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Teaching marketing to non-marketing majors: tools to enhance their engagement and academic performance

James M. Crick (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Dave Crick (Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 27 May 2021

Issue publication date: 9 July 2021




While there has been a significant amount of work involving marketing education, it is unclear how faculty members can increase the engagement and achievement of non-subject specialists. Accordingly, guided by Bloom's Taxonomy, this current study examines the ways that academics can teach marketing to non-marketing undergraduate majors, with a focus on enhancing their engagement and academic performance.


Survey responses (and related archival information) were collected from 181 non-marketing majors in the United Kingdom (studying marketing modules as part of their undergraduate degrees). Such data passed a series of key robustness checks. The hypothesized and control paths were tested via covariance-based structural equation modeling. In addition, 20 semi-structured interviews were used to explore the underlying issues behind the statistical results.


Two variables were positive drivers of engaging non-marketing students, namely, discussion-oriented interactions and relating marketing to non-marketing subjects. However, integrating theory with practice produced a negative, but non-significant relationship with engaging non-marketing students. In turn, engaging non-marketing students yielded a positive and significant association with academic performance. The follow-up interviews suggested that to best-engage non-marketing majors, educators should consider hosting guest speakers (e.g. owner-managers) to demonstrate how their university-level studies are applicable to “real-world” subject contexts, like sports management and engineering when they graduate.


This current article strengthens the extant literature by identifying some actionable tools that can be employed to enhance the engagement and academic performance of non-subject specialists. This is important, since faculty members are under increased pressure to become effective teachers and facilitate student satisfaction (alongside their other duties, including research and administration). Hence, this paper assists such individuals to cope with the rapidly changing landscape of the higher education sector. In fact, Bloom's Taxonomy was a relevant pedagogical theory for unpacking how educators can teach marketing to non-marketing majors.



Crick, J.M. and Crick, D. (2021), "Teaching marketing to non-marketing majors: tools to enhance their engagement and academic performance", Education + Training, Vol. 63 No. 6, pp. 833-851.



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