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Philip Kotler's influence in the Soviet Union and Russia

Karen F.A. Fox (Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California, USA)
Irina I. Skorobogatykh (Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics, Moscow, Russia)
Olga V. Saginova (Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics, Moscow, Russia)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 7 March 2008




The purpose of this paper is to document the first major step in the dissemination of modern marketing knowledge in the Soviet Union, the publication of a heavily censored, translated, unauthorized edition of Kotler's Marketing Management in Moscow in 1980. Kotler and his books in Russian translation have continued to inform how Russian marketers understand and implement marketing.


The research approach was historical, based on close comparison of texts; research in the USA and in Russia on the historical context; a comprehensive compilation of Kotler books translated into the Russian language; and interviews with key participants in the book's preparation.


The Soviet edition of Marketing Management was widely read by Soviet foreign trade experts and guided training for Soviet foreign trade enterprise managers in the 1980s. Kotler's book was the first – and, for a decade, the only – book on modern marketing in the Russian language. The story of the book's selection, censorship, publication, and impact provide insights into Soviet thinking about marketing and trade, and about post‐Soviet readiness to adopt modern marketing.


This paper presents for the first time the story behind the translation, censorship, and publication of Kotler's Marketing Management in the Soviet Union. It documents subsequent Kotler books published in the Soviet Union/Russia and how they shaped Kotler's reputation there.



Fox, K.F.A., Skorobogatykh, I.I. and Saginova, O.V. (2008), "Philip Kotler's influence in the Soviet Union and Russia", European Business Review, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 152-176.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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