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?
PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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.
2 路 THINK TANK 路 PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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
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,……
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
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
EMIC E u R O P E A N M A R K E T I N G & I N N O V AT I O N C E N T E R S http://emic.ismai.pt/think-tank-innovation-marketing/
4 路 THINK TANK 路 PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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:// emic.ismai.pt/), 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.
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
THINK TA N K 6 路 THINK TANK 路 PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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
THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 7
HOST SCIENTIFIC PANEl ORGANISING COMMITTEE 8 路 THINK TANK 路 PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
Luiz Moutinho ADAM SMITH BUSINESS SCHOOL UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
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
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
THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 9
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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,
the flux of vicissitudes is enormous and they (we) have to be looking ahead to forthcoming events/phenomena.
NEW METHODS FOR ACADEMIC RESEARCH IN MARKETING
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
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
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
T I M ETA B l E DECEMBER 2013
12 路 THINK TANK 路 PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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)
Second half of analytical discussion
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)
Second half of analytical discussion
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.
THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 13
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)
Second half of analytical discussion
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)
Second half of analytical discussion
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.
14 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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)
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)
End OF THE THINK TANK
THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 15
SuMMARy OF IDEAS
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J. Scott Armstrong WHARTON, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, USA
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 forecastingprinciples.com. 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
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 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
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-
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
1991). THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 19
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.
20 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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
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-
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
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
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.
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
22 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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
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
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.
24 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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 –www.cochrane.org). There
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 forecastingprinciples.com and advertisingprin-
(1) discover useful findings, (2) convey useful knowledge
ciples.com. 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
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review of experiments examining the effects of extrinsic
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Eriksson, K. (2012). The nonsense math effect, Judg-
Interfaces, 10 (April), 80-86.
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Armstrong JS (1980c) The seer-sucker theory: the value
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Armstrong JS (1979) “Advocacy and Objectivity in Sci-
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ence,” Management Science, 25 (1979), 423-428.
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Armstrong, J. S., R. Brodie, A. Parsons 2001. “Hypotheses in marketing science: Literature review and publica-
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Armstrong, J. S. and R. Hubbard
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Holob HW, Tappeiner G and Eberharter V (1991). The iron law of important papers. Southern Economic Journal, 58, 317-328. Hubbard, Raymond and Daniel E. Vetter (1996), An empirical comparison of published replication research in accounting, economics, finance, management, and marketing. Journal of BusinessRresearch, 35, 153 164. Mahoney M (1977). Publication prejudices: An experimental study of confirmatory bias in the peer review system. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 1, 161-175. McCord, J. (2003), Cures that harm: Unanticipated outcomes of crime. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 587, 16-30. Ofir, C. & I Simonson, I (2001). In search of negative customer feedback: The effect of expecting to evaluate on satisfaction evaluationsJournal of Marketing Research, 38, 170-182. Pierson, Frank C. (1959), The Education of American Businessmen. New York: McGraw-Hill. Prasad, Vinay et al. (2013), A decade of reversal: An analysis of 146 contradicted medical practices. MayoClinicProceedings,org, 790-798. Schmidt FL, Hunter JE (1998) The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings. Psych. Bull. 124(2):262–274. Staw, B. M. (1976), Knee-deep in the big muddy: A study of escalation commitment to a chosen course of action. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 16, 27-44. Tetlock, Philip E. (2005), Expert Political Judgment. Princeton: Princetpn University Press. Tough, Alan Woodside, Arch (2012), Incompetency training: Theory, practice and remedies. Journal of Business Research, 65, 279-293. Wright, M. and Armstrong,JS
(2008). Verification of
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28 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
Enrique Bigne UNIVERSITY OF VALENCIA, SPAIN
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 sabbaticalhomes.com 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,
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
www.eduwilliam.com). 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-
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
words are we losing our way? The question is if academics and companies have a meeting point.
30 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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-
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
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
Basic and traditional
Lectures and applied exercises
Individual vs. team work Theoretical vs. applied
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
34 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
Douglas Brownlie UNIVERSITY OF STIRLING, UK
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
THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 35
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
36 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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-
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-
38 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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 celebritiesâ€™ 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
THINK TANK Âˇ PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS Âˇ 39
Sheng Deng BROCK UNIVERSITY, CANADA
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-
40 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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
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 .
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
THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 41
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
42 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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?
THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS · 43
Paul Phillips UNIVERSITY OF KENT, UK
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
the view of Teece (2010) who states that the concept of
a business model lacks theoretical grounding in econom-
ics or in business. The changing power of customer-firm
relationships suggests that new business models are re-
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
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
44 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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
platforms include: social networks; blogs/micro blogs, ratings and reviews, social commerce, wikis, discussion
Ehret, M., Kashyap, V., & Wirtz, J.
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
Outstanding impacts in terms of their reach and significance.
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
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.
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-
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-
With regards to content the availability of free material,
46 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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 www.edx.org, www.mooc-list.com www.coursera.org 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
THINK TANK 路 PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS 路 47
William Rand UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, USA
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
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
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
48 路 THINK TANK 路 PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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
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
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
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
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.
50 路 THINK TANK 路 PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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
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
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.
52 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
Fernando Serra HSM EDUCAÇÃO, BRAZIL
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.
54 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
Cláudia Simões OPEN UNIVERSITY, UK
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-
56 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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
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-
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.,
58 · THINK TANK · PROGRAM & BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
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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