Frederick E. Webster, Jr.
For the past two decades, some subtle changes in the concept and practice of marketing have been fundamentally reshaping the field. Many of these changes have been initiated by industry, in the form of new organizational types, without explicit concern for their underlying theoretical explanation or justification. On the academic side, prophetic voices have been speaking (Arndt 1979, 1981, 1983; Thorelli 1986; Van de Ven 1976; Williamson 1975) but seldom heard because, representing several different disciplines, they did not sing as a singing group. More basically, perhaps, few listeners were ready to hear the message or to do the intellectual work necessary to pull the several themes together. Like the Peruvian Indians who thought the sails of the Spanish invaders on the horizon were some phenomenon of the weather and did nothing to prepare themselves for attack (Handy 1990), marketers may ignore some important information in their environment simply because it is not consistent with their past experience.
The purpose of this article is to outline both the intellectual and the pragmatic roots of changes that are occurring in marketing, especially marketing management, as a body of knowledge, theory, and practice and to suggest the need for a new paradigm of the marketing function within the firm. First, the origins of the marketing management framework, the generally accepted paradigm of the marketing discipline for the past three decades, are considered. Then shifting managerial practice is examined, especially the dissolution of hierarchical bureaucratic structures in favor of networks of buyer-seller relationships and strategic alliances. Within those new forms of organization, the changing role of marketing is discussed and a reconceptualization of marketing as a field of study and practice is outlined.
Marketing as a Social and Economic Process
It is sobering to recall
References: Alderson, W. (1957), Marketing Behavior and Executive Action. Homewood, IL: Richard D. Irwin, Inc. American Marketing Association (1948), "Report of the Definitions Committee," R. S. Alexander, Chairman, Journal of Marketing, 13 (October), 202-10. Anderson, James C. and James A. Narus (1990), "A Model of Distributor Firm and Manufacturer Firm Working Partnerships," Journal of Marketing, 54 (January), 42-58. ------- and ------- (1991), "Partnering as a Focused Market Strategy," California Management Review, 33 (Spring), 95-113. Anderson, Paul F. (1982), "Marketing, Strategic Planning and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Marketing, 46 (Spring), 15-26. Arndt, Johan (1979), "Toward a Concept of Domesticated Markets," Journal of Marketing, 43 (Fall), 69-75. -------- (1981), "The Political Economy of Marketing Systems: Reviving the Institutional Approach," Journal of Macromarketing, 1 (Fall), 36-47. ------- (1983), "The Political Economy Paradigm: Foundation for Theory Building in Marketing," Journal of Marketing, 47 (Fall), 44-54. Badaracco, Joseph L. (1991), The Knowledge Link: How Firms Compete Through Strategic Alliances. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. Bagozzi, Richard (1975), "Marketing as Exchange," Journal of Marketing, 39 (October), 32-9. Bartels, Robert (1962), The Development of Marketing Thought. Homewood, IL: Richard D. Irwin, Inc. Beckman, Theodore N. and William R. Davidson (1962), Marketing, 7th ed. New York: The Ronald Press Co Bleeke, Joel and David Ernst (1991). "The Way to Win in Cross Border Alliances," Harvard Business Review, 69 (November-December), 127-35. Boyd, Harper W., Jr. and Orville C. Walker, Jr. (1990), Marketing Management: A Strategic Approach. Homewood, IL: Richard D. Irwin, Inc. Breyer, Ralph (1934), The Marketing Institution. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. Carey, John and Peter Coy (1991), "The New IBM," Business Week, 3244 (December 16), 112- 18. Coase, Ronald H. (1937), "The Nature of the Firm," Economica, 4, 386-405. Conner, Kathleen R. (1991), "A Historical Comparison of Resource-Based Theory and Five Schools of Thought Within Industrial organization Economics: Do We Have a New Theory of the Firm?" Journal of Management, 17 (1), 121-54. Copeland, M. T. (1920), Marketing Problems. New York: A. W. Shaw. Corey, E. Raymond (1978), Procurement Management: Strategy, organization, and Decision-Making. Boston: CBI Publishing Co., Inc. Davis, K. R. (1961), Marketing Management. New York: The Ronald Press Co. Day, George S. and Saul Klein (1987), "Cooperative Behavior in Vertical Markets: The Influence of Transaction Costs and Competitive Strategies," in Review of Marketing, Michael J ------- and Robin Wensley (1988), "Assessing Advantage: A Framework for Diagnosing Competitive Superiority," Journal of Marketing, 52 (April), 1-20. Devlin, Geoffrey and Mark Bleakley (1988), "Strategic Alliances--Guidelines for Success," Long-Range Planning, 21 (5), 18-23. Drucker, Peter F. (1954), The Practice of Management. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. Duddy, E. A. and Revzan, D. A. (1953), Marketing: An Institutional Approach, 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company. Dwyer, F. Robert, Paul H. Schurr, and Sejo Oh (1987), "Developing Buyer-Seller Relationships," Journal of Marketing, 51 (April), 11-27. Fiol, C. Marlene (1991), "Managing Culture as a Competitive Resource: An Identity-Based View of Sustainable Competitive Advantage," Journal of Management, 17 (1), 191 Ford, Henry (1922), My Life and Work Frazier, Gary L. (1983), "Interorganizational Exchange Behavior in Marketing Channels: A Broadened Perspective," Journal of Marketing, 47 (Fall), 68-78. -------, Robert E. Spekman, and Charles R. O 'Neal (1988), "Just-in-Time Exchange Relationships in Industrial Markets," Journal of Marketing, 52 (October), 52-67. General Electric Company (1991), 1990 Annual Report (March). Gerlach, Michael (1987), "Business Alliances and the Strategy of the Japanese Firm," California Management Review, 30 (Fall), 126-42. Gordon, R. A. and J. E. Howell (1959), Higher Education for Business. New York: Columbia University Press. (This study was sponsored by the Ford Foundation.) Grant, Robert M Handy, Charles (1990), The Age of Unreason. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. Harrigan, Kathryn R. (1986), Managing for Joint Venture Success. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. Hofer, Charles W. and Dan Schendel (1978), Strategy Formulation: Analytical Concepts. St. Paul: West Publishing Company. Houghton, James R. (1989), "The Age of the Hierarchy Is Over," The New York Times (Sunday, September 24), Sec. 3, 3. Houston, Franklin S. (1986), "That Marketing Concept: What It Is and What It Is Not," Journal of Marketing, 50 (April), 81-7. Howard, J. A. (1957), Marketing Management: Analysis and Planning. Homewood, IL: Richard D. Irwin, Inc. Jackson, Barbara B. (1985), "Build Customer Relationships That Last," Harvard Business Review, 63 (November-December), 120-8. Johnston, Russell, and Paul R. Lawrence (1988), "Beyond Vertical Integration--The Rise of the Value-Adding Partnership," Harvard Business Review, 66 (July-August), 94-101. Kotler, Philip (1967), Marketing Management: Analysis, Planning, and Control. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. ------- and Sidney J. Levy (1969), "Broadening the Concept of Marketing," Journal of Marketing, 33 (January), 10-15. Levitt, Theodore (1960), "Marketing Myopia," Harvard Business Review, 38 (July-August), 24-47. Massy, William F. and Frederick E. Webster, Jr. (1964), "Model-Building in Marketing Research," Journal of Marketing Research, 1 (May), 9-13. McCarthy, E. J. (1960), Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach. Homewood, IL: Richard D. Irwin, Inc. McGarry, Edmund D. (1950), "Some Functions of Marketing Reconsidered," in Theory in Marketing, Reavis Cox and Wroe Alderson, eds. Homewood, IL: Richard D. Irwin, Inc., 268. McGee, Lynn W. and Rosann Spiro (1988), "The Marketing Concept in Perspective, " Business Horizons, 31 (May-June), 40-5.