Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Nelson, J. H.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Marketing


Marketing; New products


This study was concerned with the determination of the relationship between the responsibility for internal new product diversification and the marketing function of selected firms in the Rockford, Illinois area. Particular attention was devoted to the influence that marketing planning has on this relationship between the diversification effort and the marketing function of the selected firms. The universe of the study consisted of all manufacturing firms located in Winnebago County with fifty-one or more employees. The field of inquiry was established by the Rockford Manufacturers' Directory and included 117 firms. Screening the field of inquiry under the study's delimitation that the firm must manufacture a product (rather than provide a service) resulted in a sample of 104 firms. Questionnaires were mailed to the chief operating executives of the 104 firms, resulting in response of 84.5 per cent. The data collected were compiled on the basis of firm size and the two categories: (1) manufacturers of mainly industrial products, and (2) manufacturers of mainly consumer products. To supplement the questionnaires, depth interviews were conducted with eleven firms selected from those responding. These firms were selected to represent each of fie size groups as well as examples of both high and low degrees of marketing planning. The data of the research showed that 68 per cent of the responding firms were currently conducting diversification. Further, the larger the firm, the more likely the strategy of diversification is being practiced. This relationship of diversification to the size of a firm was true for past, current and future diversification programs. It is of interest to note that more industrial product manufacturers (72 per cent) were conducting diversification than consumer product manufacturers (58 per cent). The responsibility for the diversification effort was placed with the marketing function in only nine of the sixty five firms practicing this strategy. The two most often identified locations for the responsibility were the chief executive--thirty-five firms, and a new product or planning committee--twenty-five firms.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [148]-156)


156 pages




Northern Illinois University

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