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The Marketing Institution by Ralph F. Breyer (1934)

Eric Shaw (Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 18 August 2014



The purpose of this review is to examine an early marketing textbook for its insights into concepts and theory that may have relevance today.


To examine the book in light of the commentary provided by numerous scholars over the decades since its publication.


The latter half of the book, about the marketing implications of the “New Deal” response to the “Great Recession” of the 1930s, is out of date; however, the first half offers an insightful analysis of the marketing system and the rudiments of a general theory of marketing.

Research limitations/implications

Providing a rationale for marketing systems and core concepts for building a general theory of marketing, the book therefore has much to recommend it to students of marketing thought and theory.


This book was first reviewed some 80 years ago. With a longer time horizon, and the additional comments by numerous scholars in the historical literature, a more meaningful appraisal of the influence of this work can now be made.



Shaw, E. (2014), " The Marketing Institution by Ralph F. Breyer (1934)", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 449-454.



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