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Addressing the research needs of the insurance sector

Julie Robson (Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK)
Yasmin Sekhon (Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK)

International Journal of Bank Marketing

ISSN: 0265-2323

Article publication date: 11 October 2011




The purpose of this paper is to report on HEIF4 funded research exploring the important areas of research currently being conducted by insurance research practitioners and to identify the key challenges they face when conducting this research.


Empirical data was collected via ten in‐depth telephone interviews and two separate round table group discussions with research practitioners in the general insurance sector.


Three key challenges were identified: over‐researching and respondent fatigue; the increasing use of incentives and the emergence of professional respondents; and the problem of ensuring research credibility. The findings reveal the need to update research practices, to take account of the changing context within which research is undertaken, discussing research methodologies and social issues as well as the evolving and ever changing nature of research.

Research limitations/implications

The study focused on the general insurance sector. The challenges identified reflect in part the unique nature of this sector but are likely to be equally applicable to other financial services sectors. It would therefore be useful to explore the prevalence of these challenges in other financial sectors.

Practical implications

The paper calls on academic researchers to address the challenges identified. Research practitioners want further information, guidance and to learn from “best practice” on how new research techniques can be used to provide quality and timely research; the impact incentives have on research in a business and management context; and how the value of research can be measured. These implications are discussed against a financial backdrop and take account of academic, practitioner and industry challenges.


Academic research on marketing in the insurance context remains scant. This paper highlights the needs and challenges of this sector.



Robson, J. and Sekhon, Y. (2011), "Addressing the research needs of the insurance sector", International Journal of Bank Marketing, Vol. 29 No. 7, pp. 512-516.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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