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History of Marketing Thought

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History of Marketing Thought

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Marketing Theory A history of schools of marketing thought Eric H. Shaw and D. G.Brian Jones Marketing Theory 2005; 5; 239 DOI: 10.1177/1470593105054898 The online version of this article can be found at:

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Volume 5(3): 239–281 Copyright © 2005 SAGE DOI: 10.1177/1470593105054898


A history of schools of marketing thought
Eric H. Shaw
Florida Atlantic University, USA

D.G. Brian Jones
Quinnipiac University, USA

Abstract. Marketing has been practiced since ancient times and has been thought about almost as long. Yet, it is only during the 20th century that marketing ideas evolved into an academic discipline in its own right. Most concepts, issues and problems of marketing thought have coalesced into one of several schools or approaches to understanding marketing. In this article we trace the evolution of 10 schools of marketing thought. At the turn of the 20th century, early in the discipline’s history, the study of functions, commodities, and institutions emerged as complementary modes of thinking about subject matter and became known collectively as the ‘traditional approaches’ to studying marketing; shortly thereafter the interregional trade approach emerged. About mid-century, there was a ‘paradigm shift’ in marketing thought eclipsing the traditional approaches as a number of newer schools developed: marketing management, marketing systems, consumer behavior,...
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