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Interpreting Brown and Hackley (2012): From the history to the histories of marketing theory and practice

Mark Tadajewski (Department of Marketing, University of Strathclyde Business School, Glasgow, UK)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 27 April 2012




This paper aims to use Brown and Hackley's contribution to the Journal of Historical Research in Marketing as a springboard for further discussion. It seeks to argue that we can put aside their suggestion that they intend to “stress test the contention that Cowell is Barnum reborn”. This is not what they are trying to do at all. Their point is more elemental. They aim to provoke readers to think critically about the production of marketing histories and histories of marketing thought.


This paper adopts a viewpoint approach.


Given that Brown and Hackley arguably intend to encourage a response to their work and this is a response to their paper means they have been successful in their efforts. They have secured readers for their scholarship in an academic marketplace where many papers go unread, are never cited and whose only worldly “impact” is in terms of the carbon footprint they leave. This said, this paper takes Brown and Hackley seriously, engages with their ideas and offers a variety of ways we can think beyond their “thematic analysis”.


The paper situates Brown and Hackley's account within the wider sphere of marketing thought.



Tadajewski, M. (2012), "Interpreting Brown and Hackley (2012): From the history to the histories of marketing theory and practice", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 316-323.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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