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Abstract

The critical importance of the marketing-R&D interface in the new product development process is widely acknowledged in the marketing literature. Generally, problems in achieving a productive integration of the two departments has been blamed on differences in the orientations of the two areas. Previous studies have focused largely on organizational factors leading to a less than successful interaction. The present study, after considering the occupational choice literature, examines the overlooked dimension of personal differences as a key consideration in the interface. Using Cattell's 16 PF personality instrument, a study was conducted to compare and contrast the personalities of marketing and R&D managers in America's largest corporations. The results, consistent with studies of occupational choice, indicate that while there are some similarities between the two groups, several significant differences exist that can have strong implications for the ability of managers from the different areas to productively interface.