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Debbie MacInnis, autobiographical reflections

Debbie MacInnis (University of Southern California-Marshall School of Business)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 22 May 2019

Issue publication date: 11 July 2019




The purpose of this paper is to provide some background and context to MacInnis’ 33-year life as a marketing academic and to share some of the trials, tribulations and joys that have characterized her professional career.


This paper is autobiographical, highlighting some key aspects of MacInnis’ career, including the various educational, administrative, editorial, teaching and consulting roles she has held and how they have influenced her development as a scholar.


MacInnis emphasizes the importance of doing what is interesting, sticking with topics you love and working with people who inspire you and are great collaborators. We continually evolve as scholars in light of the continual changes in academic knowledge and in the world of marketing. Those changes provide exciting and enticing career opportunities.

Practical implications

Everyone should follow their own path. She has been fortunate to pursue a number of different roles in the profession, but she has learned to differentiate which activities best match who she is as an individual. Debbie would encourage others to do the same.

Social implications

We can contribute most when we understand ourselves, our strengths, our weaknesses and the other aspects of our lives that make life meaningful to us.


The essay offered here reflects Debbie’s path alone. Her hope is that by articulating her history, she can share with others the range of opportunities available in the field. There is no one way to succeed, and while she is not sure that her choices have made her the most successful that she could be, they are the choices she has made and she is happy to have learned both about the world and herself through these choices.



MacInnis, D. (2019), "Debbie MacInnis, autobiographical reflections", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 117-139.



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