin Bimmermann

The Top Management Team (TMT) has increasingly gained importance in academic research in the last couple of years. The TMT research investigates various research questions, such as which team constellation in the top management level is beneficial for the company performance, or which roles influence which decisions. What would Tesla be without Elon Musk, what Apple without Steve Jobs or Tim Cook, what Twitter without Leslie Berland?

While previous research has mainly focused on the roles of the Chief Executive Officers (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), or CTO (Chief Technology Officer), researching the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) has peaked up. The CMO’s relevance has been shown both in practice as well as academia. For example, the CMO is responsible for generating revenue and therefore company growth (and survival). Because of its vital role, it represents an interesting research topic.

The aim of this thesis is to perform a systematic literature review and thereby
• Embed CMO research into the TMT research
• Provide a well-structured summary of CMO research and its status quo
• Point out the CMO’s relevance for strategic company decisions with a focus on company partnerships (e.g., Joint ventures, alliances, coopetitive partnerships)
• Provide clarity on which characteristics influence the CMO’s performance or decision-making (e.g., age, gender, academic background, professional background)
• Investigate the exemplary research questions: How relevant is the CMO in strategic company decisions? Which TMT constellations (and their characteristics) promote or inhibit the CMO’s relevance within the TMT? How does the CMO presence affect the formation of new strategic partnerships? How is the CMO’s presence influencing the performance of strategic partnerships? Has the CMO an (extrinsic) motivation to support coopetitive relationships?
If the topic is covered as a master thesis, novel insights need to be generated based on e.g., surveys, case studies, expert interviews, experiments, or secondary data.

Please send your application including CV and grades to

First literature:
Germann, Frank; Ebbes, Peter; Grewal Rajdeep (2015). The Chief Marketing Officer Matters! Journal of Marketing, 79, 1-22.
Canella, A. A., Park, J. H., & Lee, H. U. (2008). Top management team functional background diversity and firm performance: examining the roles of team member collocation and environmental uncertainty. Academy of Management Journal, 51(4), 768-784.
Harrison, D. A., & Klein, K. J. (2007). What's the difference? Diversity constructs as separation, variety, or disparity in organizations. Academy of management review, 32(4), 1199-1228.
Crossland, C., Zyung, J., Hiller, N. J., & Hambrick, D. C. (2014). CEO career variety: Effects on firm-level strategic and social novelty. Academy of Management Journal, 57(3), 652-674.
Matta, E., & Beamish, P. W. (2008). The accentuated CEO career horizon problem: Evidence from international acquisitions. Strategic Management Journal, 29(7), 683-700.
Bengtsson, Maria; Raza-Ullah, Tatbeeq (2016). A systematic review of research on coopetition: Toward a multilevel understanding. Industrial Marketing Management, 57, 22-39.

Keywords: Coopetition, Alliances, Strategic Partnerships, Marketing, Sales, Consumer Behaviour