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Russ Belk, autobiographical reflections

Russell Belk (York University, Toronto, Canada)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 15 May 2017




By tracing something of my history in becoming a marketing professor and conducting research, I hope to demonstrate that if I can flourish without compromising my ideals or losing my enthusiasm for research, so can anyone.


I attempt to show my trajectory, emphasizing the little turns along the way that have sent me in certain directions. I also discuss several of my most cited articles and discuss how they emerged.


I emphasize reading broadly, working with interesting co-authors, learning from my students and breaking free of narrow disciplinary boundaries as ways that have helped to stimulate and inspire me. The implicit message here is to take a chance and dare to do something different from what seems to be the mainstream.

Practical implications

There is certainly no single way to pursue a successful career. But I hope that by showing how I happened to get to where I am, I may give support and encouragement to those who may feel they are outside the academic mainstream in marketing or that their ideas don’t quite jell with those of colleagues.


The story and opinions here are mine alone. Together with others’ biographies and autobiographies (Shaw and Wilkinson, 2011), hopefully the reader can find a range of possibilities.



Belk, R. (2017), "Russ Belk, autobiographical reflections", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 191-202.



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