COPYRIGHT 1996 - 2008

Elected Chair But Not Allowed to Serve

A long time ago and a short time ago. In a place both near and far away a professor was elected Chair of Marketing. To: Dean XX and Marketing and International Business Colleagues.

From: David Morris, Elected Chair of Marketing and International Business on November 17, 2005.

Reference: Memo Sent to the Faculty of Marketing and International Business. Administration of Department. December 7, 05

Date: December 6, 2005

When asked if I would run for Chair of the Department I was honored that my colleagues put their trust in me. They voted me in right before I went to the hospital.

I was told by colleagues that you would support my run and election as chair of the department. I also made it clear to my colleagues and they told me that you had agreed that I would come to the University on a regular basis and work as Chair. I planned to do this until next December.

I would ask that we postpone the breaking up of the department and allow us to finally prosper. My goal for the Department is simple. I expect to build enrolments and move our program to a higher level of social status.

The evidence is overwhelming that marketing practice cannot be constrained applying the same approach as finance, accounting, quantitative analysis, and even communication. A command economy can dictate accounting rules and force consumption only in isolation. Marketing has been given a burden of performance that requires a different philosophical and strategic commitment.

All organizational structures are constrained by leadership. It is not that leadership does not constrain but rather that each individual leader forms a different worldview from which these factors are derived.

The simple reason why Toyota now dominates Ford and GM is that Toyota has not broken up marketing and dispersed these resources into other aspects of the firm. Ford and GM have no idea what to do to reverse their downward spiral. GM sealed their fate when they moved the marketing of Saturn back into the larger corporation.

Marketing and IB is made up of exceptional individuals who are without equal. The conflicts that you have identified in our department are a classic call to adventure. I admire you because you are straight. Please make this happen. I know it will not be easy for you but this is the burden of the hero’s path. Tokugawa Ieyasu’s “If the bird does not sing, I will wait until it sings!”

Marketing Application

The decision was made to break the department into two groups. Marketing went under communication and the two faculty from IB were sent to Economics. The Economics department refused to take them. They were then without a department. To my knowledge this is still true as of 1/15/07.
Decisions are never what they appear. The corporate model is now part of academics. We are just as willing to see this happen to others as they are in the corporation. A Ph.D. does not move anyone to higher standards of compassion. To allow me to serve as Chair would have interfered with top administrations world view or story.