Organizing for Pricing and Commercial Excellence
by Stephan M. Liozu
Special issue of Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management; Deadline 1 Jun 2020
Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management
Call for Papers
Organizing for pricing and commercial excellence
Deadline for submission: June 1st, 2020
Overview and Purpose
Organizing for effective pricing has been a central research topic since the inception of research on pricing: In 1958 in Pricing in Big Business Kaplan dedicates an entire chapter to pricing organization (Kaplan, Dirlam, and Lanzillotti 1958). What started as descriptive research is now a growing, albeit small, body of increasingly prescriptive research on price delegation (Frenzen et al. 2010; Stephenson, Cron, and Frazier 1979), on the interdepartmental centralization of pricing (Homburg, Jensen, and Hahn 2012), on the organizational configuration of price management (Burkert et al. 2017), on the role of CEOs in organizing pricing (Liozu and Hinterhuber 2013), on pricing capabilities (Töytäri and Rajala 2015) and on other related issues.
Nevertheless, compared to other salient aspects of marketing, our understanding of what constitutes excellence in organizing the pricing function is arguably shallow. To cite a few examples, we know little about how to configure the pricing function so as to increase overall firm performance, we know little about the origins and evolution of pricing capabilities, we know little about pricing metrics and about psychological or behavioral traits of effective pricing managers.
How to organize pricing is clearly a key issue for executives: Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric, comments: “When it comes to the prices we pay, we study them, we map them, we work them. But with the prices we charge, we’re too sloppy” (Stewart 2006, p. 62). Nowadays, however, executives at General Electric have recognized the importance of pricing: “Many of our mornings begin with meetings to review working capital or pricing. We “sweat” the details required to run a successful company” (Immelt 2007, p. 4). The high practitioner interest and the paucity of current research seem to call for further studies.
Topics of interest include but are not limited to the following:
- The pricing function: How does the pricing function contribute to overall firm performance? Does the presence of a Chief Pricing Officer (CPO) improve firm performance? What are the specific activities that effective CPOs do that are most strongly linked to an improvement in firm performance? Do effective CPOs have formal authority, akin to heavyweight product managers in the Toyota product development system (Sobek, Liker, and Ward 1998)?
- What are cultural values of the pricing function (overlap with cultural values of other functions in the firm vs. overlap with cultural values of pricing professionals outside the firm)? How does the pricing function mediate between different interests (between, for example, company interests for higher prices and customer interests for lower prices)? Do reporting relationships of the pricing function – to marketing, sales, finance, or to the CEO – affect performance?
- CEO involvement: Under which conditions is CEO involvement in pricing beneficial for firm performance? Can senior executives be too involved in pricing?
- Pricing capabilities: What are they? What is their origin and evolution over time? What capabilities are foundational, which ones are advanced and do these capabilities differently affect firm performance? Are there pricing routines?
- Pricing metrics: Which pricing metrics are most closely aligned with overall firm performance? What are metrics to evaluate the performance of the pricing function itself?
- Micro-foundations: What are the psychological or behavioral traits of effective CPOs?
- Ethics: Does the adherence to ethical standards in organizing pricing affect short-term and long-term performance differently?
Manuscript Preparation and Submission
We are open to a wide number of research methods and expect all papers to make a strong empirical contribution: Some of the above mentioned research questions lend themselves naturally more towards qualitative, others more towards quantitative research approaches. We do not encourage theoretical papers which, for this special issue, will probably struggle to make meaningful contributions.
Manuscripts should comply with the scope, standards, format and editorial policy of the Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management. All papers must be submitted through the official IMM submission system. When you get to the step in the process that asks you for the type of paper, select SI: Organizing for pricing and commercial excellence. All papers will be reviewed through a double-blind peer review process. In preparation of their manuscripts, authors are asked to follow the Author Guidelines closely. A guide for authors, sample articles and other relevant information for submitting papers are available at:
All queries about the special issue should be sent to the Guest Editors (see below).
- Dr. Stephan Liozu, Case Western Reserve University; e-mail: email@example.com
- Dr. Andreas Hinterhuber, Ca Foscari University Venice; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Burkert, M., B. S. Ivens, S. Henneberg, and P. Schradi. (2017). “Organizing for Value Appropriation: Configurations and Performance Outcomes of Price Management.” Industrial Marketing Management, 61, 194–209.
Frenzen, H., A. K. Hansen, M. Krafft, M. K. Mantrala, and S. Schmidt. (2010). “Delegation of Pricing Authority to the Sales Force: An Agency-Theoretic Perspective of Its Determinants and Impact on Performance.” International Journal of Research in Marketing, 27 (1), 58-68.
Homburg, C., O. Jensen, and A. Hahn. (2012). “How to Organize Pricing? Vertical Delegation and Horizontal Dispersion of Pricing Authority.” Journal of Marketing, 76 (5), 49-69.
Immelt, J. (2007). General Electric 2006 Annual Report. Fairfield, CT.
Kaplan, A., J. Dirlam, and R. Lanzillotti. (1958). Pricing in Big Business: A Case Approach.
Washington, D.C. : The Brookings Institution.
Liozu, S., and A. Hinterhuber. (2013). “CEO Championing of Pricing, Pricing Capabilities and Firm Performance in Industrial Firms.” Industrial Marketing Management, 42 (4), 633- 43.
Sobek, D. K., J. K. Liker, and A. Ward. (1998). “Another Look at How Toyota Integrates Product Development.” Harvard Business Review, 76 (4), 36-47.
Stephenson, P. R., W. L. Cron, and G. L. Frazier. (1979). “Delegating Pricing Authority to the Sales Force: The Effects on Sales and Profit Performance.” The Journal of Marketing, 43 (2), 21-28.
Stewart, T. (2006). “Interview of Jeffrey R. Immelt. Growth as a Process.” Harvard Business Review, June, 60-70.
Töytäri, P., and R. Rajala. (2015). “Value-Based Selling: An Organizational Capability Perspective.” Industrial Marketing Management, 45, 101-12.