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Marketers and educationalists – two communities divided by time?

Paul Gibbs (National Centre for Work Based Learning Partnerships, Middlesex University, London, UK)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 28 March 2008




In this conceptual discussion paper the author seeks to suggest that marketing as a technology of the market has contributed to the foreshortening of educational horizons within which we act or observe but can only hold for declining durations. To satisfy this demand for more in time, marketing has contributed to the commoditisation of consumption patterns in time and foreshortened the acceptable temporal range over which consumption can be achieved.


This paper is philosophical in nature.


Marketing has, it is proposed, contributed to change in essence of educational provision. Moreover the clash of temporalities of marketing and liberal education creates a tension that directly effects the provision of education. This can be seen in lifelong education which it is suggested is functionally a series of short bite‐sized exposures to learning, readily consumable often one after the other with the rubric of linear time.

Practical implications

The paper raises issues that managers and marketers of higher education need to be aware of in order not to use the tools of marketing carelessly.


The value of the paper is in the debate it might encourage about the dialectic relationship between marketing and education in a time of managerialism and consumerism.



Gibbs, P. (2008), "Marketers and educationalists – two communities divided by time?", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 269-278.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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