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Whitler, Krause, and Lehmann Win the 2023 Sheth Foundation/Journal of Marketing Award

Whitler, Krause, and Lehmann Win the 2023 Sheth Foundation/Journal of Marketing Award

The annual Sheth Foundation/Journal of Marketing Award honors a Journal of Marketing article that has made long-term contributions to the field of marketing. An article is eligible for consideration to receive the award in the fifth year after its publication. The criteria for selection include the quality of the article’s contribution to theory and practice, its originality, its technical competence (if relevant), and its impact on the field of marketing.

The winners of the 2023 Sheth Foundation/Journal of Marketing Award are Kimberly A. Whitler, Ryan Krause, and Donald R. Lehmann for their article, “When and How Board Members with Marketing Experience Facilitate Firm Growth” (Volume 82, Issue 5).

The selection committee, composed of Cait Lamberton (University of Pennsylvania), Ajay Kohli (Georgia Institute of Technology), and Rebecca Slotegraaf (Indiana University), noted:

“The finalists for this year’s Sheth Award were uniformly of incredibly high quality and remarkable impact. In the end, Professors Whitler, Krause, and Lehman’s paper stood out for three reasons.

First, the authors’ development of a rich dataset, including over 64,000 director biographies from S&P 1500 firms, allowed generalizations that speak to some of the highest-level, most strategic decisions that firms make, and to do so across industries: the qualification of the people who should be on their boards. Also owing to the richness of this dataset, they can identify contingencies that alter the effects that a marketing-experience board member can have on revenue growth, offering a nuanced but powerful set of insights with huge implications for marketing’s role in business.

Second, the paper casts light into an area that was previously only dimly-lit by marketing scholarship. Very little work had explored the effect of marketing expertise above the top management team. In drawing connections between marketing and firm growth at the board level, the paper suggests a broad space in which ongoing research may be important and fruitful.

Third, while building on an academically rigorous theoretical and methodological base, the paper’s core findings are extremely resonant with practitioners—and offer real potential to change the behavior of multiple marketing stakeholders, consistent with JM’s mission. As the authors write, ‘With less than .5% of board positions held by active CMOs (Daum and Welch 2013), the lack of marketing representation on boards impairs firms’ ability to tackle demand-side problems, even though boards and chief executive officers (CEOs) consider growth generation among their most challenging priorities (e.g., Gartner 2018; Groysberg and Bell 2012). This contradiction suggests that boards fail to see a connection between their lack of marketing experience and their inability to address marketing-related growth challenges. Our research is the first to suggest and demonstrate such a connection.’

We are delighted to celebrate this connection, and we congratulate the authors for the contribution that their work has already and will continue to make.”

The article will be honored at the Summer AMA Academic Conference. Previous recipients of this award can be found here.

The other excellent finalists for the award were:

Go to the Journal of Marketing