History of Marketing Thought

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Marketing Theory
http://mtq.sagepub.com 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: http://mtq.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/5/3/239

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

articles

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, macromarketing, exchange, and marketing history. During the mid 1970s, three of the modern schools – marketing management, consumer behavior, and exchange – underwent a ‘paradigm broadening’. The broadened paradigm has bifurcated marketing thought from the conventional domain of business behavior to the much broader domain of all human social behavior. Thus, at the beginning of the 21st century marketing thought is at a crossroads. Key Words marketing history marketing theory marketing thought







Introduction
In the study of any academic discipline, ideas and issues are discussed and debated. Over the course of time these concepts and arguments cluster into critical masses

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marketing theory 5(3) articles

that may be described as a means of organizing subject matter, an approach to understanding the discipline, or as a school of marketing thought. Several articles already exist reviewing the history of individual schools of marketing thought, particularly Hollander (1980) on the institutional school; Hunt and Goolsby (1988) on functions; Murphy and Enis (1986) and Zinn and Johnson (1990) on the commodity school; Savitt (1981) on interregional trade; Sheth and Gross (1988) on the consumer behavior school; Webster (1992) on marketing management; and Wilkie and Moore (2002, 2003) on twin areas of macromarketing: marketing and society, and marketing and public policy. In addition, there are published reviews on some of the sub-areas of schools, such as Fisk et al. (1993) on Services Marketing; and Berry (1995) on Relationship Marketing. Finally, there are also two excellent books on the subject of schools of marketing thought and theory: Bartels’ (1988) The History of Marketing Thought and Sheth et al.’s (1988) Marketing Theory: Evolution and Evaluation. Why yet another history? Unfortunately, the review articles focus on the history of individual schools, or a...
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