Looking backward - and ahead: the Explorations & Insights section

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 20 March 2009



Shapiro, S.J. (2009), "Looking backward - and ahead: the Explorations & Insights section", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 1 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/jhrm.2009.41201aaf.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Looking backward - and ahead: the Explorations & Insights section

Article Type: Explorations and insights From: Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Volume 1, Issue 1

Welcome to the Explorations & Insights (E&I) section of the new Journal of Historical Research in Marketing. I was both flattered and surprised when Brian Jones asked me to serve as the first Book Review Editor of the journal. The surprise was, of course, due to the fact that my only major publication on the history of marketing practice had appeared years, indeed decades, ago (Shapiro and Doody, 1968). And only very recently, and after an equally long absence from the marketing thought area, had I returned there to co-edit a publication on Wroe Alderson (Wooliscroft et al., 2006). Also, the last CHARM conference I attended had been the 1997 meeting in Kingston, Ontario.

All the above notwithstanding, the offer to return to an initial area of academic interest and to assist in the launching of a new journal serving that area proved irresistible. What alternative did a long retired academic, one who felt himself to be approaching the status of historical artifact, have? I accepted Brian’s offer in the hope that I could successfully launch something of value that some far younger “other” would then take over and further develop. However, and as most academics are wont to do, I immediately questioned the proposed “terms of reference.”

As indicated above, Brian’s original offer was for me to serve as the journal’s Book Review Editor. However, our subsequent electronic exchanges led to a joint decision that the new section should have a somewhat expanded focus. That focus was first spelled out in a November 15, 2007 e-mail to the new journal’s Editorial Review Board: Brian, his co-editors and I see this section as broad in scope, including the occasional book review but only of publications that specifically explore the Marketing History/Marketing Thought area. In addition, we see this section as the vehicle we would use to call attention to, and even republish, seminal thinkers and inappropriately neglected intellectual concepts. We also see it as presenting approaches to the teaching of marketing history both as a subject in its own right and as a deepening dimension of principles and other courses. It’s currently expected, as well, that this would be an invited rather than a double blind-reviewed section and one where commentaries of all sorts would be welcomed.

Such were the Explorations we then thought were in order, such were the Insights we hoped to provide. But to what extent have these editorial objectives been realized? What, exactly, was to be published in efforts to achieve them? That question is best answered by familiarizing readers with what, a year later, has now been scheduled for inclusion in the first several E&I sections.

In this inaugural issue, dedicated to marketing history’s academic founding father, Stan Hollander, readers will find reminiscences provided by Bill Lazer, a long time Hollander colleague at Michigan State University, on Hollander’s relocation to MSU, his academic life there and the founding of CHARM. Also included is a Jones and Keep commentary that discusses how Hollander was teaching his doctoral level History of Marketing Thought course toward the end of his career. The readings that students were assigned in that class are also revealed.

These are the Insights being provided, but what Explorations were conducted and what was discovered? This aspect of our editorial mandate is reflected in two brief reviews of what would otherwise have likely remained lost Hollander literature. Before the publication in this issue of Paula McLean’s review of Hollander’s History of Labels monograph, it seems likely, even among readers who consider themselves familiar with Hollander’s published work, that few knew such a monograph existed. A companion Hollander monograph on Sales Devices Throughout the Ages, From 2500 B.C. to 1953 A.D. was also rescued from intellectual oblivion, this time because of an invited review co-authored by Maureen Bourassa and William Murphy.

But enough about the content of our initial E&I section. What can readers expect to find in future E&I sections? The next issue will contain not reviews but rather three “thought pieces,” authored, respectively, by Robert Tamilia, Eric Shaw, and Goran Svensson. Each paper will use as a launching platform, or intellectual point of departure, the recently published Tadajewski and Jones three volume collection of readings on the History of Marketing Thought. The third issue of the journal will be a special one devoted to the history of North American retailing while the fifth issue will have a similar, but UK, retailing focus. It thus seemed only appropriate that the accompanying E&I sections provide interested readers with literature reviews and commentaries on retailing history. This material will be prepared primarily by scholars writing from disciplinary perspectives other than marketing.

Also already scheduled are E&I sections, similar to what one finds in this issue on Stan Hollander, which will focus on the intellectual contributions, the mentorship activities, and the teaching approaches of Professors Danny Monieson (Issue 4) and Don Dixon (Issue 7). The teaching of marketing history and the History of Marketing Thought will be explored in a number of E&I sections. The first of these will be the one that accompanies Issue 6 of the journal, a section to which Ron Savitt is already a confirmed contributor.

We very much hope readers will find this and future E&I sections readable, relevant, and of scholarly importance. I welcome any feedback you choose to provide on what is published in this section. I also look forward to hearing from any and all who feel they might themselves have something to contribute to the E&I sections in future Journal of Historical Research in Marketing issues.

Stanley J. Shapiro Editor, Explorations & Insights, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada


Shapiro, S.J. and Doody, A.F. (Eds) (1968), Readings in the History of American Marketing: Settlement to Civil War, Richard D. Irwin, Homewood, IL.

Wooliscroft, B., Tamilia, R.D. and Shapiro, S.J. (Eds) (2006), A Twenty-first Century Guide to Aldersonian Marketing Thought, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, MA.

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