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How Influential is Marketing Thought?

  • Apr 17, 2019
How Influential is Marketing Thought?

This paper investigates the evolution of the relative influence of marketing scholarship, compared to other disciplines, on practicing managers. Ivey’s Shane Wang and Joseph Ryoo, with a colleague from INSEAD, analyze decades of published work on marketing in the Harvard Business Review (HBR), Sloan Management Review, and Management Science. By practicing managers, they refer to practitioners who mostly use concepts and frameworks (such as consultants or brand managers) and those who mostly use quantitative models (such as data scientists and consumer insight specialists). Using topic modelling techniques, and examining nearly 14,000 HBR articles, they find that topics in marketing such as product, promotion, place, consumers, and marketing research methods have influenced both general and quantitative practice. Overall, marketing topics have a moderate influence on general practice, more than fields such as accounting, but less than disciplines such as general management. But looking at trends over time (since the 1920s), marketing as a discipline is increasingly influential to both general and quantitative practice, and is likely to become more important.

Borah, Abhishek, Xin (Shane) Wang, and Jun Hyun (Joseph) Ryoo (2018), “Understanding Influence of Marketing Thought on Practice: an Analysis of Business Journals Using Textual and Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) Analysis,” Customer Needs and Solutions, vol. 5 (3-4), 146-161.