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Conceptual blending of meanings in business marketing relationships

Sid Lowe (National Institute of Development Administration, Bangkok, Thailand)
Astrid Kainzbauer (College of Management, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand)
Piya Ngamcharoenmongkol (National Institute of Development Administration, Bangkok, Thailand)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 16 July 2019

Issue publication date: 7 October 2019




This paper aims to explore the topic of embodiment as a gap in meaning-making within the literature on business relationships in IMP and business marketing academic discourse. Referring to the theories of embodiment, the authors question the dominant worldview of Cartesian dualism which marginalizes the influence of the body in meaning-making and explore relevant implications of an embodiment agenda for research and practice. The aim is to demonstrate that embodiment has a vitally important influence in the construction of meanings.


The paper provides a review of theoretical and empirical literature on embodied cognition and theories of embodiment to construct a cooking metaphor as an analogical vehicle for exploring meanings within business relationships.


The authors use a cooking metaphor to explore how meaning is created in human interaction. Body and mind blended together produce meaning through the catalyst of discourse and semiotics. Cognition is described as a mixture of rational and non-rational processes involving blended elements of embodied perceptions and psychological ideas stirred and heated in a semiotic “sauce” of discourse (language, communication, information, power/knowledge).


The contribution of the paper is in proposing that both body and mind influence the creation of meanings in business relationships blended through the mediation of language and discourse. The authors aim to advance a “practice” and “linguistic” turn in the business marketing discourse by proposing that embodied, discursive and cognitive processes are more effectively conceived as blended influences.



Lowe, S., Kainzbauer, A. and Ngamcharoenmongkol, P. (2019), "Conceptual blending of meanings in business marketing relationships", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 34 No. 7, pp. 1547-1554.



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