Page 1

With the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union


European Marketing & Innovation Centers

THINK TANK 2013 December, 4 - 6 Auditorium of ISMAI

Instituto Superior da Maia - Portugal

INNOVATION @ MARKETING How can (marketing) academia impact the society of the future?


THINK TANK Media Partner




Cooperativa de Ensino Superior, C.R.L


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


W E l C O M E S T AT E M E N T For many years, I have been

more and more of less and less, in our little research

concerned about the roles

niches, talking to each other, being subject to the tyranny



of publishing in top journals, patting each other in the

Always thought that we were

back, etc. …but all with very little or no relevance to


academics academia



business systems, society at large and human beings?

knowledge that would help

and 4. vibrant curriculum developments... why most





universities in the world are still teaching contents that in


the most have not be altered for over 30 years, based on

would improve the levels of

old paradigms and the “golden era” of management and

development and happiness

marketing, and that are incapable to translate effectively

in society. Apart from giving

the constant mutation of the world and pave the way for




several research seminars on “research rigour and

the future of society?

relevance” and other related topics, I have also been trying to create a Forum of Discussion that would tackle

I am very grateful that this excellent group of top academics

the dissection of these important issues amongst my

have accepted my invitation to come to Portugal for this

academic peers. This is why the Future of Academic

debate. Some of their initial requested insights are quite

Marketing (FAMk) project has been created comprising

striking and challenging. Here are some examples as a

top scholars in the field, as well as now, still in its

“taster” of the dynamic debate…… the stringent role of

inception, the Future of Academic Management (FAMg)

American academic journals,……the future is already

is also taking shape. Most of the key areas of analysis

happening,……rigour and relevance should not be treated

and debate are very similar in their composition and

as exclusive entities,…… the use of smart systems,……

critical importance.

deeply engrained attitudes,…… incrementalism not the solution,…… no engagement with socio-economic

I have been involved in the area of Futures Research for


over 20 years, and with all the turmoil and huge pace

engines, …… realtime marketing, …… open the black

and flux of change in the world, I would expect that we,

box methods, …… the realtime classroom, ……how

as academics, would be in the forefront of advancing

can business schools promote useful knowledge?, ……

knowledge by studying, anticipating, preparing, testing,

incompetency training, …… experimental testing, …… is

and validating this enormous plethora of new paradigms,

there a useful knowledge base in management?, …… if it

concepts, trends, methods, techniques, and tools

exists, is it included in management programmes?, ……

that are appearing all the time and changing the face

evidence-based findings, …… research output based on

of management in society. This is why, at the turn of

principles, ……

the century, in the year 2000, I have organise the First Academic Think Tank (TT) in Scotland, which involved


These are already some of the issues that will be subjected to critical debate.

35 top full professors and well-known academics, using scenario planning and artificial intelligence (an expert system). The conclusions of this TT were then published


as a Special Issue of the European Journal of Marketing. This time, with the precious backup of ISMAI – Universitary Institute of Maia, for which I am extremely

(Professor Luiz Moutinho)

grateful, we have organise a TT with a different format, smaller number of top scholars to engage in highquality analytical discussions, a much more direct and concise coverage of four critical arenas for debate: 1. future paradigms… why are we not studying and testing them? 2. new methodologies… why are we clearly following a methodolatry and scientism approach, with almost the use of a monomethod? 3. research rigour and relevance… why are we with sophistication doing THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 3



ISMAI coordinates a European Observatory network of Marketing and Innovation Strengthening its involvement in European Projects with impact on the international recognition of its research, Graduates and Masters, ISMAI submitted to the Lifelong Learning Program of the European Union the EMIC Project - European Marketing & Innovation Centers (http://, whose implementation is currently coor-

their presence and competitiveness outside the EC; t

For the academic partners it will also be the opportunity to develop new forms of cooperation and to intensify physical mobility between staff and students.;


The success of the project can lead to quick replication and a strong European impact in addressing those challenges.

EMIC Think Tank & Conference sponsorship payback

dinating, involving business and university partners from Italy, Turkey, Spain, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

All the EMIC Think Tank & Conference wiil benefit from: 1. European dimension of the EMIC Project:


a. International visibility through European networks of all EMIC Partners;

Throughout his life (2011-2013), EMIC Project must create a set of new tools to ensure that Universities, Students and Companies work together to achieve and incorporate this new relationship between Marketing and Innovation. These tools will be explored through a Network of Marketing and Innovation Centers, each located in each part-

b. Integration in international and global R&D networks; 2. Amplified audience through European Conference broadcast streaming; 3. EMIC Think Tank & Conference multimedia promotion (on and offline); 4. EMIC network consultant services.

ner University, with different but complementary competencies, according to the local and national demands and capabilities.

EMIC Partners

These Centers will offer: t

National Good Practice Observatory which gathers information and analysis on national innovative approaches to Marketing;


MAIÊUTICA Cooperativa de Ensino Superior, C.R.L.

Communities of Practice (CoP) in Marketing and Innovation, including experts, teachers, professionals and students;


Student support in the transition to the professional world through support to student curricular placements and traineeships;


New forms of education and training to prepare students and professionals for Innovation in Marketing, setting up lifelong learning actions, a modular post-graduation program (using e-learning/b-learning);


Dissemination of the Marketing and Innovation interface, through National/International Seminars and Workshops.

EMIC Project added value t

Developing and deepening the relationship between Academy and Industry;


Facilitate the student’s transition into the professional life;


Reinforce Marketing and Innovation concepts integration so that European Companies can reinforce THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 5


Event’s Conceptual Framework The Think Tank shall foster the debate between prestigious academics, pertaining key topics in Marketing Science. This discussion shall have feedback and feedforward channels with a surrounding environment. Indeed, an open discussion with a diversity of stakeholders (firms, industry representatives and government agencies) is a fundamental part of the event. Furthermore, the conclusions of these several stages shall be presented in an open meeting which will be broadcast both through the web and through the traditional media partners.

Event’s Structure 4th and 5th December – Discussion between Academics

6th December – Discussion between Academics and Stakeholders and Public Presentation of Conclusions t

t t t t

6th December 2013 – Discussion between Academ-

4th December 2013 (Morning) - Theme 1 – Market-

ics and Stakeholders open to the public and also with

ing Futurecast and the advancement of knowledge

webcast transmission. The four documents pertain-

4th December 2013 (Afternoon) - Theme 2 – New

ing the academic debate of the first two days will

methods for academic research in marketing

be handed in to the stakeholders. On the third day,

5th December 2013 (Morning) - Theme 3 – Rigor

stakeholders will engage the debate after thinking

and relevance of academic research in Marketing

over the outcomes of the previous meetings.

5th December 2013 (Afternoon) - Theme 4 – Developments of marketing curricula designed for facing-up the challenges of tomorrow





uiz Moutinho is the Foun-

use of artificial neural networks in marketing, modelling

dation Chair of Market-

consumer behaviour, marketing futurecast and tourism

ing at the Adam Smith Busi-


ness School, University of Glasgow in Scotland. He has been a Full Professor for 24 years.

He has 129 articles published in refereed academic journals, 26 books, more than 4.600 academic citations, a h-index of 32 and an i10-index of 104.

He has completed his Ph.d at the University of Sheffield

He is also the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of

in England in 1982. His areas of research interest en-

Modelling in Management(JM2), and has another 4 As-

compass biomarketing, neuroscience in marketing, evo-

sociate Editorships as well as being in the Editorial Boards

lutionary algorithms, human-computer interaction, the

of another 44 international academic journals.

J. Scott Armstrong

Paul Phillips

Enrique Bigne

William Rand

Douglas Brownlie

Fernando Serra

Sheng Deng

Cláudia Simões

Maria Alberta Oliveira

J M Carvalho Vieira

Wharton, University of Pennsylvania, USA

University of Valencia, Spain

University of Stirling, UK

Brock University, Canada

University Institute of ISMAI, Portugal Conference Executive Officer

Célio A. A. Sousa

University Institute of ISMAI, Portugal

University of Kent, UK

University of Maryland, USA

HSM Educação, Brazil

Open University, UK

University Institute of ISMAI, Portugal

José Paulo Marques dos Santos University Institute of ISMAI, Portugal




theme 1

MARKETING FUTURECAST AND THE ADVANCEMENT OF KNOWLEDGE Theme Chair: Enrique Bigne (University of Valencia, Spain) Academic Rapporteur: Isabel Cantista (Universidade Lusíada do Porto, Portugal)

What will be the impact on society of trends as frustration nation and disaffect youth? Will competitive structures (business systems) be affected with the rise of sellsumers and the economy-of-one / accidental entrepreneurs? Will brand aides replace many of the currently provided governmental services? Can the trend towards locavores foster the appearance / growth of zip-coded brands? With the demise of mainstream media meltdown (M3) and the demise of traditional media planning, will the market communication strategy of the future be organized around experience planning (EP)? Academics, who should be at the forefront of knowledge, advancing methodologies, concepts, as well as permanently searching for new trends, testing and validating them, on the contrary drive research that is excessively fixed to the rear view mirror, stuck to reviewing existing literature and replicating old and jaded paradigms. The role of academics is to advance knowledge and because there are so many things changing in our world and society,

theme 2

the flux of vicissitudes is enormous and they (we) have to be looking ahead to forthcoming events/phenomena.


Theme Chair: William Rand (University of Maryland, USA) Academic Rapporteur: Pedro Quelhas Brito (University of Porto, Portugal) Surveys and focus groups, focus groups and surveys, many questionnaires… and now online too. If it is consensual that self-reports are far from representing the inner states of the respondent and that people usually do not expose their real intentions (assuming that they have intentions and plans for the future), why insist on collecting and working on arguable data? Why should old procedures be replicated over and over, generating theories which have difficulties in explicating market phenomena? Different alternative methods have been proposed including neuroscientific techniques and physiological measures, voice prints, human-computer interaction, facial coding, utterance analysis, but on the idiographic side too, new approaches are emerging such as shadowing, nethnographies, ethnographic episodes, and backcasting among others. Which are the most promising? Do these methods have any potential or

theme 3

are they just hype?

RIGOR AND RELEVANCE OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH IN MARKETING Theme Chair: Douglas Brownlie (University of Stirling, UK) Academic Rapporteur: Arnaldo Coelho (University of Coimbra, Portugal)

Although rigorous, academic research is perceived as lacking relevance for the industry and society in general. Scientific conferences tend to be closed circuit meetings where academics talk amongst themselves, isolated from the world. The conduction of research and presentations follow a script which tends more to religiously replicate dogmas than open new frontiers and stretch minds. Although relevant, industry research is perceived as lacking rigor and therefore considered ephemeral and circumstantial, which means it is not of great use for society in general. Most of the data, results and findings are kept in secret in order to gain advantage over the competition. Research that does not output commercial products and services will probably never see the daylight and will be forgotten. Industry too lives very inside its own walls. Why not a midpoint? Is there a way of doing things more effectively so that society benefits more from such a huge investment? Why not joint research? (But there is also a trend that postulates that

theme 4

both realms should not be mixed… and the common belief that academic research is a mockery…)

DEVELOPMENTS OF MARKETING CURRICULA DESIGNED FOR FACING-UP THE CHALLENGES OF TOMORROW Theme Chair: Sheng Deng (Brock University, Canada) Academic Rapporteur: Joana Machado (Catholic University of Porto, Portugal)

McCarthy’s 4Ps mnemonic and Borden’s marketing mix brief are approximately 50 years old. Although man has since then reached the Moon, electric cars have become commercially available to people, mobile phones have become democratised, people have adhered to internet en masse, there are brand communities and even talks about brand co-creation by corporations and consumers, those paradigms still pervade the curricula of marketing courses and dominate the Marketing theory that is taught. What issues are expected to be learned by marketer candidates today so that they are fully prepared when working in companies? What propaedeutics should a student learn today so s/he will be able to understand his/her environment in the future? What should bachelor, master and PhD degree programs offer the marketers of tomorrow? And what about open knowledge? THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 11



D Ay 1

D E C E M B E R 4 TH


Welcome · Luiz Moutinho


Introduction to the theme · Luiz Moutinho


Theme Chair defines with group the working rules to tackle the topic


Group work starts on the theme (analytical discussion)


Coffee break


Second half of analytical discussion


Consensual wrap-up


Consensual decision on major bullet points and short summary to be included in the report to stakeholders and to be prepared by the Academic Rapporteur




Introduction to the theme · Luiz Moutinho


Theme Chair defines with group the working rules to tackle the topic


Group work starts on the theme (analytical discussion)


Coffee break


Second half of analytical discussion


Consensual wrap-up


Consensual decision on major bullet points and short summary to be included in the report to stakeholders and to be prepared by the Academic Rapporteur


Group self-reflection of the scholarly achievements of the day


End of day 1 Rapporteurs will take an average of up to two hours after their half-day session to finalise their reports.


D Ay 2

D E C E M B E R 5 TH


Welcome · Luiz Moutinho


Introduction to the theme · Luiz Moutinho


Theme Chair defines with group the working rules to tackle the topic


Group work starts on the theme (analytical discussion)


Coffee break


Second half of analytical discussion


Consensual wrap-up


Consensual decision on major bullet points and short summary to be included in the report to stakeholders and to be prepared by the Academic Rapporteur




Introduction to the theme · Luiz Moutinho


Theme Chair defines with group the working rules to tackle the topic


Group work starts on the theme (analytical discussion)


Coffee break


Second half of analytical discussion


Consensual wrap-up


Consensual decision on major bullet points and short summary to be included in the report to stakeholders and to be prepared by the Academic Rapporteur


Group self-reflection of the scholarly achievements of the day


The way forward: FAMk and FAMg Projects · Luiz Moutinho


End of day 2

Rapporteurs will take an average of up to two hours after their half-day session to finalise their reports.


D Ay 3

D E C E M B E R 6 TH


Introduction of the Academic Think Tank: purpose, innovative format, output and scholarly contribution · Luiz Moutinho


Why of stakeholders? Typologies of stakeholders. Role of stakeholders in the Think Tank (Paul Phillips)


First Theme “Marketing Futurecast and the advancement of knowledge” (facilitation by Enrique Bigné)


Second Theme “New methods for academic research in marketing” (facilitation by William Rand)


Coffee break


Third Theme “Rigor and relevance of academic research in Marketing” (facilitation by Douglas Brownlie)


Fourth Theme “Developments of marketing curricula designed for facing-up the challenges of tomorrow” (facilitation by Sheng Deng)


Final “Sentiment” of the Think Tank and interaction Scholars-Stakeholders (facilitation by Luiz Moutinho)








rmstrong is a member of the Wharton Marketing Faculty since 1968 and is internationally known for his pioneering work on forecasting methods. He is author of Long-

Range Forecasting, the most frequently cited book on forecasting methods, and Principles of Forecasting, voted the “Favorite Book – First 25 Years” by researchers and practitioners associated with the International Institute of Forecasters. He is a co-founder of the Journal

of Forecasting, the International Journal of Forecasting, the International Symposium on Forecasting, and He is a co-developer of new methods including rule-based forecasting, causal forces for extrapolation, simulated interaction, structured analogies, and the “index method”. In addition to forecasting, Professor Armstrong has published papers on survey research, educational methods, applied statistics, social responsibility, strategic planning, and scientific peer review. In 1989, a University of Maryland study ranked Professor Armstrong among the top 15 marketing professors in the U.S. In 1996, he was selected as one of the first six Honorary Fellows by the International Institute of Forecasters. He serves or has served on Editorial positions for the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, the Journal of Business Research, Interfaces and the International Journal of Forecasting and other journals. He was awarded the Society for Marketing Advances Distinguished Scholar Award for 2000.

How Can Business Schools Promote Useful Knowledge?

veloping useful techniques and principles, and delivering


ment education in practice is best described as “incom-

that knowledge so it can be used. In contrast, Woodside (2012) asks whether manage-

This review of experimental evidence concludes that

petency training.” He defined this as training that imparts

management research could be improved by following

knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behavior that are “use-

the lead of researchers in fields such as engineering and

less, inaccurate, misleading—thus leading to poorer per-

medicine. This requires experiments that test the effica-


cy of reasonable alternative approaches under different

Do business schools by and large follow Benjamin Frank-

conditions. To encourage this, business schools should

lin’s advice or do they, as Woodside asks, provide incom-

reward useful discoveries, not the publication of papers.

petency training? This article addresses the issue by en-

Despite the small proportion of useful management re-

deavoring to answer three questions:

searchl papers, a large base of useful knowledge has

1. Is there useful knowledge in management?

been produced over the past century.

2. If useful knowledge exists, is it included in business

Useful management knowledge is generally excluded from

school programs?

university courses. The exclusion appears to be due to

3. If useful knowledge is included in business school

the conflicting implications of research-based knowledge

programs, is it provided in a way that enables stu-

versus folklore drawn from experience and anecdotes.

dents to gain competency with useful techniques

Students hold professors responsible for their learning

and principles?

and resist material that conflicts with folklore. To impart useful knowledge, business schools should hold students

This article reviews experimental evidence in an effort

accountable for their own learning by eliminating grading

to answer these questions. A negative answer to any of

by professors, student evaluations of teachers and re-

the three questions indicates that incompetency training

quired classes. They should provide experiential learning

occurs. This article also describes how business schools

materials via the Internet so that each student can con-

and other organizations can provide useful knowledge to

trol over their learning, and provide assessment centers

improve competencies. But first, how is useful knowledge

to determine and certify that students have mastered


useful principles, techniques and skills.

Introduction Benjamin Franklin, the founder of the institution where the author of this article has taught for 45 years, stated that the purpose of the university is to impart “useful knowledge.” For management education, that implies de-

Creating Useful Knowledge This article is primarily concerned with knowledge that is useful for decision-making. The knowledge should be in the form of condition-action statements (principles) and techniques. The advice should be specific, instructional, and easily understandable. Conditions are important. Generalizations such as “look THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 17

before you leap” or Jack Welch’s “go with your gut” lack

studies discover that coffee is good for you, while later

statements about the conditions under which they should

studies find that it is harmful (see more examples for the

be applied, and thus, are unlikely to be useful to man-

medical field in Kabat 2008).

agers. Unfortunately, research in management typically

While exploratory studies might be useful for idea gener-

ignores conditions. In an audit of papers in leading mar-

ation, they do not lead directly to useful findings, which

keting journals, only 11 percent of the tested hypotheses

would require experimental testing.

were related to conditions (Armstrong, Brodie and Parsons 2001).

Multiple reasonable hypotheses: Chamberlin (1890, 1965) observed that some fields made rapid advance-

Experimental testing of reasonable alternative approaches

ments, while others did not. He concluded that progress

Publications in management fall into three categories:

reasonable alternative hypotheses.

occurred when researchers used experiments to test

advocacy, exploratory and the testing of multiple hypotheses. Do they all lead to useful findings for management?

Kealey’s (1996) review of expert opinions, non-experimental evidence and quasi-experimental evidence sup-

Advocacy typically starts with existing folklore. Research-

ports Chamberlin’s conclusion. For example, agriculture

ers seek evidence to support their preferred folklore—

showed little progress for centuries. Farmers only con-

and they are generally successful. For example, Hubbard

sulted with one another to no avail. In the early 1700s,

and Armstrong (1992) found that fewer than 8 percent

wealthy English farmers created a revolution by experi-

of studies in leading marketing journals rejected their null

menting with alternative ways of growing crops, which led

hypotheses. In effect, advocacy is designed to reassure

to enormous gains in productivity.

people that their current procedures are proper, which does not lead to useful knowledge.

The field of medicine provides another example. Diseases

Advocacy is inconsistent with the scientific approach in

are so complex that doctors were unable to learn from

that it lacks objectivity (Armstrong 1980a). Academic

experience about the best treatments for a patient. Lit-

folklore regards tests of statistical significance as useful.

tle useful knowledge was gained for centuries. However,

Yet, there is no experimental evidence to support this

starting around 1940, doctors began to apply findings

belief. In fact, the evidence suggests that tests of statis-

[were these findings experimental? It might be good to

tical significance actually harm decision-making (see the

clarify for a stronger argument] that were reported in sci-

review by Ziliak and McCloskey 2007).

entific journals (Gratzer 2006). Large gains in life span followed.

Consider studies of consumer behavior. Researchers first develop ideas about consumer behavior and then

Economics provides yet another example. In the late

seek evidence to support their “theories.” Are those

1800s, academic economists believed that regulation

familiar with scientific research on consumer behavior

was necessary for economies. In the mid-1900s, re-

better able to make predictions about phenomena in

searchers began to test the effects of regulation versus

this field? Sixteen academics (a random sample from

no regulation, which led most economists to realize the

the Association for Consumer Research), 12 marketing

dangers of regulation.

practitioners, and 43 high-school students made 1,736 predictions about the outcomes of 105 hypotheses from

Publication of papers testing alternative approaches is

20 empirical studies selected from the Journal of Con-

considered to be vital in many fields. For example, Prasad

sumer Research. The practitioners were correct on 58

et al. (2013) summarized testing on a variety of medical

percent of the hypotheses, students on 57 percent, and

procedures and found that “of the 363 articles testing

academics on 51 percent. If selecting randomly among

standard of care, 40 percent reversed that practice,

the choices, a respondent would have on average picked

whereas 38 percent reaffirmed it.”

slightly more correct answers (Armstrong 1991). To assess the extent to which management journals Exploratory studies start with the data and seek to

publish studies that test multiple hypotheses, the author

discover useful knowledge. For example, researchers

of this article conducted an audit of papers published in

search for relationships by using regression analyses on

issues of Management Science from 1955-76. 64 per-

large databases of non-experimental data. This approach

cent of the empirical papers used advocacy, 14 percent

is unlikely to be successful (as discussed in Armstrong

were exploratory, and only 22 percent used multiple hy-

2011). It does, however, lead to publications in academic

potheses (Armstrong 1979).

journals. The medical field suffers from this. For example, 18 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS

Another study involved an audit of over 1,700 empiri-

allowed to read. Since researchers were interested in

cal papers in six leading marketing journals from 1984-

increasing their number of publications, they had to find

1999. Of these, 74 percent used the dominant hypothe-

ways of gaining acceptance from reviewers.

sis approach and 13 percent were exploratory, while only 13 percent used multiple competing hypotheses (Arm-

One of the most effective ways to gain approval was to

strong, Brodie and Parsons 2001).

publish papers consistent with the existing folklore (Dickersin and Min, 1993; Easterbrook et al, 1991; and

Cumulative knowledge

Scherer, Dickersin and Langenberg 1994). Nobel Prize

Evidence-based principles and techniques should be

winners have experienced this phenomenon when they

based on cumulative knowledge, which requires replica-

published papers refuting current folklore (Gans and

tions and extensions. This is vital for the physical scienc-

Shepherd 1994).

es. For example, the discovery of “cold fusion” was dismissed after many failed replications.

Experimental studies have shown that reviewers tend to

Replications constituted less than 10 percent of pub-

reject research findings that refute existing beliefs. Ma-

lished empirical work in accounting, economics and fi-

honey (1977) picked a topic most behavioral psychology

nance, and 5 percent or less in management and mar-

researchers agreed to be true, made up data, and then

keting in 18 leading business journals from 1970-1991.

wrote two versions of a paper. One version supported

The findings of the replications usually conflicted with the

what everybody believed, while the other version contra-

original findings (Hubbard and Vetter 1996).

dicted the common belief by reversing the findings. He

Replications are difficult to conduct, partly due to a lack

sent the paper to over 80 reviewers. Reviewers typically

of full disclosure in papers, a failure of researchers to

accepted the paper that agreed with the folklore, noting

cooperate with replication attempts and a reluctance

that its “sound methodology.” Reviewers who received the

of journals to accept replications. On the positive side,

other version typically rejected it based on methodology.

some journals have taken steps in recent years to encourage replications.

Goodstein and Brazis (1970) asked 282 psychologists to review one of two abstracts that were identical apart

Causes of problems in the development of useful knowledge

from the results. The psychologists regarded abstracts

Poorly specified objectives: Researchers in business

better-designed and as more suitable for publication.

schools are rewarded for the act of publishing, not for

Abramowitz, Gomes, and Abramowitz (1975) did a simi-

the merit of their content. This reward system has be-

lar study and reached the same conclusion.

with results in accordance with their own beliefs as

come much more prevalent over the past half century, because administrators are concerned that professors

The aversion to disconfirming evidence seems to be wide-

be treated equally. They sought fairness by counting the

spread, as shown by research dating back to Festinger,

quantity of their publications and by weighting the quality

Riecken, and Schacter’s (1956) paper about a cult that

of the journals.

predicted the end of the world. The world did not end at the predicted time, yet cult members had even more

The objective of maximizing the number of papers pub-

confidence in their beliefs. In a related study, subjects

lished, rather than maximizing important discoveries,

who believed that Christ was God were given what they

has other adverse effects on the development of useful

themselves believed to be authentic evidence that he was

knowledge. Findings from a study are more likely to be

not God. As a result, these subjects actually increased

published in pieces, which dissipates the resources of

their belief that Christ was God (Batson 1975).

editors’ reviewers. Readers need to expend extra effort to piece the story together.

Few researchers bother to challenge folklore. We conducted a survey of American Psychological Association

Another, more serious problem, is multiple authorship.

(APA) journal editors and asked them: “To the best of

When Jones and Smith each publish a paper, they each

your memory, during the last two years of your tenure

get a point. But what if Jones and Smith agree to in-

as editor of an APA journal, did your journal publish one

clude each other as a co-author? Now they each get two

or more papers that were considered to be both contro-


versial and empirical? (That is, papers that presented empirical evidence contradicting the prevailing wisdom.)”

Censoring what can be published: Prior to the Internet,

Almost half the editors could not recall publishing such

it was expensive to print papers, as space was limited.

papers in the past two years (Armstrong and Hubbard

Consequently, reviewers decided what others should be


When studies with disconfirming evidence get published,

An alternative to ignoring papers that challenge current

they are less cited than those supporting common be-

procedures is to cite them incorrectly. Researchers often

liefs. Consider escalation bias. It is common folklore that

cite papers that they have not read.. Wright and Arm-

managers reinvest foolishly in loss-making investment

strong (2008) examined 50 papers that cited a paper

projects in the hope of recovering their losses. In other

on how to properly assess non-response bias in mail sur-

words, the folklore suggests that managers throw good

veys. Of these, all but one cited the paper as supporting

money after bad projects. Staw’s (1976) experiments

existing folklore, rather than rejecting existing folklore

asked subjects (acting as managers) to invest in one of

and replacing it with a new method.

two R&D projects. Half of the subjects were told that their investment had done well over a subsequent period,

Researchers have found other ways to get past the cen-

and the other half that their investment had done poorly.

sors. Papers by management scientists gain more re-

They were given a chance to invest more, but this time,

spect when they are written in academic bafflegab. This

they could split their investment between the same two

was, as demonstrated by an experiment using articles

projects. Subjects with the poor investment tended to in-

from management science journals (Armstrong 1980b).

vest more money in the same project than did those with

A related approach to gaining acceptance to is use com-

the good investment. Armstrong, Coviello and Safranek

plex math, which was shown to work even when the math

(1993), referred to here as ACS, concluded that the

was unrelated to the problem (Ericksson 2012).

investment problem in Staw’s original study design was

Research related to the current peer review system led

faulty, because the subjects did not receive information

to “The Author’s Formula.” To publish papers, authors

that would allow them to make a rational decision. ACS

should do none of the following: (1) pick an important

extended the experiment, using the same improper de-

problem, (2) challenge an existing belief, (3) obtain sur-

sign, but changing the problem from a R&D investment

prising results, (4) use simple methods, (5) provide full

to either an advertising investment or a product-design

disclosure, or (6) write clearly (see Armstrong 1982).

investment. Escalation bias did not occur. Staw’s original

To the extent that researchers follow “The Author’s For-

paper continues to be highly cited; as of August 2013,

mula,” the papers published in journals are useless to

there were almost 1,300 citations on Google Scholar.


The ACS paper lags far behind at 31. Researchers ig-

Government involvement in research: The authors side

nore conflicting findings, and discredited folklore per-

with Samuel Johnson, Adam Smith and Milton Friedman,

sists, harming decision-making. Imagine the outrage if

who saw harm in government intervention and funding

this was applied to medical procedures.

of research. Today, we see enormous research funding for projects favored by the state, which are intended for

For another example, preannounced (or expected) cus-

the study of such issues as dangerous manmade global

tomer satisfaction surveys are widely used by companies.

warming, sustainability, education and corporate social

Companies pay for the surevys under the belief that they

responsibility programs. The design typically follows ad-

help to improve customer satisfaction. Ofir & Simonson

vocacy. For a review of experimental evidence on corpo-

(2001) tested the effects of such surveys by using field

rate responsibility programs, see Armstrong and Green

experiments on companies across a number of indus-

(2013). An extreme case is Lysenkoism in Russia, where

tries, including a computer company, an electric utility,

the government imposed an anti-scientific approach to

a supermarket, an electronic equipment company and a

agriculture (Medvedev xxx).

magazine. Some randomly selected people were informed

In addition, the US government is now requiring that re-

that they would receive a satisfaction survey, while others

searchers follow certain guidelines before it will allow re-

were not. All customers were contacted in a follow-up

search to be carried out. These research review boards

survey and asked about their satisfaction. Customers

impose heavy costs on researches, slowing the efforts

who had been told they they would be asked about their

of those who do experimental research. This restriction

satisfaction reported less satisfaction than those who did

of free speech is harmful to science (Ref from Ben -Sha-

not expect to be asked. Despite the evidence, organiza-

har.), as it gives the government a say over what can be

tions (including 97 percent of business schools) continue

studied. Although the authors do not know of any sys-

to use preannounced customer satisfaction surveys,

tematic studies on the topic, it seems that only a small portion come from government research based on reviews of various management topics. They are usually from initiatives by researchers.


Solutions for developing useful knowledge

Is there a Useful Knowledge Base in Management?

One obvious solution is for business schools to ask faculty

Reports from the Ford and Carnegie Foundations were

to provide annual reports of their discoveries of useful

critical of business schools in the 1950s. They concluded

principles and techniques. These would include experi-

that business schools needed to be transformed into “sci-

mental evidence to demonstrate that the new discoveries

ence-based professionalism, as medicine and engineer-

are superior to currently available procedures. Business

ing had been transformed a generation or two earlier”

schools should not consider the number of publications

(Gordon and Howell 1959; Pierson 1959). [cite pages)

beyond checking that the faculty member did publish, as

Historically, business schools have relied primarily on ex-

zero is a poor score.

pert knowledge for the knowledge base. Leading executives and management consultants are asked to lecture

The faculty reports could be compiled into departmental

at business schools, and their writings are incorporated

report that would be made freely available on the Internet

into the knowledge base.

to show what useful knowledge was discovered in each department and in each school. One department at the

If managers have much experience, it stands to reason

Wharton School included a question, asking faculty to de-

that they can learn how to make useful decisions. For

scribe what they had discovered. Most faculty members

example, when Bernard Baruch was asked why seven US

had difficulty answering this question; some simply left it

Presidents came to him for advice, he replied: “People

blank. The question was later removed after complaints

ask for my advice because I have good judgment. Good

from faculty.

judgment comes from experience. Experience—well, that comes from bad judgment.”

Journals can publish useful papers by inviting research-

Unfortunately, experience does not improve an expert’s

ers with strong track records to publish a paper on their

ability to predict the effects of decisions made in com-

area of interest. Rather than spending enormous efforts

plex, uncertain situations. This conclusion, based on a

determining which papers to publish (management jour-

review of evidence (Armstrong 1980c), led to the Se-

nals typically reject about 80 percent of the submitted

er-Sucker Theory: “No matter how much evidence exists

papers), invited papers are published if they meet the

that seers do not exist, suckers will pay for the existence

standards of the author. In a study of the Journal of Fore-

of seers.” As shown in a 20-year experiment by Tetlock

casting and International Journal of Forecasting, invited

(2005), this theory applies to experts in economics and

papers were judged as 20 times more important than

politics. Of course, nearly everyone knows that these find-

the published papers that had not been invited, where

ings do not apply to their judgments about the effects of

importance was based on an index of usefulness and ci-

various policies.

tations. Business school professors translate the folklore into There is no longer any need to allocate space. The In-

complex prose or mathematics, which enhances believa-

ternet enables journals to publish all submitted papers,

bility. One of the authors experienced this firsthand as a

eliminating any value to censoring what should be pub-

PhD candidate at MIT. Without any need for actual data,

lished. The current model resembles Amazon’s website

economics professors were able to show mathematical-

for books. The journal could ask for signed reviews, which

ly that Keynesian policies, viewed as common sense by

would be published along with the papers Experts and

most people, were good for economies in trouble.

others could publish online, signed and civil reviews on

Academics create their own folklore. Consider game the-

the papers. Authors could also respond online to re-

ory, the basis of much research in management. One

views. The paper along with all the reviews would be eas-

claim is that game theory allows people to more effec-

ily accessible. Under such a system, academics would be

tively assess conflict situations, which should allow them

foolish to publish their papers without obtaining reviews

to make better predictions about the decisions of other

prior to submission to a journal [does obtaining reviews

parties involved. No evidence exists to support this claim.

deter paper submission? Maybe better connect the point

In the only assessment that the authors are aware of

of this whole paragraph to the aforementioned suggested

(see Green 2005), game theorists were asked to predict


decisions made in eight conflict decisions by relying on their experience and on relevant game theory. They were

The number of published papers would drop sharply if the

unable to make better predictions than those made by

above changes were adopted.

university students. The game theorists did not appear

Researchers would be

motivated to publish papers only if useful.

to welcome the negative results, and game theory continues to be a major research topic at business schools. THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 21

A substantial body of useful knowledge does exist

convenience sample of nine advertising textbooks and three practitioner handbooks, none of these principles

Despite the barriers, useful knowledge exists in nearly

were found.

all important activities of management. Don Dillman pro-

“We are ruled by professors” Victor Davis Hanson (2010)

vided knowledge on how to do survey research, Norman

Maier provided knowledge on problem solving and group


discussions in his book and Paul Meehl provided knowlence over the past seven decades. The list could go on.

Why do management programs fail to include evidence-based findings?

In fact, there is no problem area in management that

Most people believe that management skills are obvious

lacks evidence.

and that they already possess that knowledge when they

edge on personnel selection, which has had a big influ-

go to business school. However, evidence-based findings One of the authors has edited a handbook on forecasting

often conflict with the folklore, which is distressing to

and written a book on persuasion. In each case, there

many students. This is consistent with Abrami, Leven-

were thousands of useful papers. In forecasting, the

thal and Perry’s (1982) extensive review of the empirical

evidence supported almost 140 principles (Armstrong

literature in education that revealed little relationship be-


In the review of the persuasion literature, ev-

tween the content of lectures and students’ course rat-

idence supported about 180 principles (summarized

ings. In addition, negative effects are expected when the


evidence conflicts with important beliefs or behavior. The resistance is especially high when the evidence is strong,

If Useful Knowledge Exists, Is It Included in Management Programs?

and the source is credible (Batson 1975).

In disciplines such as medicine and engineering, basic

Consider the benefits of teaching folklore. The students

principles are taught through basic textbooks. Does this

are happy, as they already know the material. It saves

happen in management? To examine this issue, Arm-

time for all concerned. Most important, it avoids the frus-

strong and Schultz (1992) examined marketing textbooks

trations of learning new approaches.

used in university courses typically labeled as “marketing principles.” Four doctoral students searched nine mar-

Delivering Useful Knowledge

keting textbooks, published since 1927, for useful mar-

Assume that management programs were designed to

keting principles. They found 566 normative statements

only consist of imparting useful knowledge. Would the

about pricing, product, place or promotion in these texts.

universities’ current delivery system be able to deliver it

The four raters agreed on only twenty of these 566

so as to help students become better managers?

statements as providing meaningful principles. None of these statements were supported by empirical evidence.

Over the past half-century, business schools programs

Twenty marketing professors rated whether the twenty

were designed so that students are not responsible for

meaningful principles were correct, supported by empiri-

their learning. Instead, administrators appoint teachers

cal evidence, useful or surprising. None met all the crite-

to be responsible. The delivery system is based on the

ria. Nine principles were judged to be nearly as correct

following assumptions about students:

with reversed wording. In short, the nine texts had no

1. They are incapable of setting learning objectives.

evidence-based principles.

2. They must be forced to learn by a system of extrinsic rewards and punishments.

Allen and Preiss (1998) coded nineteen communications

3. They will do what the teacher tells them.

textbooks to assess whether the findings in the books

4. They are nearly all capable.

were consistent with the evidence, based on earlier me-

5. They all learn at about the same rate.

ta-analyses. Eleven widely studied areas were included

6. They learn effectively under the lecture method—in

(e.g. fear appeals, distraction). The advice in the books

face-to-face contact with the instructor and other

often conflicted with evidence from meta-analyses. There


were no principles in these textbooks.

7. They benefit from multimedia lectures. 8. They will be able to develop skills if told about tech-

A literature review on evidence related to persuasive ad-


vertising conducted over 16 years summarized knowl-

9. They will retain what they learned.

edge from 687 sources that drew upon more than

10. They will recognize how they can apply their learn-

3,000 studies. This led to the development of 195 prin-

ing and be able to make applications when the oc-

ciples (condition-action statements) for advertising. In a

casions arise.


Using the above numbering system, some of the evidence

plicants to have the same chance for admission

is provided below:

(Espenshade and Radford 2009, p. 92).

1. Capable of identifying objectives: Very young chil-

5. Learning rates: The rate at which people learn var-

dren know how to learn and understand when they

ies enormously across people. Typically, people are

need to learn something. For example, they identi-

quick to learn in some areas and slow in others.

fy learning objectives on their own, such as learn-

Admission policies to address fairness have led to

ing how to speak. They then practice relentlessly,

much diversity in the mental capacity of business

seek feedback as they do and take responsibility

school classes—the “dumbing down” of a univer-

for each step. This process is called “natural learn-

sity education. It also leads to frustration among

ing.” Adults continue using this procedure to learn

slow learners, and it seems likely that many stu-

throughout their lives, as shown by Tough (1971, 1982).

dents suffer a loss of self-esteem (ref). 6. Face-to face lectures: People placed in groups

2. Extrinsic rewards reduce learning: A meta-analy-

(e.g., in classrooms or study groups) typically lose

sis of 128 experiments concluded that extrinsic

a sense of responsibility. When adults were asked

rewards undermine intrinsic motivation (Deci et

to describe important things they learned and how

al. 1999). Performance incentives also harm

they learned them, they typically mentioned things

learning knowledge and skills (Seijts and Latham

when they had taken individual responsibility; they


seldom mentioned learning in groups, especially in groups with leaders (Tough 1982). The loss of

Students invested less time when grades became the

individual responsibility occurs even for very small

objective. In 1961, university students spent about 40

groups—as small as a group of two. Thus, class

hours per week on class and study time, a rate that had

size has little relationship to learning (Hanushek

held since the 1920s. Since 1961, it has dropped to 27


hours per week by 2003 (Babcock and Marks 2010). In

7. Contrary to the folklore on learning, people learn

particular, individual study time—the most effective way

more slowly when they are in a group, especially if

to learn—decreased to about 14 hours (Babcock 2010).

the group has a leader or capable people. Learn-

In contrast, adults who are not students also average

ing is especially likely to be suppressed due to the

about 14 hours per week of their time in their learning

free-rider effect; group members allow the skilled

projects (Tough 1971).

people to do all the work (see the meta-analysis by

3. Obey instructors: On days students are not sick,

Karau and Williams 1993). Whereas task-related

many arrive late and unprepared, come and go

diversity improves group creativity and productivity,

during class, and use their computers and phones

bio-demographic diversity does not; a meta-analy-

for unrelated tasks. An anti-intellectual class at-

sis by Horwitz and Horwitz (2007) found negative

mosphere has evolved in many business schools


(see the view of an MBA student in Robinson

8. Multimedia





of content via multimedia typically leads to slow

4. Capable learners: Murray (2008, pp xx-xx) esti-

transmission and poor comprehension. Speaking

mates that only about 10 percent of the popu-

is slower than reading, and it is difficult to coordi-

lation has the necessary intelligence to benefit

nate the information from the different channels

from a university education. Furthermore, many

(sound and sight). Thus, instructors are often talk-

students lack the self-discipline needed to engage

ing about something, when students are reading

in learning. Self-discipline, as measured by the

something else. Multimedia is best suited for sim-

“marshmallow test” (Mischel, Shoda and Rodri-

ple messages and material that the recipient is

quez 1989), was found to be a better predictor

already familiar with (Furham xxx).

of academic performance than cognitive ability

9. Skill development: Lecturing to people about tech-

(Duckworth and Seligman 2005). To compound

niques is not enough. How many people could

the problem, “fairness” is often used for accept-

learn to play the violin by listening to a lecture?

ance into programs instead of cognitive ability. For

Rather, they must practice and obtain feedback

example, Asian-Americans must score 450 points

on their progress. One of the most successful

higher out of 1600 on the SAT exams than Afri-

techniques for developing skills with management

can-Americans to have the same opportunity for

techniques is the use of role-playing, which busi-

acceptance at elite American colleges. Upper-eco-

ness schools seldom employ. Consider the skill of

nomic class applicants must pay more and score

listening, something students (and managers) are

160 points higher than lower-economic class ap-

typically quite poor at. Students could be observed THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 23

as they practice nondirective interviewing and re-

Students in management are now assumed to be experts

ceive feedback on their performance.

on the content and how they can best learn it. Consider

10. Learning is retained: Professors are often aston-

how this would work in an engineering course. Would

ished by how much students forget in a week.

students offer advice to professors and other students

Bacon and Stewart (2006) found that students

on the best way to build roads, buildings and bridges?

lost half of the content from a consumer behavior course in 13 weeks. 11. Students will apply principles and technique when needed: [My test of mktg. classes.

Grading: Another primary cause of poor delivery is the grading of students by teachers. By focusing on extrinsic rewards, students lose intrinsic motivation for learning. Grading has been shown to reduce learning in Condry’s

Given that the assumptions are wrong, could students

(1977) review. Instead, students strive to obtain the

still manage to learn useful principles and techniques?

highest grade for the least amount of work. [Token rewards paper?]

Causes of poor delivery

It is difficult for any instructor to aid students’ learning

Improper objective: People of all ages effectively learn use-

and to also be their evaluator. Instead, independent as-

ful skills when they take responsibility for their learning—a

sessment centers can provide certification on various ar-

necessary condition. There are detrimental, long-term ef-

eas, such as strategic planning, group processes, data

fects when people allow “teachers” to be responsible for

analysis, report writing and making presentations. [why?

their learning. This effect was shown dramatically in five

What is the benefit of an independent assessment center

learning programs designed to help others, as reported

vs. teacher evaluation? Needs stronger support…]

in McCord (2003). Timing: Students are not only expected to learn topics Using a sample of 506 males (median age of 10.5

that they have no current interest in, but they also must

years), half were randomly assigned to a five-year pro-

remember this for possible use many years later. Why

gram where they received tutoring in 2 academic sub-

not create a system that allows for just-in-time learning?

jects and counseling, while the other half (the control

Providing experiential learning tasks online can easily

group) received no services. In a 30-year follow-up, those

achieve this.

from the treatment group felt highly positive about the value of the program, but compared to the control group,

Effects of Incompetency Training

they were more likely to have committed a crime, suf-

Joan McCord’s quote here?

fered from alcoholism, died younger, been in occupations with lower prestige, and reported that their work was

Some researchers have tried to assess the effects of the

unsatisfying. Similar results were found in four other ex-

current teaching methods used in higher education. This

periments (McCord 2003).

section describes experimental evidence drawing upon all areas of education. When possible, evidence directly

The problem is becoming more serious as more cues in-

relevant to business schools is highlighted.

dicate that students are not responsible for the learning. strong signal that the students are not responsible. They

Do students learn useful knowledge and skills in classes?

rate whether professors were able to motivate them and

Two pre-and-post-test studies examined what happens

whether they liked the course. In other words, the ob-

when students in psychology courses were presented

jective changed from learning skills (Benjamin Franklin’s

with evidence-based findings that conflicted with folklore.

design principle for the University of Pennsylvania) to en-

Changes in beliefs occurred for only 6 percent of the

suring that students are happy and without complaints.

topics in each of the two studies (Vaughan 1977). Sim-

Particularly, Student Evaluations of Teachers (SET) send a

ilar results were demonstrated in economics where eviAs a young professor at the Wharton School, one of

dence-based findings often conflict with the folklore; Atti-

the authors worked with an MBA student to propose the

yeh and Lumsden (1972), in a study of 30,000 students

first SET at Wharton, one of the earliest in the country.

in economics courses in the UK, found little change in

The effects were rapid; learning was harmed, leaving stu-

beliefs as measured by “before” and “after” examinations.

dents unhappy. The author then returned to the Wharton

See “This is an economist’s argument!” The impact of

faculty, proposing that they replace the SETs with a sur-

studying economics and other disciplines on the belief

vey asking students to describe what they learned in each

that voluntary transactions make everyone better off A.

course. This was rejected.

Goossens and P-G. Méon (2010??) “Folk economics” Paul Rubin (2003) – Southern Economic Journal.


To assess skills learned in marketing classes, a six-month

face-to-face lectures in response to competition from

follow-up study was conducted of students who had com-

cheaper and more effective educational programs deliv-

pleted marketing courses at the Wharton School. They

ered online. Elite schools will have an advantage, as they

were asked to describe instances of when they were able

are the source of nearly all discoveries in management.

to apply what they learned. The responses were coded .

Freed from the constraint of class sizes and the need

. . The findings were. . . [TBA}

for a professor to be present, business schools will be well positioned to create useful learning materials and to

Are graduates from business school programs more capable?

certify mastery of useful techniques and principles.

To what extent has the current educations system

Learners must also be responsible for their learning. They

[My long-term follow up

should decide what objectives they want to pursue, what

To what extent are graduates of training courses more

learning materials to use, when to use the materials and

effective on the job? [Marketing graduates vs. non grad-

how to obtain feedback on their success. They can seek


alternative ways to demonstrate mastery of techniques

Evidence form related areas.(Evidence from the Natu-

and principles through interning or providing samples of

ral learning paper that relates to management training.

one’s work for example.

Great training robbery; employee selection Research on employee selection shows that cognitive

When adults have a need for education, they should in-

skill (IQ) is the most important factor for selecting effec-

vest as they see fit. This is consistent with Dr. Samuel

tive managers. If one controls for IQ, management train-

Johnson’s viewpoint—universities prospered as a conse-

ing provides no additional useful information to employers

quence of national wealth and not the other way around.

seeking job candidates [ref?].

This is also consistent with Adam Smith’s stance of opposing government funding of universities (Kealey 1996).

As stated, business education has relied primarily on folk-

It is best that they [who? The universities or the adults/

lore. If management courses are based on folklore, stu-

learners?] invest their own money in doing so.

dent opinions are as good as faculty opinions on the most best, such training is useless, as it merely represents the

Content can be delivered less expensively and more effectively

learner’s current beliefs. When incorrect, folklore leads

The key design principles are that students should be re-

people to be overconfident in their decision-making skills.

sponsible for their learning and they should have access

effective management procedures in a given situation. At

to evidence-based training materials. It is possible to de-

Do those who receive educational services do better?

sign such systems for in-residence programs.. However,

In general, Schmidt and Hunter (19xx) found that the

sive, so it seems best for universities to redefine their

number of years of education was uncorrelated to long-

role so as to efficiently (1) discover useful findings, (2)

term job performance when the analysis controlled for

convey useful knowledge to people when they need the

the effect of cognitive abilities (e.g., IQ). A review of ex-

knowledge, and (3) provide validated certification pro-

perimental studies, also reached this conclusion (Arm-

grams that can be taken when needed by students.

they are difficult to design and to maintain, and expen-

strong 2012 Nat learn The first step is already underway, The current system

Do students who do better in educational programs do better?

delivery system can be transferred to Internet. Lectures

One might expect that those who take learning more se-

becoming widely available along with reading lists and lec-

riously would get higher grades, and thus grades would

ture slides. One can build similar, if not identical, curricula

be related to success in one’s career. (Harrell?) [Alison

for personal use without having to apply or enroll into the

Wolf – Does education matter?]


Do graduates from elite schools do better than those from less elite schools?

Online distance learning offers many advantages over tra-

[No. Describe findings]

(including those used in prestigious business schools) are

ditional business school programs. First, learning materials can be accessed when needed to solve a problem. In addition, it removes two key factors that reduce learning: 1) being in a group and 2) having a

Possible Solutions for the Delivery of Useful Knowledge

group leader (Tough 19xx).

Business schools may eventually be forced to eliminate THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 25

For example, it should be obvious to online learners that

been developed over the past century. Of this, little is

they would be irrational to be texting, reading email, surf-

provided in management programs. Regardless, little is

ing the web, and playing games—now commonplace in

learned in management programs to begin with due to

leading business schools—while engaged in their online

the unnatural assumption that professors are responsi-

learning activities. On the contrary, business school ad-

ble for student learning. Any knowledge gained is seldom

ministrators regard such behavior by students as a fail-

applied, as it has not been translated into skills.

ure of the faculty to motivate students.

Because the folklore represents currently accepted practice, managers are not penalized for incompetent

Evidence-based sites are available in medicine and . . (e.g.

decision-making (unlike the situation for engineers and

The Cochrane Collaboration – There

medical doctors).

has been some interest in developing evidence-based sites in management (add Denise Rousseau). For exam-

Universities should redefine their role so as to efficiently

ples, see and advertisingprin-

(1) discover useful findings, (2) convey useful knowledge In addition to summarizing evidence-based

to people when they need the knowledge, and (3) provide

principles and techniques, both sites incorporate expe-

validated certification programs that can be taken when

riential learning exercises and provide certification tests.

needed by learners.

Ideally, one could go on a website to read clear, up-to-date


evidence-based principles about how to address a man-

Abrami, P. C., L. Leventhal, and R. P. Perry. (1982). Ed-

agement problem of current interest. This is a need that

ucational Seduction. Review of Educational Research 52,

universities could fulfill.

446 – 464.

Independent certification should be provided by assessment centers

Armstrong, J.S. (2012) Natural Learning in Higher Edu-

Given the perceived need for certification, private institu-

of Learning. Springer, pp. 2426-2433.

cation, in Norbert M. Seel, Encyclopedia of the Sciences

tions—like prestigious business schools—could develop (and charge fees for) certification testing, much like the

Armstrong JS (2011). “Evidence-based Advertising: An

Law Boards. They could begin by using tests and answers

Application to Persuasion,” International Journal of Ad-

from their existing courses. This does not, however, ad-

vertising, 30, 743-767.

dress the problem that current testing has no benefit for society, because it is based on folklore and focused on

Armstrong, JS. (2007). Significance Tests Harm Pro-

content, not skills.

gress in Forecasting. International Journal of Forecasting, 23, 321-327.

It will be difficult to overcome the current system. Folklore requires little effort from teachers or learners, so

Armstrong, JS. (2006). “How to Make Better Forecasts

there is no need to keep up-to-date with the research

and Decisions: Avoid Face-to-face Meetings, (with com-

or to go through the frustrations involved with changing

mentaries and my reply), Foresight: The International

long-held beliefs. Most importantly, the current system is

Journal of Applied Forecasting, 5, 3-15.

mostly supported by government funding. Without that, it would much smaller and more effective.

Armstrong, J. S. (2003). “Discovery and communication of important marketing findings:

Higher costs due to government support for a “right to

Evidence and proposals,” Journal of Business Research,

higher education”—in an attempt to provide equality of

56, 69-84 (commentaries and

outcomes for all people—have led to enormous increases

reply, pp. 85-92).

in the price of education, not only for governments, but also for students. This has occurred despite the lack of

Armstrong, J. S., ed. (2001), Principles of Forecasting.

evidence that higher education has any effect overall on

Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic

reducing inequality of outcomes (Jencks).


Conclusions Armstrong JS (1997). Peer review for journals: Evidence The current system for knowledge development offers in-

on quality control, fairness, and

centives that are counter-productive for the development

innovation. Science and Engineering Ethics, 3, 63-84.

of useful knowledge. Despite the small and decreasing percentage of useful papers, much useful knowledge has 26 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS

Armstrong JS (1996). Management folklore and man-

agement science: On portfolio planning, escalation bias,

tige: Research versus teaching (with commentary). Inter-

and such (with commentaries). Interfaces, 26, 4, 25-55.

faces, 24 (March-April), 13-22.

Armstrong JS (1995). The Devil’s advocate responds to

Bacon, Donald R. and Kim A. Stewart (2006), “How fast

an MBA student’s claim that research harms learning.

do students forget what they learn in consumer behav-

Journal of Marketing, 59 (July), 101-106.

ior? A longitudinal study,” Journal of Marketing Education, 28 (3), 181-192.

Armstrong, J.S. (1991). Prediction of Consumer Behavior by Experts and Novices Journal of Consumer Re-

Chamberlin, T. C. (1965). The method of multiple work-

search, 18, 251-256.

ing hypotheses. Science, 148, 754-759.(Reprint of an 1890 paper).

“Designing and Using Experiential Exercises,” in M. W. DeLozier et al., Experiential Learning in Marketing Edu-

Condry, J. 1977. Enemies of exploration: Self-initiated

cation. Columbia, S.C. Division of Research, College of

versus other-initiated learning. Journal of Personality and

Business Administration, University of South Carolina,

Social Psychology (35) 459-477.

1977, pp. 8-17. Dakin S & Armstrong JS (1989). Predicting job perforArmstrong JS (1982). Barriers to scientific contribu-

mance: A comparison of expert

tions: The author’s formula. Behavioral and Brain Scienc-

opinion and research findings. International Journal of

es, 5 (June), 197-199.

Forecasting, 5, 187-194.

Armstrong JS (1980a). Advocacy as a scientific strate-

Deci EL, Koestner R, Ryan RM (1999) A meta-analytic

gy: The Mitroff myth. Academy of

review of experiments examining the effects of extrinsic

Management Review, 5, 509-511.

rewards on intrinsic motivation. Psych. Bull. 125(6):627– 668.

Armstrong JS (1980b). Unintelligible management research and academic prestige.

Eriksson, K. (2012). The nonsense math effect, Judg-

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nrique Bigne is Marketing Professor at the Universitat Jaume I (1996-01) and currently at the Universitat de València (2001- currently). He has published 13 books, 130 papers

in Spanish and International academic journals, and 150 conference presentations. Member of 5 Editorial Boards and reviewer in 10 journals. He has supervised 20 doctoral theses. Bachelor of Business Administration(1984) and PhD in Economics and Business Administration (1989) with university award, Bachelor Degree of Law (2001), Diploma of Market

Research (1985) and Operations Research by the Universitat de València (1986). Dean (1992-95) and Vice-Dean (1989-92) of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Chair of the Department of Management and Marketing at the Universitat Jaume I, and Chair of the Department of Marketing (2003-06) and Vice Chancellor (2006-10) of the University of Valencia. He is a visiting scholar at the Marketing Department at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business (2011- ).

Theme 1. Marketing Futurecast and the advancement of knowledge.

photo to Panoramio, to whom is he exchanging it with? Technology plays a key role in the innovation process and

The world is managed by change. Academics need to

particularly nowadays. The adoption of technologies can

observe changes, analyze them and get conclusions. My

be categorized into three evolving phases. The first phase

focus in this point is threefold and responds to those

was characterized by the use of technology by compa-

three academic tasks: a. How knowledge is created?; b.

nies, usually large firms with affordable budgets or high

The role of technology; c. Consumer value creation.

investments in R&D are able to do so. It evolved into a

Current knowledge is co-created by teams or networks.

second stage where the technologies, mainly ICT, were

This type of knowledge, academic or technological is set

available for small companies or consumers for their per-

up through formal institutions (e.g. universities, research

sonal use. In the third phase from 2000 until nowadays,

institutes, companies) and personal interactions (e.g.

technologies are used by consumers to deliver external

meetings). At business level, firms and even users (con-

value rather than a personal use. This can be illustrated

sumers) also may co-create or co-participate in some

in the computers field. In the first phase only medium and

processes, but again some institutional process support-

large companies used computers due to three reasons:

ing those interactions (i.e. the markets, the exchange

1.high cost; 2. untrained teams; 3. low perceived value

process) are needed. To some extent this process is

of their utility. With the advent of the personal computer,

organic and evolves over time. However, more recently,

the second phase begun due to its lower cost, and per-

some movements or changes have been leading from

ceived utility is higher. The third phase was characterized

user’s viewpoint. Therefore the weak part of the interac-

by lowest costs, easy handle due to friendly software (Mi-

tion is leading the process. Taskim Square’s movement at

crosoft, Google, YouTube, 1&1...) and apps (Facebook,

Istanbul, NPOs, and open software, are good examples.

Flickr,…), and massive use that leads to the highest

My point here is that the consumer is gaining power due

perceived utility and power. Other examples and evolving

to the available technology, but still some institutional re-

processes can be drawn in the communications area:

sources are needed at different levels. Invisible Children

from the mobile paid calls to the non-paid apps, such as

needed social platforms for KONY 2012 campaign, or

Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, there is an evolution supported

the two Spanish students, founders of Panoramio, need-

once again by the three main components: low cost or no

ed a website to allow uploading photos, or announcing

cost, easy to manage, and the growing number of users.

through online platforms such as Craighlist or requires a simple procedure. Somehow this

In the digital age this evolving shift derives in different

support in the form of technology reflects the third funda-

consumer power dimensions as Labrecque, vor dem Es-

mental explananda proposed by Hunt (1983) named in-

che, Mathwick, Novak and Hofacker (2013) posit in a

stitutional framework that facilitates exchanges. In other

recent paper. However this is not exclusive of the digital

words, A and B may exchange in any leadership, but they

world. Some examples from the old days are still valid.

need a shared space to do so. In a company-consumer

Traditional WOM, private cooking for others, private auc-

traditional exchange, the market is the institution that

tions, services provided in non-governmental organiza-

facilitates those massive exchanges between identificable

tions (e.g. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) or doctors

parties. In some recent excahnges the parties are not

without borders) show consumer value and reflect con-

explicitly identifiable. For instance, if subject A uploads a

sumer power as well. Certainly the difference between THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 29

the digital and the offline world is mediated by the size,

Priem, Richard L. (2007), A Consumer Perspective on

although other factors such as prior knowledge and trust

Value Creation. Academy of Management Review 32 (1),

affect effectiveness. The online reviews in sites such as


Tripadvisor convey power to the user. Therefore in the digital world, where consumer power is highlighted by the

Priem, Richard L., Sali Li, and Jon C. Carr (2012), In-

massive audience in comparison with offline settings, the

sights and New Directions from Demand-Side Approach-

outcome is not always necessarily more effective (e.g.

es to Technology Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Stra-

online translators are massive but probably less effective

tegic Management Research, Journal of Management,

than a small group of volunteers providing medical servic-

38 (1), 346-374.

es in the third world). Gummerus, Johanna (2013), Value creation processes Power needs a valuable contribution to be effective. Deliv-

and value outcomes in marketing theory: Strangers or

ering external value opens a window of opportunities for

siblings? Marketing Theory, 13 (1), 19-46.

analyzing power. Are consumers co-producing, or co-creating? Definitively the answer is yes. Let’s see it with

Vargo, S.L. and Lusch, R.F. (2006) ‘Evolving to a New

some examples: Consumer are able to launch a VoD TV

Dominant Logic for Marketing’, in R. F. Lusch and S.L.

channel, post a review, developing software for basic pur-

Vargo (eds) The Service-Dominant Logic of Marketing:

poses or even scientific like R or Smart PLS, much more

Dialog, Debate and Directions, pp. 3–28. New York, NY:

easier than some decades ago. Beyond these examples,

M.E. Sharpe.

researchers need conceptual frameworks for explaining this change. In any case the outcome of previous exam-

Vargo, S.L. and Lusch, R.F. (2008) ‘Service-Dominant

ples, both online and offline must be named as consumer

Logic: Continuing the Evolution’, Journal of the Academy

value creation (CVC). From the strategic management

of Marketing Science 36(1), 1–10.

viewpoint, literature usually neglects the consumer or de(Priem 2007, Priem et al, 2012). But recent marketing

Theme 2. New methods for academic research in marketing

literature is focused on Service-Dominant logic (Vargo and

New or updated are, by definition, good and positive

Lusch 2006, 2008) which locates value creation pro-

terms. Therefore any new suitable method in the aca-

cesses in the interaction between a firm and a customer,

demia is, by definition, good. From my understanding the

and points out a new paradigm shift that boosts updated

point is not the newness or the oldness of the method-

approaches. Considering the consumer as a part of the

ologies, the point here is the aim. Assuming in any case

production process is not radically a new idea, but has

that the method to be used is the appropriate one from a

some virtue due to its conceptual development. In fact

“technical” viewpoint, the unresolved question is what the

the well-known term prosumer (Tofler 1980) goes clearly

purpose of our research is. Let’s review it with one ex-

in that way. Although recently the term proBROsumer

ample. If a researcher needs to assess the attention to a

added the broker function (intermediating, filtering, add-

stimulus such as printed advertising s/he will use an eye

ing, and linking) as it has been suggested in blogs (e.g.

tracking system and obviously it can be complemented However the Service-Dominant

with a traditional questionnaire. But what is the purpose

logic is a more powerful scheme than the one suggest-

of this research? Is it to develop or enhance a Theory of

ed by Tofler. Gummerus (2013) summarizes these views

Attention to Advertising, or just to give evidence in order

into a single proposition as: Value creation processes

to assess the new campaign to be launched by a compa-

may be individual (creation) or shared (co-creation).

ny? In this last example, the methodology may be new but

mand side as a cornerstone of its conceptual approach

the aim is old and does not contribute to the academic


knowledge. Therefore, the answer is in the purpose of

Hunt, Selby D. (1983). General Theories and the Funda-

our research.

mental Explananda of Marketing. The Journal of Market-

A different topic is the impact of our research. In other

ing, 47 (4), 9-17.

words, are we researching for publishing in academic journals regardless of its impact on other recipients –so-

Labrecque, Lauren I. , Jonas vor dem Esche, Charla

ciety-, such as companies, citizens, consumers or policy

Mathwick, Thomas P. Novak, Charles F. Hofacker, Con-

makers? The answer is not clear and unique but some

sumer Power: Evolution in the Digital Age, Journal of

voices have claimed recently about this distance and

Interactive Marketing, Available online

divergence (Reibstein, Day and Wind, 2009). In other

October 2013,

words are we losing our way? The question is if academics and companies have a meeting point.


Do researchers and society have a common institution-

the marketing field. Good examples from the past are the

al framework that facilitates exchanges, or a meeting

Partial Least Squares or Bayesian Analysis, and more

point, shared views, contacts, or exchanges? Solutions

recently methods for analyzing panel data, or solutions

are not easy because it implies to change the institutional

such as music customization (Chung, Rust and Wedel,

framework. However some institutional frameworks are

2009), web morphing or morphing banner (Urban, forth-

promoting industry-academia encounters. Probably the

coming) or the retargeting procedure pointed out recent-

most well-known is the Marketing Science Institute that

ly by Lambrecht and Tucker (2013). Broadly speaking,

delivers guidance, financial support, and interactions be-

both, devices or methods are not autochthonous. They

tween managers and researchers. Some other examples

have been adopted and adapted to the marketing field,

can be found in some specific institutions in terms of

which in turn do not deliver a unique value. On the other

professional experience of the academics or providing

hand our strength among other academic fields should

sabbaticals in companies. So the answer is in the institu-

be to be focused in the adoption of our knowledge by

tional framework or in other words in the School´s vision.

our colleagues. When management, finance, psychology,

It will elicit some policies that will promote, at least from

or anthropologist researchers are citing our academic

the academic side, to reward closer company-research

research both in the inner ring of concepts (such as seg-

relationships. Not every single School has a targeted vi-

mentation some decades ago, perceived quality, or more

sion towards companies. In many cases the vision and

recently Service-Dominant logic) or in the outer ring of

the goals are broadly define.

methodologies or approaches, marketing is gaining im-

Beyond the forced or imposed relation of the above par-

portance and credibility in the academia.

agraph, as academics we must ask ourselves whether companies need academic research and what type of


research is needed. The answer has different angles:

Chung, Tuck-Siong, Roland T. Rust and Michel Wedel,

1. There are other knowledge providers, such as con-

(2009), “My Mobile Music: An Adaptive Personalization

sultants, market research agencies, or advertising agen-

System for Digital Audio Players,” Marketing Science, 28

cies. 2. The type of required knowledge tend to be spe-

(1), 52-68.

cific problem oriented (how to improve service quality) or typical studies (e.g. customer satisfaction study); 3.

Gatica-Perez, Daniel (2013), Automatic nonverbal analy-

Most of the managers have a limited awareness of the

sis of social interaction in small groups: A review, Image

newest advances in terms of research. At the end of the

and Vision Computing, 27 (12), 1775-1787, http://dx.

day, companies will need us if we are able to offer superi-

or value, in many cases in in terms of specific findings for specific purposes (for instance a paper showing a more

Lambrecht, Anja and Catherine Tucker (2013), When

effective way of increasing revenues). In any case, the

Does Retargeting Work? Information Specificity in On-

competitive advantage of the academic knowledge is fo-

line Advertising. Journal of Marketing Research, 50 (5),

cused on two issues: innovation in terms of constructs or


methodologies. Therefore new methods are more than welcome. They represent a “competitive advantage” for

Reibstein, David J., George Day and Jerry Wind, (2009),

the academics for the rest of the academia but also for

“Guest Editorial: Is Marketing Academia Losing its Way?”

the companies looking for something new, not for the

Journal of Marketing, 73 (July), 1-3.

ones that are looking for traditional measures or repeated studies.

Urban, Glen L., Guilherme (Gui) Liberali, Erin MacDonald,

Focusing on the type of new and attractive methods, two

Robert Bordley, and John R. Hauser. Morphing Banner

main approaches can be seen: technological devices that

Advertising. Marketing Science,forthcoming. Available

analyze sources of information and new approaches or


methodologies. New technological devices are helping



academic researchers to come up new ways and type of research, including analysis of human senses, such

Wedel Michel and Rik Pieters (2014), Looking at vision:

as eye tracker or facial expressions (Wedel and Pieters,

Eye/face/head tracking of consumers for improved mar-

2014), automatic analysis of nonverbal behavior (Gáti-

keting decisions, in Moutinho, Luiz, Enrique Bigné and

ca-Perez 2013), and automated data mining techniques,

Ajay Manrai, The Routledge Companion to the Future of

such as text mining, sentiment analysis, and alerts or

Marketing, Routledge New York.

sensors at different levels. Under the umbrella of new approaches or methodologies, new algorithms, mathematical programs or statistical advances are common in THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 31

3. Rigor and relevance of academic research in Marketing.

mining of banners may help some companies, but for public bodies, and agencies in different coun-

Let´s discuss both topics. Relevance is featured by the

tries –i.e. developed and undeveloped- is really

following issues: 1. International approach; 2. Focused

critical. In addition, a methodological contribution

on new topics; 3. An applied orientation (managerial or

may be addressed to companies (see Urban et

methodological). In addition it requires some institution-

al., forthcoming as an example) but mainly to oth-

al changes in terms of recognition of our activity (pro-

er researchers at both, academic or professional

motion) and content of our courses, particularly at PhD

level. Therefore the distinction between basic and


applied research is not appropriate if it is asso-

1. nternational orientation is present in almost every

ciated with its usefulness. Even in the case of a

research. It is not about cross cultural samples,

methodological contribution without academic fol-

rather it is the type of literature review, the con-

lowers, cannot be named as non-useful, because

ferences, and in general terms, the attempt to

some years later may be the opposite. This is the

propose a construct or methodology valid from

case of Partial Least Square estimation which is

a global perspective. For instance a study about

an alternative to Structural Equation Modeling that

CETSCALE may be focused in one country, but the

was born in the late sixties by Herman Wold, but

literature review will embrace the different stud-

its use and development in the marketing field has

ies in different countries, providing a generalizable

taken place in this century with some exceptions

knowledge, including moderation effects derived

(Hair, Sarstedt, Ringle and Mena, 2012).

from cultural, economic or other issues. Therefore academic research is almost by default, inter-


national. This approach is typically useful for com-

Hair, J. F., Sarstedt, M., Ringle, C. M., & Mena, J.

panies, governments and other stakeholders who

A. (2012). An assessment of the use of partial least

do not have the resources to be international or to

squares structural equation modeling in marketing re-

be aware of the international changes in the field.

search. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science,

2. Focused in new topics. The marketing academics

40(3), 414-433.

usually devote many resources to the new and updated constructs. It can be observed recently in

Probably the industry may argue that we are not

Theme 4. Developments of marketing curricula designed for facing up the challenges of tomorrow.

dealing with the newest. It may be true due to two

Our approach is based on the following assumptions: (i)

main reasons: academic research needs anoth-

Human resources are stable at short and medium term;

er tempo including peer reviewing and publishing,

(ii) A coherent relationship of marketing content with the

and it can be true in a particular community (i.e

rest of the disciplines must be achieved, particularly in

country or region) but not worldwide. Cutting edge

Business Administration degrees; (iii) Students cohorts

research is done by teams in certain research

need a sequence in order to assure their opportunity to

institutions, not everywhere. This is the case of

follow a degree, particularly in degrees of more than one

the research done in other fields such as phys-


the number of papers and even journals for e-marketing, digitalization, social media and big data.

ics, medicine or computing, where cutting edge research is focused in specific groups in specif-

Based on the above assumptions, an initial differentiation

ic institutes, departments or labs (such as Max

in terms of degree level must be drawn into this discus-

Planck Society for the Advancement of Science in

sion. We adopt a classical scheme of degrees, and it has

Germany or National Institutes of Health, NIH in

combined with the teaching approach and the emphasis,


that is mainly referred to skills. Although an eclectic po-

3. Although applied research is usually considered the opposite to basic research, this view is from

sition is possible in each cell, different patterns can be observed in each column.

our perspective, not accurate. The term ‘applied’ should be put in relation with the user. Users and recipients of our research are diverse, including not only companies but also other groups such as NPO, public policy makers or bureaus, governments, agencies, and other researchers. For instance, a content analysis of advertising or a text 32 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS



Teaching approach


Basic and traditional

Lectures and applied exercises

Individual vs. team work Theoretical vs. applied

Master PhD


General Case method vs. SpeTechniques cialized in Problem solving consumer behavior, IMC, analytics, channels or industries.

Applied knowledge Critical skills and

Advanced Methodological oriented

Modeling Consumer behavior

Papers Research presentations


as intercultural content/sociology course (S content). The reason behind this complement is that marketing is targeted to the society (S content) following a general aim (M content), otherwise students will get advanced learning but with outlier perspectives or decontextualized from the evolving society. C. PhD programs need to be advanced and specialized in terms of marketing and also methodologies. Since some of the PhD candidates do not

To some extent, these three main levels of education need stability in terms of level, structure and content. However the content should be updated at micro level. For instance a course on advertising ten years ago would not pay too much attention to the online advertising, but nowadays it is a common content that receives more attention in terms of teaching hours. Some schools include a general course named ‘New topics in marketing’ or similar names to ensure that new topics in the field will get an umbrella within the regular degrees. The specific content to be taught is tough to define in some lines. Rather I will propose some general criteria. However I want to stress that learning can be achieved through regulated courses within an approved degree and also through non-regulated formats or ‘out-of- class learning’ that will be discussed later. Going back to the point of the specific content to be learned by marketer candidates, I will follow the first column of the above table. Nevertheless the learning process is more than just contents, as it has been illustrated in columns second and third. A. At undergraduate level and in a business degree, the content should be classical which for me means, Marketing foundations, market research, consumer research, and marketing management as a core disciplines and then electives by marketing variables, mainly 4 Ps, or economic activities, such as services, business-to-business, or even more specific, such as health care marketing in an institution such as Johns Hopkins or tourism marketing as elective course in a highly dependent tourism destination. To sum up, this marketing content must be general and offer a flexible curriculum to be adapted in the future through specializations or updates. B. This level may combine specialization in terms of content, such as advertising, market research or analytics, or alternatively in terms of an industry. This content must be company oriented for two reasons. Institutions may adapt it to the new patterns with more flexibility, and students invest only one year. Therefore a master degree should look at new trends and patterns in industry. Master in marketing should have a contextualized content. By such, I mean a management / strategy course (M content) as well

come from business schools, they should follow an advanced management course, mainly theoretical, in order to get the atmosphere and the theoretical approaches and gaps of the relevant recipients of their research. How to cope with the real changes, rather than just the updates? How to alter the traditional schemes? These questions are valid for each level and for managers education as well. My view is that undergrads, postgraduate students and managers may enjoy additional learning windows beyond the established and regulated degrees. The former are stable and sometimes rigid and must follow a general architecture of a school, university or national regulations. On the other hand, there are traditional non-regulated education formats show an extraordinary flexibility, such as seminars, workshops, roundtables, summer/winter schools, and other formats or names. These are suitable not only for addressing specific new content and/or schemes as I mentioned above, but also have the advantage of can be taught by professionals or even academics from other schools as invited speakers. Invited speakers may overcome the lack of expertise in a particular field or offer alternative views for a particular content. Those contents can also be industry-oriented (i.e. insurance companies, health industry, transport, and so on) showing the differences or specifications. Some schools are reluctant to organize such activities due to budget constraints, lack of interest to the audience since they usually are not of massive attendance, or both. Certainly, these examples and similar ones are usually organized by endowed chairs funded by companies. Regardless of the financial issues, new and changeable content, teaching approaches or the different emphasis may be shown in this non-regulated education for specific targets regardless of getting a formal degree. Some examples will help to understand how to cope for the new or the different. Suppose an advertising media planning class. The teacher may or may not aware or have access to the latest audience data or software for such advertising scheduling. An academic from another institution or a professional are eligible for instructing a one day seminar. Another example would be to set up a roundtable about traditional media and online advertising allocation, with different companies, or a panel discussion among academics about the alternative methodologies for conducting academic research on media allocation. Lastly I would like to posit some myopic view suffered by academTHINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 33

ic institutions. The myopic disease is the non-co-leadership. With some exceptions such as double degrees, and alliances (e.g. international business school alliance), and joint symposiums, most of the schools pursue to invite people from other institutions or industry, but they do not want to share them on common platform. A two years old startup company, named coursera which offers massive open online courses, (MOOCs) is currently gaining in relevance with more than one hundred partners and millions of students. This smart idea is perfect not only for non-regulated courses but also for certificated courses. If one of my students want to follow a specific course on consumer behavior, or even more I may suggest it as a complementary course, nowadays they can do it online. Are undergrad.duate students able to travel to Duke University for a ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior‘ course taught by Don Ariely? Probably not. However they can follow this course through Coursera and free. Obviously this requires some institutional platforms and more elaborated content than just a seminar. Technology allows us to follow many seminars, presentations, roundtables and so on through Internet. For instance, webinars are suitable for specific purposes




rownlie has been employed in the Education Industry since 1979. At present he teaches and researches in marketing subjects in the Department of Marketing at the University

of Stirling. He previously did this at the University of Strathclyde, the University of Glasgow and University College Cork. He has a background in the Steel Industry, where he held a management scholarship.

He has published widely on topics including technology forecasting, consumer culture, celebrity, and organizational design. In addition to contributing chapters to many books, Douglas has presented research papers at many international conferences, including the Academy of Marketing Science, the Association of Consumer Research, Consumer Culture Theory, Gender Studies, the World Marketing Congress, the European Marketing Academy, IMP Group, the British Academy of Management and the Academy of Marketing. His current research interests include the impact of consumer culture on practices of domesticity and visual sociologies. Douglas is a professional member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the American Marketing Association and the Association of Consumer Research. He has consulted in the areas of marketing auditing, market research and marketing planning. Between 1988 and 1993 was a senior partner of the Bath-based strategic change consultancy, Network Associates.

Theme 1 – Marketing Futurecast and the advancement of knowledge.

will be some rhetorical basis for investing in the development and distribution of knowledge about marketing

In my view the advancement of knowledge is closely linked

systems. However, the system of financing this knowl-

to the future of institutions that validate claims packaged

edge production is likely to be more closely linked to the

as ‘knowledge’. One key market institution in this regard

beneficiaries of that investment: and it is at this point that

is the University. Marketing as a discipline has entered

we arrive at the marketizing University, held accountable

the mainstream of the academy. Universities function

for the impact of its work through closely administered

to legitimate knowledge claims as forms of high culture

systems of research and teaching assessment.

and assemble them as schools of thought; materializ-

Over the last 50 years the institutionalization of Market-

ing them through organizational arrangements such as

ing has been consistent with ongoing demystifications of

faculties, degrees, students, journals, grants, prizes and

the distinction between high and low knowledge culture,

other sources of disciplinary capital. Knowledge claims

with a growing trend towards ‘managerialization’ of topics

are canonized through processes of peer review which

in the university curriculum as framed through popular

draw upon credentialized expertise and academic ce-

discourses of ‘employability’, ‘engagement’, and ‘skills en-

lebrity housed within Universities and disciplines. Collini

hancement’. The upshot of social processes of marketi-

(2012) argues that although such institutions have never

zation and demystification is that families are now directly

been so numerous, nor have they ever received more

carrying the cost of educating their young, producing the

public money, they frequently present themselves as de-

privatized student as the consumer of a higher education-

fensive and troubled, attacked by politicians as lacking

al process that shapes and nurtures tools for boosting

direction and accountability. In this sense the future of

lifetime earnings and economic performance. Resolving

marketing knowledge-making is cast within the context

the tension between the high-culture of intellectual purity

of deep uncertainties facing institutions of disciplined

and knowledge for knowledge’s sake, and the low culture

knowledge production. Uncertainty escalates when we

of picking and preparing youngsters to take their place

factor-in public debate surrounding the purpose of Uni-

among tomorrow’s middle classes will, in my view, call

versities in times of greatly reduced public expenditure.

upon marketing as a progressive societal process and

Some laud Universities as engines of economic growth

Marketing as an academic discipline worthy of a place

and technological advance. Others argue that the pur-

among the knowledge class.

pose of Universities is not merely to subsidize economy the territory of human understanding. Conceptualized as

Theme 2 – New methods for academic research in marketing.

knowledge about economy and society for improving the

Of course, online activity will continue to generate forms

operation of markets, marketing is understood as a set

of interaction which are worthy of formal study. The broad

of soft technologies. As long as knowledge-production

family of online research methods will continue to develop

continues to provide evidence for this claim, then there

and expand. However, I am curious to better understand

and technology through passing on skills, but to widen


why, when the profession it shadows is so sophisticated in its visual literacy, visual thinking remains overlooked as a site of professional practice within the discipline of

Theme 3 – Rigor and relevance of academic research in Marketing. Several constituencies have an interest in ‘marketing’ as

marketing which fetishizes discourse at the expense of

an institutional space generating and distributing govern-

figure – and this is, in my view especially important given

ance and wealth creation through channeling economic,

that online activity largely involves forms of visual interac-

social and cultural resources to citizens and communi-

tions with screened information. It is worth remember-

ties in a matrix of service provision enterprises. What is

ing that ‘desire’ is found in figural and accessed through

worth bringing forward here is the suggestion that while

figural practice. In an era hungry for creative ways of

in the academy we get caught up in worthy, feel-good

making teaching and learning more active and scholar-

arguments about the ‘gap’ between theory and practice,

ship more productive, and making all of them more con-

rhetoric and reality, we are effectively distracted from

temporary and accountable, this seems like a worthwhile

wider issues of growing strategic import at the level of

topic. I argue that as an occupational culture our current

the discipline and its defining institutions as they shape

practice with regard to pedagogy and research reflects

contemporary social process. You may recall that mar-

a frightening underestimation of the transformative po-

keting was once more than everyman’s technological fix

tential of the visual as an important area of professional

to the problem of profit. It has also been an ideology; a

academic practice. The marginalization of visual depiction

discipline; an institution; an industry; an economic device;

and the indifference of marketing scientists to such rep-

a managerial function; a distributive practice; a mode of

resentations dangerously privileges discursive forms of

governance; a way of doing the ‘social’ etc. Clearly, like

communication. There is an embedded institutional disre-

the blind feeling their way around the anatomy of the

gard for the figural work of visual communication and its

elephant, all of those views and more must necessarily

architect, graphic design. It manifests itself in the widely

co-exist in a continually market-izing society. As a disci-

held view that such efforts are peripheral to the ‘real

pline and practice we understand this at a very general

work’ of marketing. The misconception at the core of this

level, although we seem to have lost sight of the bigger

view seems to stem from the lasting impact of Ames’

picture of evolving social institutions that are shaped by

polemics which distinguishe the ‘trappings’ from the ‘sub-

and give shape to markets and marketing. I argue that

stance’ of marketing in terms of an ill-advised focus on

we need to re-imagine the broader horizons of marketing

visuals and graphics within advertising and promotion,

in the light of significant changes, not only to the evolving

to the detriment of the real strategic work of realising

institutional context and conduct of governance, but also

a customer orientation through substantive marketing.

to the place of marketing among the collective conscious-

Over the years this paper has transformed itself from a

ness of citizens, consumers, workers – those autono-

loosely observed set of normative statements about good

mous partners in the expanding ‘contractualism’ which

management practice into an iconic transfiguration of

will underpin the newly emerging market-based service

doctrinal status; and I note that in the discipline of mar-

delivery enterprises of a privatising state. In the fields of

keting, current institutional structures seem to privilege

public administration and governance the idea of state

textual practice, i.e. discourse, militating against visual

intervention, of institutions regulating relationships be-

executions recognized as an appropriate medium for the

tween state and society, public and private, is undergoing

dissemination of peer-reviewed research. It is my view

significant revision in the drive to streamline bureaucracy

that calls for marketing to be more creative, the peda-

and release scarce resources. This is especially so in

gogic need for marketing courses to prepare students

regard to the provision of services by the state, where

for creative practice and enterprise will push demands

the concept of a client-focused state service provider has

for students to bring critical thinking in visual domains

never, ever been persuasive at the level of the everyday

to bear upon marketing thought and practice. To state

experience of citizen clients. The present trend towards

that ours is an age increasingly occupied with the pro-

the contracting-out of the delivery of state functions fur-

duction and consumption of visual images is hardly going

ther announces newly market-izing forms of the social.

to set the graphic design community buzzing. However,

Indeed, the current climate of ‘economic austerity’ is

although we rely on images (static & moving) for so much

expected to bring forth new institutional forms where-

of our information about the world, including the market-

by individuals (citizens, consumers, workers - CCW) are

ing world, I argue that we have yet to bring an articulate

not merely conceived of as subjects of state intervention,

visual perspective to the knowledge-making practices of

or instruments of markets. They are no longer mere-

the marketing academy.

ly seen to be carriers of the collective consciousness. Instead they are to be understood as authors of their own identities, bodies, lifestyles and wellbeing. Moreover, those authors can also be understood to be guardians


of their own autonomy, where autonomy is not a right

commonly understand by the ‘public’? What do we com-

to be fought over, but a necessity. As the basis of a new

monly understand by ‘marketing in society’ or, marketing

segmented social contract, autonomy will be imposed by

in the community? What does the collective conscious-

new forms of market-driven governance.

ness make of marketing and society? What is the fu-

As a discipline of marketing we should be in the vanguard

ture for institutions and forms of regulation based on the

of steps being taken to map the terrain of the collective

idea that ‘experts’ within state agencies should make and

consciousness with regard to its understanding of mar-

take decisions on their behalf about arrangements for

keting as a preferred mode of social integration. Clearly,

markets and marketing? And at another level, how could

the broad processes of social marketing systems have

we be seeking to distinguish between public discourses

achieved the marketization of the delivery of certain state

of marketing in society and the community and lifestyles

services in the fields of health promotion, where con-

and the concepts of RISK embedded there – the logic of

tracts and partnerships govern the distribution of public

social marketing applied to ‘marketing’, if you like! In other

resources to specific health outcomes. The embedding

words, is marketing seen to be part of the solution; or

of that process is gathering commitment to the idea that

is it understood to be part of the problem? What does

the state need not be at the centre of social integra-

it mean to consider yourself a victim of marketing; to be

tion efforts. The logic of social marketing has helped put

understood as disadvantaged or excluded or vulnerable

in place institutional arrangements that have created a

in the social space manufactured by marketing practice?

market in risk and choice messaging which shapes the

In my view there is something to be gained by seeking to

regulation of lifestyle choices through the voluntary coop-

re-frame the

eration of citizens in avoiding harmful choices and improv-

‘relevance’ debate; to shift the basis of discussion to-

ing decisions about health and wellbeing. In the context of

wards wider communicative platforms of public opinion

newly emerging institutional forms of governance, such

where citizens and communities are active participants

as social marketing, which will further drive the market-

in the making and functioning of markets – not merely

ization of service provision, state-citizen relations will in

as consumers, employers, employees, beneficiaries etc

time also need to be reimagined and reassembled. In

– but as citizens, community activists, interested partic-

this context we argue that the public understanding of

ipants in democratic and personal decisions about that

marketing as a mode of social contracting needs to be

distribution of resources made possible by ‘market-ing’.

better understood. Internal debates around discourses

So, we need to ask what systematic efforts have been

of ‘relevance’ are inconclusive in framing claims made

taken as a community of scholars to understand how

upon research and knowledge products. And this is

public opinion of ‘market-ing’ in society is framed by gen-

unlikely to change as output falls under the scrutiny of

eral levels of marketing literacy within society.

output-based systems of funding and related evaluation

It is now almost 25 years since the Public Understand-

approaches typically applied to otherpublicly funded activi-

ing of Science initiative was established with the aim of

ties. The move to bibliometrics and sophisticated citation

improving the level of scientific literacy among the gen-

monitoring apparatus will only exacerbate the failure of

eral public. The Sage journal ‘The Public Understanding

narrowly defined relevance as an evaluative criterion at

of Science’, run out of the Department of Science and

the early formative stages of the market-driven model of

Technology Studies in University College London is itself

provision and governance for Higher Education. In this

now over 20 years old! Since supportive public opinion

regard I argue that the marketing academy ignores the

means votes, means fertile policy initiatives, which in turn

boiling currents of wider social commentary at our per-

means resources for research, the logic of the Public

il. Discourses of legitimacy claims are not impervious to

Understanding of Science initiative remains undeniable,

wider shifts in economy, culture and society. So why do

even if efforts taken in its name have not always been

we professional discoursers of marketing continue the

seen as progressive. Surprisingly though, the idea of au-

imposture of banging on about ‘relevance’ as if it really

dience research is a relative newcomer to the public un-

mattered to anyone other than ourselves and how we ex-

derstanding of science complex. The logic of engaging in

ercise claims to interests and advantage. What possible

various communicative domains where battles for ‘share

public engagement could we expect with the issue of ‘rel-

of public mind’ take place is widely recognized in the bat-

evance’ framed in this way? In constructing the market-

tlegrounds for public resources. More recently commen-

ized citizen I argue that the issue of ‘public engagement’

tators suggest that the public understanding of science

– ie ways in which the wider public imagination’ engages

in the UK is now at something of a crossroads. After 25

with marketing issues - in the new community spaces

years of efforts to improve ‘scientific literacy’ among the

being envisioned by the ongoing privatization of public

general population, surveys suggest that little has been

service provision. Moreover, what do discourses of the

achieved. Debate has and does take place over how to

‘public’ bring forth? How do the function? What do we

interpret such findings; and it seems that this disappointTHINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 37

ment is not simply the result of a failure by the scientific

discourses on community marketing is clear. A variety of

community to get their message across, but that scien-

social communities are affected by research in marketing

tists have come to understand that they have to earn

and the consequences of knowledge production and wid-

their place as one among many authorities in society,

er dissemination must be taken seriously by the acade-

and that they can and must learn from the public So,

my: for there is one critical constituency that we take for

the work of Public Understanding of Science Initiative has

granted at our peril and which influences global percep-

illuminated the important ways in which scientists must

tion of our work. The media work off and put in circulation

improve their skills in communicating with the public and

representations of our work and contribution!! Indeed,

in dealing with the various media. Exercising any influence

some take the view that it peddles inaccurate caricatures

over the representation of science in the public domain

of ‘market-ing’ as the fount of capitalist greed and corrup-

demands greater media involvement and facility among

tion, laying the blame for economic and social failure at

researchers. But the work of the Public Understanding of

its door. Some practices which appear under the rubric

Science and of the Campaign for Social Science is about

of ‘marketing’ – as an easy catch-all label for toxic and

more than self-interested science communication; or of

corrupt business activities - do nothing to appease such

finding more effective ways to get the science (social sci-

views. So, one step that can be taken towards a wider

ence) message across to the layperson. The training of

understanding of how the work of relevance gets done is

scientists in communications and the media has greatly

to communicate the results of marketing studies more

improved and young scientists now receive training on

widely to various publics, as is done in the physical scienc-

how to get their messages across to opinion formers

es. This is one way in which the social responsibility of

and gatekeepers in the media and the general public.

researchers to be seen to deliver ‘social awareness and

However, the aim of the better informed layperson is still

community impact’ as relevance can be discharged. The

one that presents significant challenges to the scientific

disciplines of marketing and the academy that legitimizes

community. The Public Understanding of Science initiative

it need to understand that the agenda previously known

has shown ways in which scientists, or their representa-

as ‘relevance’ has moved on. Discourse now circulates

tives and the public must work together as citizens within

around engagement and community responsibility and

a mediatized scientific culture. Knowledge and trust are

the importance of research being oriented in some way

indeed intertwined as forms of informational capitalism.

towards ‘publicly desirable goals’, things of concern to

And there are new voices and new audiences to consider

large segments of the population. I argue that marketing

as we enter a new era of community-based contractual-

would do well to follow science’s lead in inventing new

ism where local marketing and social enterprise are part

research roles for the climate of accountability and this

of a complex matrix of social arrangements which privat-

might start with mediators able to communicate the re-

ize state service provision. So, the Public Understanding

sults of marketing studies to wider publics. The future

of Science (PUS) initiative (and more recently the Cam-

health of the discipline and the academy that legitimizes

paign for Social Science) has shown how scientists and

it does not simply lie in the myopia perpetuated by an

the public must work together as citizens within an infor-

institutionalized fixation with ‘relevance’ as the privileging

mational scientific culture around which circulates robust

of narrow judgements made in the interests of managers

public discourse. And maybe it is thus that marketers

as the only user-community.

(the Public Understanding of Marketing) and the public must work together as citizens within a ‘marketizing’ culture in pursuit of better informed public discourse where consumers and everyday marketers are more actively

Theme 4 – Developments of marketing curricula designed for facing-up the challenges of tomorrow.

engaged within the local community. As such, new voices

As the audience for all media invention, consumer socie-

and audiences remain to be heard and marshaled, as

ty is in constant search for spectacle and entertainment.

they shape the marketing context. Such laypeople need

Since the media explosion of the 1990s, it has become

to have a realistic sense of what marketing is capable of;

ever more image-driven, obsessed with fame and celeb-

more realistic expectations of the parts marketing can

rity of all hues. If we understand the brand as a ‘media

play in driving successful community endeavor. It is fair to

object’ - the object or thing that is itself the product of

assume that society is active, questioning and engaged

media attention paid to it - an example and the media

with many social, cultural and political issues that con-

object feeds off and into circulating cultural codes, un-

stitute the context for the mix of public consciousness

stable subject positions circulating around, e.g., issues,

and opinion. This mix includes robust discourses consid-

gender roles and identity themes such as body image;

ering what part marketing has to play in generating the

and those subject positions are temporarily stabilized

conditions favorable to local enterprising communities.

through the deliberate media manipulations of branding

The scope for public contributions to the development of

and personification; and where, as a media brand a sub-


ject position itself is framed and narrativised through the lens of celebrity iconography; THEN, the cultural logic of celebrity (including the celebrity of celebrity), organized recursively as a mode of production, works through discursive practices of celebritisation. So, celebritisation describes what happens when the logic of celebrity is exploited as a mode of production in the service of economic calculation and marketing ends. In this sense the cultural logic of celebrity (and of the celebrity of celebrity) is at the core of the spectacular consumer society: Research in marketing has mainly focused on two dimensions of celebrity: a person as an object of desire and a person as an object, an image of mass-consumption. To understand the construction of the celebrity, inc.luding the celebrity or media brand, we must understand its social and symbolic function, as well asthe development of its cultural and economic production power. Building celebrities’ visibility satisfies the demand of the media and the public; generates growth; and increases their brand awareness and consumer attention. It also, extends the conditions of the celebrity to a medium of communication of their own brand. The celebrity becomes a media object or celebritized brand, a social actor of this contemporary materialistic culture. If the celebrity is the medium that represents its own brand, he or she needs to maintain the social attention from its followers in order to develop a sustained visibility. I argue that under the law of exchange, celebrities create themselves as desirable objects in a market economy. To achieve a momentum of fame, people embed themselves into a media-led promotional culture with a view of becoming a commoditized celebrity product; nourished by fame and public awareness. The widely available and accessible technology of celebrity and personal branding marks the realization of the cultural logic of the human brand (identity) as a work in progress, neither pre-given by social position nor fixed by aesthetic boundaries defining culture. This takes marketing into new domains where its core contribution to the wider academy of management and business studies, THE BRAND, becomes a hypermediatized form of informational capital: the informational, immaterial, digital brand. Douglas Brownlie November 2013




heng L. Deng is Professor of International Business and Marketing in the Faculty of Business, Brock University. Before joining Brock University, he was Professor of International

Business and Marketing at University of Saskatchewan. He received his MBA and Doctorate from Boston University, USA. He has taught in universities in the United States, New Zealand, China, Thailand, Russia, Ukraine and Kyrghystan. Besides teaching experiences, Professor

Deng worked as Senior Manager at Accenture Consulting Company and Director of Shell Oil Companies in Northeast Asia. His teaching interests are focused in the areas of international business/marketing. His current research interests include international business/marketing issues, marketing issues in the developing countries and enterprise reforms in China. Professor Deng is the author of nine management/marketing books and has published numerous refereed academic journal articles as well as numerous refereed articles in national and international conference proceedings. He serves on the editorial/ad hoc editorial boards of several academic journals. Professor Deng has travelled extensively to more than fifty countries over the years and is currently serving as business advisor to a number of governments.

Marketing Future-cast and the Advancement of Knowledge -Looking Back or Looking Forward?-

regardless what will change in the future environment. Enron, Circuit City, Fannie Mae and etc. were celebrated great companies in scholars’ eyes, and yet when they

Academics study companies and generate theory to ex-

went down, nobody questions why great scholars have

plain what kind of companies should be the role model for

made such monumental misjudgment in their scholarly

every other companies. Research articles are published


and books are written to celebrate the iconic firms. The

In the field of marketing, we scholars also tend to also

predictive claims from these authors have made their

use a back looking technique to study the future, too. As

works bestseller from time to time. However, one well-

a result, all the analysis and predictions become problem-

known title, “In Search of Excellence”, left its authors hid-

atic as time goes on. Consumers today are very different

ing from embarrassment when many of the firms they

from consumers in the past. Any knowledge based on

profiled quickly proved to be anything but excellent. An-

past observations can cause problems in analyzing to-

other academic embarrassment is “Leading the Revolu-

day’s consumer and predicting future consumers. There-

tion” in which Gary Hamel profusely praised Enron and

fore, great marketing scholars should be forward look-

was still arriving in bookstores when the energy-trading

ing. They should create new knowledge that can guide

company became one of the most notorious business

the way of future studies.

scams in 2002. As Jim Colin readily admits, several of

At least two areas marketing scholars can make a dif-

the firms praised in his bestsellers, “Built to Last” and

ference. The first area is the methodology. For nearly a

“Good to Great”, have since fallen from grace. These in-

century, marketing scholars have been using the same

clude Circuit City, a now-bankrupt electronics retailer, and

research methodologies to analyze the past, study today

Fannie Mae, a giant mortgage lender that was taken over

and predict the future. Few new scientific methods such

by the American government.

as neuroscientific techniques have been used in market-

Why so many great scholars who have studied and

ing area. The research methods used for marketing re-

praised so many great companies that eventually have

search are anything, but scientific. Despite the fact that

gone from great to bad or worst of all from great to fel-

numerous research techniques exist in natural science

ons? In my opinion, all these authors and scholars started

research fields, few are actually adopted for marketing

their work with great intent and the really problem is the

research. Maybe it is time now for us to look at those

methodology they used for studying the firms. Instead of

methods in natural science field to see which one can

using forward looking methodology, they used backward

be adopted. Marketing scholars have a responsibility to

look methodology. Academic researchers either look into

introduce new methodologies.

the historical data to trace the greater performers in the

The second area is the new paradigm. Marketing schol-

past or use case method to identify the factors that have

ars tend to rely on the theory in the past to explain what

made the companies great.

happen today. Very often we find ourselves in a predica-

Unfortunately these studies are simply done on the basic

ment when logic is perfect, but the results are useless.

assumption that what have made the company great in

New paradigms are constantly needed as the society is

the past will continue to make them great in the future,

moving forward. Again, marketing scholars have a re-


sponsibility to provide such new paradigms in the chang-

cipline. What have really caused this research-practice

ing time. For instance, for more than two decades, Mar-

divide? In reality, the two criteria collide with each other. I

ket Orientation concept has been studied and applied to

believe the following two areas need to be looked at:

various research over and over again, yet nobody actually

1. Publication and reward:

questions whether it is time to embrace Firm Orientation

It is widely acknowledged that an academic’s salary is

instead of Market Orientation. Isn’t it more logical today

closely associated with his/her publications in top-tier

that firms know better than consumers what the market

academic journals . As a result, academics are highly

actually needs? Firms have much better access to the

motivated to conduct research and publish in the top-tier

vast information available in a digital era than consum-

journals in their own fields, with very little concern wheth-

ers. As a result, it is very likely that firms are determine

er their publications will ever be read by practitioners

the market trend instead of consumers. Thus, I suggest

at all. Their research output is only meant for internal

that a Firm Orientation paradigm is more appropriate

consumption among academics. As a matter of fact, of

today than Marketing Orientation in studying marketing

the 53 top-tier academic journals endorsed by Canadi-


an Federation of Business School Deans, only Harvard


Business Reviews and Sloan Management Review are targeting practitioners. A study by Gopinath and Hoffman

Rigor and Relevance of Academic Research in Marketing -Are We What We Are?-

on the relevance of strategy research found that the so

Business academics have an identity crisis today. One

by no practitioners at all . For marketing field, none of

the one hand, we are trained to conduct research on

the so called A journals and B journals is targeting prac-

issues that are supposed to help business organizations

titioners. Thus, academic research has become a game

to achieve optimal efficiency. One the other hand, we find

among academics.

called top-tier journals like Strategic Management Journal and Academy of Management Executives are read 6

our research increasingly irrelevant to the business or-

2. Research and contents


Ever since we started our doctoral studies in business

As Susman and Evered (1978) argue more than 30

schools, we were told to read, not to observe. For

years ago, “As our research methods and techniques

every piece of research we are working on, we are

have become more sophisticated , they have also become

asked to read at least one hundred related articles

increasingly less useful for solving the practical problems

published in the top-tier journals in the past. As a


that members of the organizations face” (p.582) . More

result, we tend to study what our colleagues in the

than 30 years later, we are still debating about our aca-

field have studied, albeit from a different angle or

demic identify in the context of what we do in research.

adding something new. We do not go to the busi-

Academics generally seek to create generalizable theory

ness organizations to ask the CEOs and managers

of lasting impact; in contrast, practitioners seek immedi-

what managerial issues they have and what they



need to be done to improve the organizations’ per-

divergent objectives of both communities lead us to ques-

formance. We basically conduct all the research

tion the relevance of today’s academic research. Indeed,

in front of our computer in our office. It is true

there is evidence to suggest that academic research has

that we do collect data from the business organi-

had, and continues to have, little effect on management

zations. However, we basically ask them for what

ate solutions to practical management problems .


practice .

we want instead of asking them what they want us

If what we do as academics have very little relevance

to do. Consequently, academic research outputs

to the very business community we associate ourselves

remain in the ivory tower and no practitioners can

with, then one may legitimately question the validity of

read or care to read them. If business research-



ers are not helping the business organizations to

that academic research must satisfy two fundamental

improve their efficiency, then we lose out legitima-

criteria: 1) the outcome must increase practitioners’ un-

cy. Nobody would tolerate the fact that medical

derstanding of organizations and lead to improvement in

researchers spend billions of dollars in conducting

practice; and 2) the outcome must contribute to the the-

research, but the research results have nothing

ory and general body of knowledge of the academic dis-

to do with improving the medical treatment of pa-

business academics. Lawlwe (1985, p.10)


Susman, G. & Evered, R. (1978). An assessment of the scientific merits of action research. Administrative Science Quarterly, 23, 582-603. Empson, L., (2013). My affair with the “other”: Identify journey across the research-practice divide. Journal of Management Inquiry, 22, 229-248. Worrall, L., Lubbe, S. and Klopper, R. (2007). Academic research and management practice: Is the relevance gap closing? Alternation, 14, 292-316.

2 3 4

Lawler, E. (1985). Changing Traditional research assumptions. In doing research that is useful for theory and practice, edited by E. lawler et al., 1-17. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Gomez-Mwjia, L. and Balkin, D. (1992). Determinants of faculty pay: an agency theory perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 35, 921-955. 6 Gopinath, C. and Hoffman, r. (1995). The relevance of strategy research: practitioners and academic viewpoints. Journal of Management Studies, 32, 356-394. 5


tients. Nevertheless, we have tolerated business

and I taught has caused real suffering, suppressed wealth

researchers for not doing the relevant research to

creation, destabilized the world economy, and accelerat-

improve business organizations’ efficiency.

ed the demise of the 20th century capitalism in which

On reflection, there are two possible remedies to the irrelevancy of business research.

the U.S. played the leading role. We weren’t stupid and we weren’t evil. Nevertheless we managed to produce a

1. Each academic journal or at least top-tier jour-

generation of managers and business professionals that

nals should have a sister journal for practitioners.

is deeply mistrusted and despised by a majority of people

The academic papers published in these journals

in our society and around the world. This is a terrible

should be translated into the practitioner’s lan-



guage and published in the sister journals so practitioners can read and understand.

In a limited study, Prof. Henry Mintzberg at McGill Uni-

2. Academics should be encouraged to conduct col-

versity, Canada, observed that the majority of Harvard

laborative research with practitioners. In such a

MBAs were failed executives. Prof. Minztberg and his

way, academics’ theoretical knowledge can help

colleague tracked a list of Harvard Business School su-

deal with practitioners’ management issues. Only

perstars, published in a 1990 book. Among the 19 su-

in this way, can academics’ long term interest and

perstars, ten were outright failures (the company went

practitioners’ short term interest in research find

bankrupt, the CEO was fired, a major merger backfired

a midway and become relevant to each other.

etc.); another four had questionable records at best. Only 8

five out of the 19 seemed to do fine .

Development of Marketing Curricula Designed for Facing-up the Challenge of Tomorrow -Are Business Schools Today Defaulting on Our Future?Business schools today are under scrutiny. On the one

So a fundamental question that we have is who are to blame? The professors, the students, the curriculums, the teaching pedagogy or the world we live in? In my opinion, two aspects of business school need to be scrutinized. 1. Teaching contents:

hand, young people pay handsome tuition to get into

What we teach our students in business schools

these ivory towers, on the other hand the proud grad-

today are questionable. The focal point of our

uates from these schools find themselves unprepared

teaching is the delivery of shareholder value. Ac-

to face the real business world. Very much like the old

cordingly the contents we deliver in the classroom,

monarchies, these one-time princely institutions are be-

at least in marketing field, are value chain analysis,

coming increasingly irrelevant in the fast changing world.

marketing 4p’s, strategic modeling, etc. We have

Worldwide economic crises in the past decades were

been teaching these contents to our students for

created not by the ordinary people, but created by MBAs

the past half century and still continue with very

(business leaders) that business schools so proudly pro-

little changes. We in classroom keep teaching


our future business leaders to invent a fascinating

When the world’s first MBA program was established in

product, price it right, then segment a suitable

Harvard in 1908, nobody knew how to teach the future

market and reach the target in an efficient man-

business leaders. There were not even textbooks for stu-

ner with cleverly designed promotions.

dents to use. It was not until 1925, the case method was

In our eyes, consumers are obedient. What we

adopted from law school and found to be a powerful inter-

have to do is to find ways to make them happy

active learning process that puts students in the shoes of

and then in return we surely deliver shareholder

a leader faced with a real-world management issue and

value. Yes, it was working for a while. In 1950’s,

challenges them to search and justify a resolution.

60’s, 70’s and 80’s, with limited market informa-

However, despite the universal adoption of the case-

tion consumers were passive and obedient. Since

based teaching pedagogy in business schools, business

the world entered the information area in 1990’s,

schools around world are producing a generation of man-

consumers are exposed to vast information pool

agers that the society does not want.

and far more proactive than anyone can imagine.

A commentary from 25-year veteran professor of Har-

Then we still treat today’s consumers like we treat-

vard Business School makes the point. In a 2009 Busi-

ed their grandparents. Consequently we still teach

nessweek viewpoint, Prof. Shoshana Zuboff declared:

our future business leaders the old tricks.

“I have come to believe that much of what my colleagues

New ways of thinking are already in place. For ex-


Zuboff , Shoshana, “The Old Solutions Have Become the New Problems,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek, July, 2, 2009


Mintzberg, Henry “America’s monumental failure of management”, The Globe and Mail, Apr. 10 2009


ample, can we replace the old marketing 4Ps in

Fix the problem now or continue to default on our

the textbook with the new marketing 4Es as pro-


posed by Ogilvy & Mather? As Brian Fetherstonhaugh proposed: We need a new framework. For starters, we need to throw away the Four Ps and embrace the Four Es: from Product to Experience, from Place to Everyplace, from Price to Exchange, from Promotion to Evangelism. We know that businesses have to deliver value. The question is what value? Instead of analyzing value chain from shareholder’s’ point of view, can we analyze value chain from stakeholders’ point of view? When the world experiences painful economic crises, we tend to blame a few business leaders who are too greedy and self-serving. However, we forgot that was exactly what we have taught them to be. 2. Teaching pedagogy Ever since case-based teaching pedagogy was adopted by Harvard Business School in 1925, this method has become universal and is believed to be the most powerful tool of teaching in business school. However, why nobody has ever asked the question why such a powerful teaching tool has produced so many failed top executives in the corporate history and subsequently caused so many economic crises from time to time? Do we really believe that analyzing 400 cases in two years in classroom will make our graduates the business leaders of tomorrow? Case-based teaching method was adopted from law schools. Yet, nobody cares to see the differences between law school and business school. In law schools, case-based teaching method is effective because no matter how complicated a legal case is, a lawyer can always find laws and regulations to base his/her arguments and all the evidence presented would have to fall within a legal framework. So the more cases you analyze, the better you are at grasping the legal system. Leading a company is quite different. Every organization has its own character and history. There is no specific framework one can base his/her judgment on, thus living with the company is the only way to learn how to effectively manage it. How do we change the teaching pedagogy remains a challenge. One suggestion is to have mandatory residence in large corporations before one can graduate like the medical students. If no medical students can practice medicine without length residence experiences despite of many case studies in classroom, why should we allow our students graduate without residence?




aul Phillips is Professor of Strategic Management, after serving 3.5 years (2007-2011) as Director of Kent Business School. Prior to being Director, Paul joined the Kent Business

School in 2004, as Deputy Director. Professor Phillips has held academic appointments at Cardiff Business School and University of Surrey. In 2001, he was appointed to the Charles Forte Chair of Hotel Management, which was created by a generous endowment from Forte

plc in 1986 at the School of Management, University of Surrey, UK. Paul’s early business career was as a qualified accountant and a Senior Management Consultant with Price Waterhouse. Professor Phillips holds an MBA and PhD from Cardiff Business School, and is a qualified marketer. Professor Phillips has completed the Experienced Deans’ and New Deans’ Seminar Series, Association to Advance Collegiate School of Business (AACSB), International. He completed the International Deans’ Programme, Association of Business School/European Foundation for Management Development, and the Leading Change and Organizational Renewal Programme, Harvard Business School.

Theme 1 – Marketing Futurecast and the advancement of knowledge

demic journal Long Range Planning (2010,2013) and one special issue of Strategic Organizations (2013) have

The Internet together with changes in the way business

been dedicated to business models. Within these special

is now conducted has necessitated the need for new

issues there are several influential papers that critical-

business models. Phillips (2003) highlights the potential

ly identify some of the slow burn of theoretical develop-

opportunities for organizations to develop new business


structures. The “New Economy” requires managers to: Of interest to marketing academics and practitioners is Traditional

New economy

the view of Teece (2010) who states that the concept of

Leverage assets

Leverage knowledge

a business model lacks theoretical grounding in econom-

Physical location

Ubiquitous access

ics or in business. The changing power of customer-firm



relationships suggests that new business models are re-


Self service

quired. The change from fee to fee, ie the monetization



of e-business presents significant opportunities for stra-



tegic marketing. Research has barely begun to address

Call centres

Integrated tele/web

this challenge. Return on advertising, such as advertising



effectiveness (Clemons, 2009) and convergence of me-



dia channels (McPhillips and Merlo, 2008) present new lines of enquiry.

At the time it was felt that first mover advantage would lead to sustainable competitive advantage. More than a

Fortunately, the recent special issue of Industrial Mar-

decade later the impact on society of trends is more

keting Management (2013) provides some excellent

complicated, but the issue of a lack of new business mod-

groundwork and provides some clear guidance for future

els is still pertinent.

marketing research. Ehret, Kashyap & Wirtz (2013) reinforce the importance of value. Using terms such as val-

Christensen (1997) coined the term ‘disruptive technolo-

ue proposition, value capturing and value networks, they

gies’ to describe the innovations that create a new market

consider and call for approaches that elucidate value in

through the creation of new product or service. Arguably,

use of marketing offerings. The rather limited marketing

marketing should be at the heart of maximising the ben-

contribution to the business model literature is well illus-

efits from disruptive technologies. Academics role is to

trated by Coombes and Nicholson (2013).

advance knowledge for business and society. The theme of this specific stream of INNOVATION @ MARKETING


would indicate that marketing academics have failed.

Baden-Fuller, C., Demil, B., Lecoq, X., & MacMillan, I. ( 2013). Business Models, Special Issue of Long Range

Within the field of business and management research,

Planning, 43(2-3), 143-462.

business model research has recently received substantial attention from academics and practitioners (Zott,

Baden-Fuller, C. ( 2013), Managing Business Models for

Amit & Massa, 2011). Two special issues of the aca-

Innovation, Strategic Change and Value Creation, Special


Issue of Long Range Planning, 46(6), 417-488.

why they make certain decisions or would behave in the future. Traditional methods can be costly, time consum-

Christensen, C. (1997). The Innovator’s dilemma, when

ing and require large samples for statistical purposes.

new technologies cause great firms to fail, Harvard Busi-

This form of mass marketing research remains useful,

ness School Press, Boston, MA.

but managers need more real-time critical responses to salient questions. Steve Jobs was not an advocate of tra-

Clemons, E., K. (2009). Business models for monetizing

ditional market research. He argued (successfully) that it

internet applications and web sites: Experience, theory

was not the consumers’ job to know what they wanted.

and predictions, Journal of Management Information Sys-

Neuroscience informs us that consumers’ make the vast

tems, 2, 15-41.

majority of their decisions unconsciously.

Coff, R., Felin, T., Lanley, A. & Rowley, (2013). So!ap-

So what are the most promising new marketing research

box forum: The business model: A valuable concept for

techniques? There is a need to differentiate between the

strategic organization, Strategic Organizations, 11, 389-

buzz and actual use. For example, techniques such as


neuromarketing, eye tracking and biometric response are discussed increasingly (buzz) but not used much.

Coombes, P. H., & Nicholson, J., D. (2013). Business

One technique that is most promising is social media an-

models and their relationships with marketing: A system-

alytics, which is the product of measuring and analyzing

atic literature review, Industrial Marketing Management,

interactions across social technology platforms. These

42(5), 656-664.

platforms include: social networks; blogs/micro blogs, ratings and reviews, social commerce, wikis, discussion

Ehret, M., Kashyap, V., & Wirtz, J.

(2013) Exploring

value drivers and the role of marketing, Special issue of

forums, shared work spaces, crowd sourcing, social gaming and media and file sharing.

Industrial Marketing Management, 42(5), 650-850. Other promising marketing research techniques include: Ehret, M., Kashyap, V., & Wirtz, J. (2013) Business

Big data; Twitter; QR code surveys; self-reported obser-

models: Impact on business markets and opportunities

vations; mobile phones; predictive markets

for marketing research, Industrial Marketing Management, 42(5), 649-655.

The futurecast website list a number of new marketing research techniques, which are worthy of mention.

McPhillips, S., & Merlo, O. (2008). Media convergence

These include research in situ; mock environment, brain

and the evolving media business model: An overview and

monitoring, consumer price labs, and future index meas-

strategic opportunities, Marketing Review, 8, 237-253.


Phillips, P., A. (2003). E-business strategy: Text and cas-

Collectively, there are an abundance of new methods for

es, McGraw Hill.

academic research in marketing, but the buzz outweighs the actual use. Surely, marketing academics have to step

Teece, D., J. (2010). Business models, business strate-

up to this challenge.

gy and innovation, Long Range Planning, 43, 172-194. Zott, C., Amit, P., & Massa, L. (2011). The Business

Theme 3 –Rigor and relevance of academic research in marketing

model: Recent developments and future research, Jour-

Research type evaluation exercises around the globe,

nal of Management, 37(4), 1019-1042.

such as the Research Evaluation Framework (UK), Excellence in Research for Australia and Research Assess-

Theme 2 –New methods for academic research in marketing

ment Exercise in Hong Kong have strengthen academic silos within universities. Academic conferences remain a closed circuit meeting, with discussions on the tech-

Surveys, focus groups, questionnaires with self report-

niques rather than on novel ideas to stretch minds. As

ed data remains the predominant method for marketing

stated in the theme practitioner oriented research is

academic researchers. Technology and socioeconomic

ephemeral and circumstantial, which means it is not of

trends continue to evolve, and researchers ought to be

great use for society in general.

seeking new ways to gain customer insights. Worryingly,

Interestingly, governments have been began to question

market research is a key component of the innovation

the wisdom of funding such blue sky type of research,

process with consumers often incapable of articulating

and now ask for researchers to demonstrate impact. In THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 45

the UK, REF unit submissions will be evaluated on a fivepoint scale - unclassified to four stars. Weighting will be outputs 65%, research impact 20%, and environment 15%. The inclusion of research impact at 20% has led

Theme 4 –Developments of marketing curricula designed for facing-up the challenges of tomorrow The thought that McCarthy’s 4P and Borden’s market-

to business schools to reconsider who are the “followers”

ing mix are 50 years old and form the core content of

of their outputs. The following section illustrates the REF

most marketing courses at undergraduate and postgrad-

2014 criteria for assessing impacts - ‘reach’ and ‘signif-

uate is truly astounding. Given the content of the other


three themes it is hardly surprising. Accrediting bodies,


In assessing the impact described within a case study, the panel will form an overall view about its ‘reach and significance’ taken as a whole, rather than assess ‘reach and significance’ separately.


In assessing the impact template (REF3a) the panel will consider the extent to which the unit’s approach described in the template is conducive to achieving impacts of ‘reach and significance’.

such as AMBA, AACSB and EQUIS do not help. Business School Deans feel under pressure to conform to ensure that the basics are covered in each module. When the basics are included there is little space for innovation. If there is space to innovate, there is a paucity of faculty members who has the commercial experience to deliver the module. Marketing academics with PhDs are notorious for studying a topic that involves testing a model using advance

Four star

Outstanding impacts in terms of their reach and significance.

Three star




statistics. They are not up to-date with what is occurring in business and society. Promotion pressures together


with the need to publish in certain academic journals,

terms of their reach and signifi-

force them to continue in their silos moving further away


from business and society. Ultimately, the teaching ( curricula development) suffers and the marketing curricula

Two star

Considerable impacts in terms of

lags the challenges of tomorrow.

their reach and significance One star


Recognised but modest impacts

So what are the propaedeutics students should learn, so

in terms of their reach and signif-

that they better understand the marketing environment


of the future? I believe that the first step is to create the

The impact is of little or no reach

appropriate infrastructure for a truly world class market-

and significance; or the impact

ing programme. This includes exchange of ideas from

was not eligible; or the impact

faculty, advisory board and external practitioners. Specif-

was not underpinned by excellent

ically, these include:

research produced by the submitted unit.


International faculty with business and commercial marketing experience

It is felt that impact will increase to say 25% for the next


on the relevance of academic research in marketing.

Solid economic theory and business models (see theme 1)

REF, so I believe that this will have a significant influence t

Internship opportunities with profit and non-profit organizations

Business School Deans will be looking for research to meet the dimensions of rigor and relevance. A four star


Deep external links with external organizations

publication that cannot demonstrate a wider contribution


Small class sizes

to stakeholders will be ultimately seen as an inefficient


Marketing career boot camps

use of public money.


Networking events


Live case studies in partnership with profit and non-profit organizations. Enabling students to pro-

This theme 3 is linked with theme 2. Academic market-

duce real marketing material.

ing researchers have the opportunity of identifying new research methods that can lead to real impacts for busi-


ternal organizations

ness and society. Organizations in the public and private sectors can use these techniques to gain sustainable

Co-creation of new modules/programmes with ex-


Links with a world-class marketing research cen-

competitive advantages, which could be written up as a

tre with student interacting with the centre

case study. The four star criteria of outstanding impacts

The above will start the process of creating innovative

in terms of their reach and significance can be achieva-

degree programmes.


With regards to content the availability of free material,


suggests that some of the answers are already known. Consortiums have been created that form partnerships in terms of labs and markets to co-create innovative marketing programmes. Premier universities such as Wharton, Harvard and MIT provide unique online experiences for students. If marketing academics who teaching traditional modules do not step up to the challenge, students will vote with their feet. It is now possible to gain the theoretical and practical knowledge (internships) without stepping inside a business school. If this is allowed to continue traditional marketing departments will become irrelevant. A review of free marketing courses available at web sites such as, could help academics decide what they should offer the marketers of tomorrow. I believe that within the UK at least, graduates want to be well positioned for a job. This necessitates business schools working in partnerships with their stakeholders. At the doctoral level the traditional marketing PhD programmes are too narrow in focus. In the USA, significant steps are being made in encouraging practitioners to study for doctorate degrees with the aim of putting them in front of students. These type of faculty members will be able to design marketing curricula for the marketers of tomorrow. Also, accrediting bodies such as AACSB want to evidence of a mix of academics within a community. These include scholarly practitioner (SP) and those without PhD, practitioner academics (PA). These SPs and PAs within the marketing departments should assume a leading role in bringing about the required changes identified in the four themes. These individuals should be tasked with leading the innovations in marketing curricula. Professor Paul Phillips University of Kent Kent Business School November 2013




illiam Rand examines the use of computational modeling techniques, like agent-based modeling, geographic information systems, social network analysis, and machine

learning, to help understand and analyze complex systems, such as the diffusion of innovation, organizational learning, and economic markets. He serves as the Director of the Center for Complexity in Business, the first academic research center focused solely on the application

of complex systems techniques to business applications and management science. He also has an appointment with the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, and affiliate appointments with the Departments of Decision, Operations & Information Technology and Computer Science. He received his doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Michigan in 2005 where he worked on the application of evolutionary computation techniques to dynamic environments, and was a regular member of the Center for the Study of Complex Systems, where he built a large-scale agent-based model of suburban sprawl. He has recently received research awards from Google / WPP, the National Science Foundation and the Marketing Science Institute.

Marketing Futurecast and the Advancement of Knowledge

geographic information systems, and system dynamics among others.

The future of marketing will inherently be more complex

The power of these tools will become increasingly useful

than the past. This is for a number of different reasons:

in understanding problems relevant to marketing and

(1) Marketing as a research subject is a young field

brand managers. The field of complex systems, in many

and for a long time, there were quite a few pieces of

ways, is the academic equivalent of the practitioner field

low-hanging fruit that could be analyzed and examined.

of data science. The goal of data science is to take data,

However, these pieces have been well studied at this

analyze it using scientific methods, and then construct

point, and modern marketing problems are inherently

a story about what that data tells the researcher and

more complex. (2) The increase of the availability of large-

how it is relevant to business practice. As a result, both

scale data about consumers, producers, and markets

data science and complex systems are useful within the

means that companies now know more about what their

new world of marketing analytics.

consumers want, what their competitors are doing,

is the analysis of big data produced by consumers and

and how the market is responding to changes. (3) The

their interaction with marketing channels, in order to

decreasing cost of computation means that researchers

make better predictions about future states of consumer

have more tools than ever before to address the growth

behavior, and to optimize marketing actions.

in business complexity, which means that they no longer

For all these reasons, it is expected that in the near future

have to vastly simplify situations to the point where they

the Marketing functionality of most major organizations

no longer bear a significant resemblance to the original

will spend more on technology than the Information

problem. (4) The development of new methods and tools

Technology division.

that take advantage of both cheap computational power

makes use of more data and is responsible for a greater

and the explosion of data means that there are new

number of computational analyses of data than any other

and unique ways to address the complexity inherent in


modern business.

important that the Chief Marketing Office and the Chief

It was for these reasons that Roland Rust (University

Information Officer have close connections. In fact, we

of Maryland) and I founded the Center for Complexity in

already seeing the growth of interim positions usually at

Business (CCB) five years ago at the Robert H. Smith

the level of Vice President that report directly to both

School of Business. The CCB is the first and premier

the CMO and CIO of state-of-the-art organizations. This

academic research center focused on the application of

facilitates and enables the rapid transfer of data, models,

Complex Systems methods to business and management

and best practices between these two divisions, which

science. The goal of complex systems is to represent

will be come increasingly inseparable.

business complexity by building models of real-world

Naturally and concurrently with all of this, there has been

systems at the lowest relevant level of representation,

a shift in the emphasis of how to approach Marketing.

and then simulating or analyzing the interactions of those

Marketing in the past was primarily driven by creative

low-level phenomenon and observe the emergent high-

content development, but in the future there will be

level patterns of behavior that arise from this simulation.

an increasing role for what is sometimes called data-

The field of complex systems employs tools such as agent-

driven marketing. In other words, the decisions of how

based modeling, network science, machine learning,

to market, when to market and whom to market to will


Marketing analytics

In many cases, Marketing already

Because of this, it will become increasingly

become more and more reliant upon data that will facilitate

Streaming Data Collection and Big Data Analysis. Almost

this decision. Marketing should now have primarily three

all of these methods have been explored before in other

goals within this space:

disciplines but have not been exploited fully within the

(1) track, make sure that as

much data as possible about marketing interactions is

context of marketing.

being collected, (2) analyze, marketing data should be examined and patterns of behavior recognized, and (3)


optimize, based on analytics new marketing strategy will

computational method first formalized in the late 80s

be created and its results will be analyzed.

/ early 90s for social science.

One area where this new method is becoming increasingly

ABM is that the model is constructed at the lowest level

popular and useful is in understanding social media.

or representation appropriate for the question at hand,

Since the earliest days of marketing research we have

which is called an agent.

known that word-of-mouth has a greater effect on how

this means constructing the model at the level of the

consumers perceive a brand than anything a marketing

individual. The model then is a description of the agents,

manager can do.

Social media finally gives us some

a description of the environment in which the agents

insight, albeit biased, in to these conversations. As a

operate, and a description of the behavior of the agents

result, if social media analytics are done well, they promise

and the environment. Once these descriptions are put

to revolutionize marketing, even for those brands that

into place, then the emergent outcome is observed by

do not plan to actually have a presence on social media

simulating the behavior of thousands and even millions

since they can still listen to the conversations of their

of agents interacting.

consumers on social media.

to understand the word-of-mouth through a social

For instance, by analyzing social media, the American

network, then ABM would argue that a model should

Red Cross, in collaboration with the CCB, has examined

be constructed where each and every individual in the

a method called Realtime Marketing, where they update

system is represented and the interactions between

the content on their website for different geographic

those individuals are modeled to observe how people

areas based on social media conversations in those

exchange information within the network.







The basic premise of

Often times in marketing,

For instance, if the goal were

geographies on an hour-by-hour basis. The hypothesis is that by customizing this content in realtime, the Red

ABM provides unique insights into how small actions

Cross will be able to better adapt to donors’ interests and

by a few individuals can have a dramatic effect on the

as a result garner more donations. In a similar way they

outcome of a process.

also hope to start pursuing a fully adaptive Personalized

models are constructed from first principles about user

Marketing strategy.

Moreover, since agent-based

This means that they will adapt

behavior, they are useful as a predictive tool for examining

the content of emails, their websites and social media

the effect of new policies and marketing strategies. ABM

that individual users see based upon their behavioral

has already proven useful in understanding: (1) diffusion


In other words, if it is known that a certain

of information, (2) retail-location decision-making, (3)

user has clicked more on links about hurricane disaster

understanding the adoption of alternative-fuel vehicles,

relief in the past, then they will see more content on this

and has even found commercial application in (4) building

subject in the future. This is already being done to some

better models of marketing mix strategy.

extent but the growth of computational power, complex systems methods, and social streaming big data means

An important component of all marketing is how

that this method can be made increasingly automated


and the content of marketing messaging can be truly

between and amongst consumers do not happy randomly


instead they happen within a social network.




actions In other

words, most people are more likely to talk to their friends

New Methods for Academic Research in Marketing

than they are to talk to a random stranger on the street.

In order to stay relevant and current in a world where

on understanding how social networks work, and how

marketing and the questions that marketers face change

the structure of those interactions affects individuals,

on a daily basis, it is important that academic research

is an important new scientific method in the marketing

in marketing also remain relevant and constantly up to

researchers’ toolbox.

As a result, network science, which at its core focuses

date. To this extent there are a number of new methods that are attempting to answer new questions, and deal


with data that was not available before to marketers: (1)

understandings of how marketing actions affect the






Agent-Based Modeling (ABM), (2) Network Science, (3)

communication between individuals. For instance, using

Machine Learning and Computational Modeling, and (4)

network science it is possible to assess the effect of a THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 49

promotional strategy on particular individuals, not just

the network properties of really large networks, even at

based on those individuals further involvement with

the scale of millions of nodes. Using this information,

the firm, but also on how promotions for one group of

marketing and brand managers can assess the influence

individuals affect their friends and neighbors with their

and trust among consumers even at very large scales.

social network as well. This enables the understanding of

They can potentially gain new customers while stopping

the social customer lifetime value of an individual.

old customers from churning, increase the share of wallet of current customers, and begin to calculate ROI

Often when using the tools of network science there are

for marketing projects that were previously incalculable.

simply too many features to consider in a comprehensive

Clearly then there are a number of exciting and new tools


For example, examining all possible sorting

that marketing researches can use to assess marketing

strategies for determining the influence of a group of

data and provide new insights and understandings for

users may simply be too computationally intensive.

managers and stakeholders about marketing strategy,

However, using machine learning it is possible to take

tactics, and day-to-day operations.

large amounts of data and learn rules of how the system automatic learning of rules of association by a computer

Rigor and Relevance of Academic Research in Marketing

either based on (1) explicitly labeled datasets (supervised

Given the new tools of marketing and the advancing

learning), or (2) rewards and punishments delivered by

practitioner world, how can academic research in

the environment (unsupervised learning, reinforcement

marketing remain rigorous and relevant? There are three


clear ways that academic research needs to change in

Marketing has primarily relied upon statistical methods

order to remain applicable for brand managers: (1) an

because they are explanatory in nature, but machine

emphasis on prediction in addition to description, (2)

learning can be used to augment statistical methods

open the black box of methods, by making them easier

by allowing the researcher to use machine learning to

to use and understand, and (3) stop focusing strictly on

narrow down the feature space of interest, before building

small, toy datasets and start developing methods that

more complex statistical models.

take advantage of truly big data.


Fundamentally, machine learning is the

Moreover, some

machine learning methods, such as genetic algorithms

Traditional marketing models have focused on description

and decision trees can easily be interpreted, enabling the

rather than prediction. This was often the case because

researcher to understand why the predictive models that

there was a limited set of data and because most

the machine learning method has discovered work. This

quantitative marketing methods were based in statistics

enables a full cycle of analysis where machine learning

and econometrics, which have a focus on description

can be used to discover salient features, theory building

over prediction. However, marketing is by its nature a

can then be undertaken to understand the impact of

discipline in which managers are constantly asked to make

those features, and then new models can be constructed

predictions about the future, and to determine the value of

using machine learning to explore the refined model.

investments in various aspects of the marketing portfolio. Therefore, it makes sense that academic research

Growth in the availability of data, especially data that

should re-emphasize prediction in addition to description.

is provided in realtime, has constant variety, and is

Unfortunately, traditionally, data for marketing research

large in scale, requires new methods of analysis and

was hard to come by and so there was very little data left


Streaming data collection and big

over with which to do validation of predictions, but with

data analysis is about the collection and processing of

the growth of big data and especially social data, we have

this data.

Even the monitoring of marketing data can

more data than ever about marketing contexts, and so

provide unique challenges and problems. For instance,

this reason no longer applies in many contexts. Finally,

classifying twitter data in realtime as it is collected can

description has been favored over prediction, because

become a challenge when the amount of data entering

descriptive models can be more explanatory and general

the system is faster than it takes to process the data.

than predictive models.

Moreover, once the data is in the system, there is still the

have shown that many descriptive models tend to be

problem of processing and examining such a large set of

overfit to the data that they are trained on and as a

data. Recent developments, such as cloud computing,

result the general principles that are drawn from them

the Hadoop framework, and parallel computing methods,

are not general at all, but rather specific to the data

provide the tools to be able to handle such large-scale

examined. Predictive modeling on the other hand, by its

constantly updating data at speeds and levels of detail

very nature is forced to balance the error on the training

useful for marketers.

For instance, using the X-RIME

data set with the error on the testing data set, resulting

and Giraph toolkits for Hadoop, it is possible to examine

in what is in many times a more generalizable model.


However, recent comparisons

Moreover, new techniques and methods in predictive

data to affect their marketing models and their decision

modeling enable researchers to construct models that

strategies in new and creative ways.

are not merely correlative but also reveal some of the

that academic research remains relevant and rigorous

underlying structure of the system, e.g., random forests,

it is important that the models and methods being

na茂ve Bayes, and even generalized linear regression when

developed by academics start to work with big data.

used in a predictive way.

This does not just mean that the size of the datasets

To make sure

examined by academics needs to grow (though that is The benefits of predictive modeling mean that tools can

definitely the case), it also means that the types of data

be created for marketing and brand managers that are

academics bring together also needs to improve. The

useful not only in understanding what has happened in

true revolution of big data is not big data but all data.

the past with regards to their marketing efforts, but also

In other words, the volume alone is not what makes big

predicting the effects of future actions, and potentially

data interesting; it is the fact that we can combine data

prescribing actions for marketers to take based on

from a large number of sources to make one marketing

maximizing return on investment. Managers are starting

decision. For instance, we can draw on speech-to-text

to demand, rightfully so, that the models researchers

data about customer service calls, at the same time

create be able to help them in predicting the effects of

looking at traditional transaction data, and pulling in buzz

their actions, and therefore it is crucial that academic

from social media feeds. Academics need to embrace

research respond to this need.

this data fusion aspect of big data to truly advance field

Moreover, by using methods that open the black box of

and keep it relevant for practitioners.

analysis, researchers can dive in and figure out exactly

in figuring out how to advance the research agenda,

Developments in Marketing Curricula Designed for Facing the Challenges of Tomorrow

since they can trace the paths of causal relationships

How can marketing curricula be redesigned for facing


the challenges of tomorrow?

what inputs seem to be leading to which outputs in the data being examined. This not only helps researchers








There are a number of

facilitates understanding by practitioners, since if they

exciting technologies and tools that marketing professors

can understand how the models work then they can

can take advantage of in order to adapt their curricula

better apply them in their day-to-day operations.


to face the challenges of tomorrow. These technologies

is true not only for the new methods of ABM, machine

and methods include: (1) simulation, (2) gamification,

learning, network science and big data analysis, but also

and (3) the realtime classroom.

for previous quantitative marketing modeling methods, such as structural modeling, Bayesian modeling, and

Simulation has long been a staple of marketing and

even game theoretic models. If we can move away from

business classes in general.

models that require very long and complex descriptions

in an educational perspective, a particular scenario is

and instead break them down into smaller and smaller

often presented to the class and they are asked to make

pieces so that they are more consumable by brand

decisions, and those decisions are input in to a computer

managers that will mean more use of these models by

or tabulated by hand and the next week the results are

managers as well as a deeper understanding of how to

provided to the participants. However, with advances in

apply models in situations that the academic researchers

the state of computer simulation, especially with the use

did not originally consider.

This is not a new idea; the

of agent-based modeling, simulation could become the

original Bass model for instance, explained that almost

de facto way of presenting information to students. For

all diffusions of consumer durables happened because of

instance, rather than talking about how pricing decisions

two factors, a rate of innovation and a rate of imitation.

by one manufacturer force another manufacturer to

This simple description of a classic hazard rate model

react, the students could play an online pricing game. Or

enables every MBA student to easily understand how the

students could examine how seeding different individuals

model works, even if they do not completely know how to

with information in a social network space affects the

apply it in every situation.

diffusion of information through this space.

When these are used


simulations would not take weeks to complete but rather Part of the necessity of opening the black box is that

the students could run them dozens of times in the

the growth of big data, means that marketing managers

course of an hour.

need to be more and more sure that they understand how they are applying their models because the data they

Another exciting prospect within the realm of simulation

want to apply it to is growing on a daily basis.

is participatory simulation.


need to be able to understand how they can use this

Participatory simulation

allows a student to take over directly the role of one THINK TANK 路 PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS 路 51

or more parts of the simulations. So rather than just

individuals earning the most prizes receiving the highest

observing what happens when they implement a social

grade. The class itself would be a lesson in marketing

media marketing strategy they could actually physically

since it is becoming clear that companies can use non-

take part as a consumer and make decisions about how

financial incentives like game mechanisms to encourage

to react to the social media marketing strategy. This has

users to contribute to their co-generated content.

the added bonus of helping them realize how consumer decisions directly affect their marketing decisions.

Of course, a gamified classroom gains additional benefits if the classroom is also a realtime classroom. A realtime

Moreover, most simulations in marketing and business

classroom is a classroom in which the students as

classes are done using a pure text-based interface, but

well as the teacher are always engaged in the subject

with the growth of cheap 3D rendering software and

of the class. The primary means of accomplishing this

full game engines, such as Unreal, Second Life and

is through the widespread use of social media.

Minecraft, it is possible to create simulations where the

instance, a twitter hashtag can be created for the class,

participants actually take part in a more realistic 3D

and the students encouraged to participate in class

world, which adds a level of realism to the simulation

discussions using this twitter hashtag even while class

not previously available.

is in session.

This will in turn increase the


This allows students to see each other

resonance of the simulation with the students learning

questions and comments while class is going on, and

experience providing a more robust educational outcome.

allows the teacher to gain immediate feedback as to the reaction of the students to the material being taught.

Related to this is the notion of gamification. Gamification

Such a pedagogical advance also has a marketing domain

is taking a situation or experience that did not previously

learning element as well, since students will be learning

have game elements and adding game elements to

how social media can be used to achieve a constructive

increase the performance of the individual involved. In this

outcome. Combining gamification features and realtime

particular context, we mean adding gaming elements to

features in the same classroom can have a synergistic

the marketing classroom. Gamification allows instructors

effect since students can compare and contrast notes

tools to recognize individuals’ different contributions to

about the gamification experience using the realtime

the learning environment. For instance, “badges” can be

communication mechanisms.

created within the classroom for most contributions to the class’s online discussion forum, best overall question

Beyond these methodological advances in the teaching

in class as voted on by members of class, and most

of marketing, it is also important to update the curricula

thoughtful presentation of a case. These badges could

and material of many marketing classes.

then serve to provide additional ways that students could

reflect the changing nature of the marketer.

gain higher letter grades. The notion of gamification is not

should be more of an emphasis on data-driven marketing

just restricted to badges either. For instance, the entire

and analytics. There should also be conversations about

class could be turned into a game / simulation where

state-of-the-art methods of marketing including network

the students compete as teams and as individuals for


various prizes over the course of the semester, with the

predictive analytics, and big data.




They should






rofessor and Speaker at HSM Education and a Professor of Strategic Management at the Graduate School of Management at Universidade Nove de Julho in São Paulo, Brazil.

Holds a Doctoral Degree in Engineering from Rio de Janeiro Pontifical Catholic University. Is an experienced professor and taught executive MBA courses for many Brazilian reputed Business Schools as well courses in Portugal, USA, France and Bangladesh. In 2012 received

the prize in India at the World Education Congress as Top Professor in Strategy. He is author of 12 books about Strategy and Marketing related topics. He is member of the board of some Brazilian companies. He collaborated with Philip Kotler at the World Marketing Summit. Before the academic career he worked as executive for industrial companies in and outside Brazil.

Theme 1 – Marketing Futurecast and the advancement of knowledge

understand better the marketing practice, praxis and practitioners (see 2011 special issue at Scandinavian

The future already happened. We may say that the future

Journal of Marketing).

already exists. I am not trying to say that the future is

I think that being far from the consumers and from the

unchangeable, but that there are drivers that show us

organizations actual problems gives rise for competitive

some unchangeable trends. Globalization, technological

alternative approaches as behavioral economics, as well

innovation, population development and aging, as well as

as to the growth of consultant practices. We don’t need

the environmental threats are some of those drivers. De-

new methods only because we stayed out from the con-

spite the expected role of academics to advance knowl-

sumers and from the organizations, but also because we

edge, not only technological and related social changes

have the new challenges, technological challenges, and

challenges us, but also different cultures and worlds of

others as pointed by Theme 1 of our discussion.

emerging markets. One of the main threats for the progress in academic research is the way we deal with academic productivism and isomorphic research behavior. The marketing discipline usually research inside the society and it seems we are already behind the need for today’s knowledge to help organizations and marketing professionals.. It seems we are loosing to the practitioners.

Theme 2 – New methods for academic research in marketing Marketing academics have been quite influenced by the American academic journals. We may say that Journal of Marketing since 1936, and Journal of Marketing Research, since 1964, are still the most influence marketing academic publications. In spite of their focus, since the beginning marketing uses statistical methods for research, always looking at the consumer, progressing to brands, to specific marketing subjects and at the end of last century incorporating strategic approaches to marketing. During this evolution, with the need to publish for tenure, it seems that academics, stayed back from the consumers and from the context. To have faster access to the journals, most of the studies relied on secondary data and questionnaires. Even having to address complex situations and decisions that needed complementary methods and tools. Today we almost need to come back

Theme 3 – Rigor and relevance of academic research in Marketing “There is nothing more practical than a good theory”, wrote the psychologist Kurt Lewin more than 60 years ago. It continues to be a challenge for researchers. Lewin was saying that academic research should provide ideas and solutions to a real situation. Also that, practitioners should rely on researchers skills to help them to solve their problems. So rigor and relevance of academic Marketing research should not be treated as exclusive issues. Rigor is needed to enable researchers to publish in academic journals. Brazilian researchers, from a recent article from interviews with top tier journals editors, lack of theory and consistence. So there is not enough rigor in average in our academic research to enable the publication in top tier academic journals. Also, the new challenges introduced in Themes 2 and 3 tend to the use of qualitative methods. Qualitative research used to take longer, and need better reasoning to be published. Regarding practice, every work should have a practical contribution. But for me, one of the main problems is that most researchers don’t use to have a medium to long term research project that try to solve a problem. Having a project that complies several research works with some students, to solve a specific problem could enable academic researchers to show value to the organizations through their research.

to the origins. And we need to understand what the organizations are doing. It is also happening with other disciplines, as the strategy-as-practice movement. It seems the marketing-as-practice approach is also emerging to THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 53

Theme 4 – Developments of marketing curricula designed for facing the challenges of tomorrow For sure we have a problem of content. McCarhy’s 4 Ps is for sure a good example of a usual content and tool taught. But content is just one of the issues. The problem is that the professors, in this case teachers, are not focused in the output, that should be “learning”. They are teaching. We need to innovate – or maybe do the basics – using a pedagogy that focuses both in content and context. I am saying that content must have meaning and to have meaning we have to use materials, technology, classroom facilities, and a method. The challenge to use new technological tools in class, which are changing the future in organizations. To bring real problems to classroom and take the students to be inside real problems. Students need to know the challenges and must face real problems. Learning is a three-fold challenge: content (knowing); practice (doing); behavior (being). It seems that Themes 1 to 4 complement each other.




láudia Simões holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Business Studies from University of Warwick, UK. She is a Senior Lecturer at the Open University Business School in the UK. She

is also linked to the University of Minho in Portugal. Her research interests and publications are primarily in overall strategic marketing and practices and in corporate identity, image, brand and reputation as applied to services. She currently works with academics that are

based in institutions in Brazil, Italy, Portugal, Spain, UK and USA. She has published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Business Research, European Journal of Marketing, Industrial Marketing Management, Studies in Higher Education and others. She held, in the past, visiting positions at the Warwick Business School/UK (visiting fellow), at the Open University Business School/UK (senior visiting research fellow) and at the Scheller College of Management, Georgia Institute of Technology/USA (visiting scholar).

Theme 1 – Marketing Futurecast and the advancement of knowledge.

for customers to get involved and participate in the market. Nonetheless, these forms of customer involvement

There have been rapid changes and evolution in markets

have existed in the past, yet technology brings additional

over the last decade and, in particular, over the last five

platforms that make such activities more intense and ex-

years. Environmental aspects, such as recession and


technology, triggered new market motions and business

(ii) Technology and open innovation

approaches. Three points deserve particular reflection:

Developments in the marketing literature and research

(i) markets and business environment; (ii) technology and

have been highlighting the role customer as (value)

open innovation; (iii) business capabilities and learning.

co-creators. In fact, increasingly consumers and other stakeholders are involved in the process of creating and

(i) Markets and business environment

using products and services. Innovation often originates

Markets are becoming increasingly fragmented and com-

in the market. Technology (and in particular web based

plex. Technology brought new ways of communication be-

interfaces) have allowed the customers to be involved in

tween organisations and customers and led to new forms

the production process by giving insights and experienc-

of market engagement and participation in the business

ing new ways of product definition. In fact, consumers

life. In particular, social media facilitated novel means of

are becoming closer to and more involved with the pro-

interactive communication that created a wider scope for

duction process. Hence, consumer experience with the

tailored messages, customer information gathering and

product is changing.

feedback. Consequently new and more complex forms of market relationships are developed widening the multifac-

(iii) Business capabilities and learning

eted role of marketing communication. Undoubtedly such

Organisations will need to carry on being capable of

aspects allowed establishing new relationships between

addressing markets in a pro-active way and align with

customers and organisations. As markets become more

markets’ demands. Developing marketing capabilities to

fragmented, customization and personalization are mag-

adapt to the new market and environmental dynamics

nified by customers who are involved in the market and

is core, as technology is more embedded in business

the way it develops.

practice and markets are more involved in the business development (e.g., product innovation/co-creation). New

In addition, recession marked the last years of business

market forms, competition and consumer interaction

environment with new and emerging markets playing a

demand the generation of new business models, new

role in the business sphere. Social movements brought

structures of organisational learning and/or marketing

up more informed and cautious customers. It also


brought disappointment amongst younger generations as what to expect in the future. Such factors have impact

The future of marketing practice and marketing knowl-

in the forms of consumption and social awareness. Fig-


ures such as sellsumers and locavors create new forms

Do all these changes mean that marketing will need to

of markets and consumption leading to distinctive buying

reinvent it-self? In many ways, traditional marketing tech-

streams. Trends point to future makerpreneurs, as tech-

niques and instruments will still be used to address mar-

nology allows customers to personalize and create their

kets. Organisations will carry on in their own way trying

own products and, ultimately, be able to sell them (2014

to influence, shape markets and/or make markets. The

trend report). All these neologisms illustrate new ways

so called traditional marketing will remain though taking THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 55

new forms or having new marketing management impli-

and strengths being more or less adequate to address a

cations (e.g., communication). For example, strong glob-

certain research problem. These dominant research de-

al brands will still exist. Big brands like Nike or Coca Cola

signs have the limitation of relying on information from re-

are expected to carry on existing and to have a some-

spondents that may not have enough depth, and/or may

what dominant position in their markets. These brands

not adequately represent informants’ views as they often

may establish new platforms to communicate with the

provide inaccurate information. Frequently collected data

markets, yet businesses will carry on positioning and pro-

has the drawback of not representing reality but a biased

moting them in the marketspace. They will still need to

reality (e.g., data containing social bias) based on the

prove themselves and face competition. Brand loyalty and

subjects opinions rather than their actual behaviour. In

attachment will continue to be nurtured and developed.

addition, data collected often focuses on intentions rather than on actions, or focuses on past behaviour, rather

Nonetheless, marketing, as a field of practice as well as

than on future behaviour.

research discipline, will need to pace-up with the changes

Recently, new research methods and tools have been

in the environment. The diversity and complexity in organ-

introduced to social sciences research and, in particu-

isations and markets is ever more intense. Organisations

lar, to marketing studies. Examples are neuroscientific

will need to adjust to new forms of management and

techniques and physiological measures, voice prints, hu-

business models, developing adequate marketing prac-

man-computer interaction, facial coding, utterance anal-

tices and business capabilities. New business capabili-

ysis, nethnography, backcasting (etc.). The new methods

ties and learning cultures need to emerge so that closer

and tools allow for the measurement of physiological re-

customer interaction and co-creation are accounted for.

actions to external stimuli; language representation; the

Research in marketing ought to explore and define those

analysis of data directly produced by subjects on the in-

practices and capabilities. For example, government

ternet (e.g., blogs, social media); study of future scenari-

agencies nowadays need to deal with aspects, such as,

os; etc.. In addition, interactive technologies allow collect-

crowdsourcing, open innovation and co-creation provided

ing real time behavioural data in longitudinal scenarios.

by the closer connection with citizens. Yet, merely having

Such data may be collected by using technologies as, for

more information is not necessarily relevant if institutions

example, smart phone apps, palm-top style in-home con-

do not transform the way they connect with citizens and

sumer panels with dashboards and infographics (etc.).

the implications for their well-being.

Most of these tools are minimally invasive and capture behavioural insights in a cost-effective way. Often these

Business ecosystems entail a multiplicity of players and

technologies allow collecting large amounts of data.

forces: micro businesses, local markets, global brands, professional businesses, sporadic, networks, etc. Thus,

The significance of the new methods and tools should not

marketing research needs to produce the knowledge

be underestimated as they hold potential. Some of the

that captures all this diversity in the market and in busi-

new tools overcome part of the problems of the more

nesses, focusing on the dynamics and implications. In-

traditional methods as they permit collecting live data

deed, the role and scope of marketing seems to be more

from research subjects. Nonetheless, new methods and

diverse than ever. Warranting attention is the value of

tools also endure limitations as, frequently, they do not

marketing for organisations and, ultimately, for societies.

allow collecting in-depth motivational information. In ad-

Finally, the fast pace of changes in market and business

dition, the fact that, often, a large amount of superficial

environments demand the development of instruments

data is collected, the analysis will be able to establish pat-

that focus on understanding and forecasting of future

terns or description in behaviours rather than explaining

motions (as opposed to be based in historical patterns).


Theme 2 – New methods for academic research in marketing.

The introduction and usage of new methods and tools in

Marketing research has long relied in the so called tra-

evolution. As the environment changes and technology

ditional social sciences research designs involving meth-

evolves, different and additional research means become

ods, such as, interviews, focus groups and surveys. Al-

available. The new methods and tools do not seem, how-

though technology increasingly allows for new ways of

ever, to supersede existing ones. They will be used in

data collection (e.g., electronic questionnaires) and anal-

conjunction with the more ‘traditional’ approaches to

ysis (e.g., software development), the dominant debate is

research. That is, they will add to the diversity of pos-

still the idea whether research should be predominantly

sibilities and their adequacy will depend on the problem

quantitative, qualitative or a combination of both. Regard-

under research. Any new tool or method suitability needs

less of the option taken, each one presents challenges

to pass the scientific scrutiny and debate about its ade-


marketing research seem to be a natural part of science

quacy and scientific rigour. Research in social sciences,

ademia and practice is clearer and better represented

and in marketing in particular, has long been fuelling the

than in the marketing field as a whole. For example, ser-

debate on data validation and reliability. Besides being

vices marketing has a long and solid tradition in establish-

isolated primary research methods, they may constitute

ing links between industry and academic institutions. The

an additional way to assist data triangulation and, thus,

pillars of the sub-field were built from the contributions

enhance reliability and validation.

involving research centres established in universities and industrial partners. For example, the CERS – Centre for

Overall, it may be said that the new methods hold prom-

Relationship Marketing and Service Management based

ise for knowledge evolution and bring new insights into

at Hanken School of Economics (Finland) and the Center

addressing marketing research problems. In fact, nov-

for Excellence in Service based at the University of Mar-

el research methods should be welcomed if they allow

yland (USA). The way the services marketing community

science to further evolve enhancing knowledge and un-

started and evolved allowed for this greater involvement

derstanding about the world we live in. All this potential

between practitioners and academics. Interestingly, it

brings the opportunity for marketing to be in the forefront

is frequent to see practitioners attend and be actively

of the evolution of research. In particular, quantitative

involved in services marketing conferences. The design

and data mining techniques seem to be of great rele-

of the events entailing practitioner panels and presenta-

vance to the field.

tions promotes such exchange.

Theme 3 – Rigor and relevance of academic research in Marketing.

Marketing, as a relevant academic field, needs to invest

The divide between marketing academia and practice

for organizations, but also by better applying its research

has long been debated as both parties do not seem to

to inform business decisions and performance. The way

be able to connect in a continuous or constant manner.

marketing researchers bridge with practice is still timid

In fact, they sometimes appear to walk back to back,

and frequently based on individual initiatives and contribu-

speaking different languages. From a practice point of

tions. Some researchers have links with practice through

view, the marketing field (and function) needs to better

ad hoc consultancy projects and others publish in spe-

delineate its realm and scope. Recently, there has been

cialised media and business press their research-based

in marketing academia an effort to rekindle the debate on

managerial implications. Nonetheless, these links seem

the role and relevance of marketing within organisations.

to be made individually rather than based on platforms

It further calls to specify the roles that are conducted

that continuously sustain such bridge. There is, however,

by marketing people (and how) as well as the marketing

and increasing pressure from academic institutions to

roles that ought to be performed by everybody inside the

produce research that is relevant to practice and that

organisation (e.g., consumer care and orientation). Fol-

may clearly influence policy and decision making.

in this stream, not only by clarifying its role and scope

lowing the turn in management studies looking at management practices, marketing practice is now becoming

Yet this is not a one-way road with researchers having

more in the centre of research and studies in the field.

the role to communicate with practitioners. Often com-

Such line of research has been providing relevant reflex-

munication with marketing managers is hindered by the

ions into how the practitioner world operates and prac-

prevailing opinion amongst groups of practitioners that

tices marketing.

academic research is far from reality and, therefore, irrelevant to their practice. In many cases it is not clear

One conclusion deriving from such inquiry is that there is

for practitioners how academic research can assist

still a weak link between the marketing researcher and the

their activity. Such perception is worsened by the fact

marketing practitioner. Creating and establishing bridges

that academic jargon is often considered too to trigger

between both parties seem to be relevant and timely, not

practitioners’ interest in reading academic work. None-

only, to further establish the significance of marketing for

theless, some managers acknowledge the importance

organisations, but also, to advance scientific knowledge

that research may have to their practice and, therefore,

in the field. Other disciplines have better succeed in es-

have established long lasting partnerships with academic

tablishing connecting roots between academia and prac-


tice. The reasons for this may rely on their own nature or research community culture. For example research in microbiology and in bio-chemistry has a clear established bridge between research and practice. In some marketing sub-disciplines the link between acTHINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 57

Marketing academia vs. marketing practice: establishing the dialogue Overall, there seems to be room to enhance and to cul-

Theme 4 – Developments of marketing curricula designed for facing-up the challenges of tomorrow.

tivate the link between marketing academics and mar-

Marketing education needs to adjust contents and ma-

keting practitioners. There is a middle point for interac-

terials to reflect up-dated versions of existing marketing

tion and interest for both groups. Firstly, it seems to be

areas (e.g., digital communications) as well as marketing

important to understand the reasons for the practice/

topics mirroring the environment where organisations

academic gap. Why is the communication between both

operate. Overall, teaching models need to be able to

parties failing? In fact, the dialogue between practitioners

better capture three main issues: (i) state of the art re-

and academics needs to be clearer. Researchers need

search; (ii) marketing practice; and (iii) marketing scope

to understand what are the needs for practice and prac-

and diversity.

titioners need to know how research can help and assist their decision-making. There are challenges in making the

(i) state of the art research

‘translation’ between practical problem solving situations

It is important that marketing education delivers the wid-

and academic research. Therefore, only by having an

er scientific scope and reflexion that future marketing

open dialogue between both parties it will be possible for

managers and practitioners need to apprehend in order

marketing researchers to produce relevant research for

to be able to excel in their duties. The in-depth and com-

businesses and to convey such research through suitable

prehensive vision provided by relevant research in the

means. Worth noting is that academic journals are not

field needs to be better reflected in teaching materials.

expected to turn into consultancy reports, however, it is

Therefore, educators should be able to feed their teach-

possible to create additional outlets that would expedite

ing materials with research findings in a continuous way.

this bridge and make communication flow more naturally.

It is not expected that core materials would change dramatically on a permanent basis, however, there is usually

Secondly, it seems to be important to create platforms

a five year lag in including advanced research findings in

that facilitate and nurture the connection between prac-

the teaching contents. This gap needs to be shortened.

tice and academia. It is important that such connection

The pace of science and business environment evolution

develops and maintains its presence in a sustainable way.

demands the establishment of new platforms for updating

Those platforms may entail a more pervasive existence

and creating current and relevant contents. It is, there-

of research centres partnering marketing academics

fore, important that research is continuously ‘translated’

and marketing managers; e-based forms of collaboration

into teaching contents with managerial implications (e.g.,

and communication, and so forth. Ultimately, a culture of

drivers for business performance; marketing capabilities

collaboration and communication needs to be cultivated

development; market behaviour and trends).

between both parties facilitating their interaction so that it will naturally occur.

(ii) marketing practice Some critics argue that business schools are becoming

Finally, it should be noted that marketing science also en-

detached from managerial practice and that marketing

tails research conducted outside the common midpoint

education needs to pursuit a more practice oriented ap-

between academics and practitioners. It is unquestiona-

proach. The (best) practice of marketing needs to inform

ble that research ought to be managerially relevant and,

teaching and teaching materials. Teaching materials need

therefore, assist mangers’ activities and decision making.

to be able to capture current strategic marketing activi-

However, there are other facets to marketing science. Ul-

ties as well as operational activities. In this sense, teach-

timately, science and its legitimacy depend on the rigour,

ing materials ought to entail current practices linked, for

relevance and substantiality of the produced knowledge.

example, to topical social media and new technological

To the endeavour, a comprehensive view of the world and


its problems need to be taken into account. In marketing research this means studying issues affecting a wide

(iii) marketing scope and diversity

range of stakeholders (including marketing managers)

Considering current business environment, marketing

and addressing relevant research problems.

education needs to be able to cover a wide variety of subjects as well as diverse environments’ perspectives. Indeed marketing’s scope in terms of topics and applications ought to be apprehended by marketing education. It is important to acknowledge the widening of the marketing field by including the new forms of digital communication, technological applications to marketing (e.g.,


data mining), societal debates, business networks and so forth. Factors, such as globalization and market fragmentation, also bring challenges into marketing education. Teaching contents predominantly cover models and settings that may not be applied to certain markets or types of organisations. Prevailing topics in teaching materials are based on organisations operating in western economies and business contexts. Yet business environments and organisations may present distinct features. For example, there has been an increasing interest in studies conducted in contexts, such as, emerging markets (BRICS in particular) and in government agencies. Many nations and economies are greatly influenced by faith-based conceptions, others by ‘free’ market concepts. There are also wider world challenges (e.g., obesity and starvation) that affect the way marketing is developed and operates. It is important that marketing education captures (acknowledges) this diversity and complexity in the markets and businesses’ environments that organisations need to operate in. Teaching materials need to account for multifaceted contexts and applications. It should be noted, however, that these three themes will impact differently at the various levels of education. It is expected that higher levels of study would demand students to connect the different aspects of marketing practice and think more critically about business implications. PhD level students will be increasingly challenged by multifaceted research sources and open knowledge. The three points raised above call for: (a) rethinking learning outcomes to connect to different marketing topics; (b) developing new student skills; and, (c) generating new teaching profiles. Learning outcomes will need to encapsulate the ability of the students to interact with themes raised by state of the art research, marketing practice and diversity in the market arena. To face such context, students will need to develop new skills and abilities. In particular they should become able act varied contexts and interactive platforms that affect, and in many ways determine, the way marketing is performed and delivered. Students will need to be able to face up to the fast pace evolution of markets, organisations and businesses. They need to be capable of working in a wide variety of environments/markets and to deal with multiple sources and forms of market information. Digital and other teaching platforms will increasingly make the student a co-creator of learning. Consequently, marketing educators will need to re-shape their profile by, in addition to lecturing, act as learning facilitators in the wide scope of marketing practices and platforms (e.g., open knowledge and education). THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 59

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