Prior research acknowledges the lack of theorizing of markets within marketing. This paper aims to capture the emerging themes linked to different conceptualizations of the market and provide a language system for theorizing the market.
The paper conducts a bibliometric analysis of 177 articles and 22 keywords and adopts Mele et al.’s (2015) market conceptualization to interpret the results.
The bibliometric analysis detects five thematic clusters: market driving, market exchange, market shaping, market practices and macro-marketing. Based on their degrees of relevance and development, these are arranged into two groups. The analysis of these two language systems shows a shift toward a more comprehensive conversation on how the market is conceptualized. The authors synthesize this shift under the expression “from market driving to market shaping.”
The comparison of the two language systems allows the argument that market is a complex concept and that to understand it necessitates a rich set of terms.
The different ways of conceptualizing the market mean that managers face a choice when analyzing their market situations (what language system to use). This choice will be consequential for their subsequent actions.
This paper contributes to the identification of two rival language systems and narratives: market driving and market shaping.
Pels, J., Mele, C. and Spano, M. (2023), "From market driving to market shaping: impact of a language shift", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 38 No. 1, pp. 155-169. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-10-2021-0503
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