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The Temporary Marketing Organization

The Temporary Marketing Organization

Allègre L. Hadida, Jan B. Heide and Simon J. Bell

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Teaching Insights

Marketing teams are increasingly using stand-alone, hybrid, or fully embedded temporary organizations to achieve desired outcomes. Temporary marketing organizations have varying team selection and participants’ effort enforcement mechanisms, which may create challenges for achieving targeted results. Here is a playbook to help managers select and oversee these organizations by considering task novelty, time duration, and team composition against their ability to generate creative output at desired decision-making speeds.

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Related Marketing Courses: ​
Brand Management; Business-to-Business Marketing; Innovation/New Product Development; Marketing Strategy; Principles of Marketing, Core Marketing, Intro to Marketing Management; Services Marketing

Full Citation: ​
Hadida, Allegre L., Jan B. Heide, and Simon J. Bell (2019), “The Temporary Marketing Organization,” Journal of Marketing, 83(2), 1-18.

Article Abstract
Increasingly, marketing activity is carried out within temporary organizations, whereby teams are assembled to complete a specific task within a predetermined time frame. Such organizations are uniquely suited to promoting various marketing outcomes but are not well understood. From a practical standpoint, their inherent characteristics create organizational challenges that, if not appropriately managed, can compromise performance. Drawing on agency theory and research on embedded ties, the authors conceptualize these challenges in terms of particular selection and enforcement problems. They identify three forms of temporary marketing organizations that vary in their selection and enforcement qualities. Next, the authors develop a conceptual framework that shows the selection and enforcement implications of a temporary organization’s task, timeline, and team composition. They also demonstrate that selection and enforcement mechanisms have portable qualities and can be “imported” to a given temporary organization, from either a prior temporary organization or a larger permanent one.


Special thanks to Kelley Gullo and Holly Howe, Ph.D. candidates at Duke University, for their support in working with authors on submissions to this program. 

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Allègre L. Hadida is University Senior Lecturer in Strategy, Cambridge Judge Business School, and Fellow, Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, UK.

Jan B. Heide is Irwin Maier Chair in Marketing, University of Wisconsin–Madison; Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne, Australia; and Fellow in Marketing, University of Cambridge, UK.

Simon J. Bell is Professor of Marketing, University of Melbourne, Australia.