As the title suggests, the purpose of this paper is to provoke. Provocation is usually aimed at generating reaction, and in this case, it is hoped that reaction will be in the form of some self‐questioning, some reappraisal, of the context within which marketing decisions are made, and indeed, of the very concept of marketing which influences contemporary activity in the area. An alternative framework for analysing marketing activity is suggested, not so much for its own value, but for its ability to demonstrate that there may be many unexplored alternative approaches to the study and design of marketing systems.
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