Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 3 May 2011



(2011), "Editorial", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 3 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/jhrm.2011.41203baa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Volume 3, Issue 2

Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence – 2010 Winners

The annual Literati Awards for Excellence celebrate the achievement of our authors and highlight the outstanding quality of the papers published in the Journal of Historical Research in Marketing (JHRM). For papers published in JHRM, Volume 2, 2010, the Outstanding Paper Award was earned by Terrence H. Witkowski (California State University, Long Beach) for his article “The marketing discipline comes of age, 1934-1936”, published in Volume 2, Issue 4.The mid-1930s was a critically important time in the development of the marketing discipline because of the institutional and journal publishing activities that coalesced then, yet that formative period has not been well studied. Witkowski’s article provides some key insights into the politics of the discipline and a solid content analysis of the key periodicals that merged to form the Journal of Marketing. It is an outstanding piece of historical scholarship and an important contribution to the marketing literature.

Emerald also sponsors for each of their journals three highly commended awards and those JHRM winners for Volume 2, 2010 were Fred Beard (University of Oklahoma) and Anna Klyueva (University of Oklahoma) for “George Washington Hill and the ‘Reach for a Lucky…’ campaign”; Steven B. Bunker (University of Alabama) for “Transatlantic retailing: the Franco-Mexican business model of fin-de-siècle department stores in Mexico City”; and Beth Kredatus (Virginia Commonwealth University) for “‘You are a part of all of us’: black department store employees in Jim Crow Richmond”.

Two members of the JHRM Editorial Advisory Board were also honored with Outstanding Reviewer Awards – Tracey Deutsch of the University of Minnesota, and Laura Ugolini of the University of Wolverhampton.

Congratulations to all and thank you for contributing to the success of the JHRM.

In this issue

We sometimes categorize historical research into three broad groups of work – marketing history, history of marketing thought, and historical research methods. The full articles in this issue cover all three of those categories. The issue begins with two articles dealing with marketing history. The first of these, the lead article in this issue, is a very special contribution to the marketing history literature. “A brief history of the gasoline service station” was written in 1956 by the eminent marketing scholar Theodore N. Beckman (1895-1973), but never published. The original paper was written in two sections, the first a summary of the origin and development of gasoline service stations, the second dealing with changes in merchandise lines and services offered by service stations over the first half of the twentieth century. The article in this issue is the first part of Beckman’s original article and published with permission of the Ohio State University Archives. It is an original contribution to the marketing history literature and, at the same time, an important historical document in its own right.

Paul Christ and Rolph Anderson trace the evolution of technology adoption by sales people over a 130-year period from the 1850s through the 1980s. They argue that many of the roles entrusted to sales forces today are linked to a succession of technological adoptions over that 130-year history. Both of these first two articles are classic examples of marketing history – the history of marketing management activities.

Roger A. Layton provides a fitting segue to the history of marketing thought by asking “Marketing: is management all that there is?”. Marketing historian Donald Dixon recently noted that 50 years ago marketing management was only one part of marketing theory but that today marketing management seems to be all that there is. Roger A. Layton reviews criticisms of this development by both internal and external critics of marketing and explores the evolution of marketing thought to examine how and why marketing theory became so narrowly focused – and suggests an approach to resolving the concerns of critics including Dixon.

Robert L. Harrison III, Ann Veeck III, James W. Gentry make a unique and interesting contribution by describing and evaluating the life grid as a methodology for historical research. They demonstrate this methodology by combining life course theory with the life grid method to investigate the dynamics of lifetime family consumption.

The final full article in this issue stretches slightly our editorial objectives of the journal by presenting the first literature review we have published. As readers will note in our “The literature keeps growing” entry at the end of this issue, JHRM does not publish conventional book reviews. Our Explorations & Insights section does, from time to time, include historical review essays, critical reviews of historically important marketing books published long ago. In this issue, Caleb Wellum contributes a critical review of recent histories of Wal-Mart. Since 2006, historians interested in and concerned with a shift to the right in American politics have published a wave of books that analyze Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart economy of mass retailing in historical and global contexts. Wellum examines that literature.

Brian Jones

Explorations & Insights – exploring organizational roots

The Explorations & Insights section in this issue is one that I trust readers will agree is both intellectually interesting and historically important. It consists of brief histories, written by those who were there in the early days and who helped make happen three important marketing seminars. Two of these, the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) annual consortium for doctoral candidates and the Macromarketing Seminar, still take place annually. The first in time of origin, Wroe Alderson’s legendary Marketing Theory Seminar, was last held in 1965. It still lives, however, in the memory of the now emeritus academics who, as young scholars, were fortunate enough to have been invited to attend.

The JHRM Editorial Board recently gained access to a brief history of the Alderson seminars written decades ago by Dr E.D. McGarry (1891-1973), one of the founders, along with Alderson and Leo Aspinwall, of that Seminar. The paper was presented by E.D. McGarry (but never published until now) at the August 1965 Theory Seminar following Wroe’s death a few months earlier. The McGarry account, after providing a very relevant historical context, focuses in some detail on seminars held in the 1950s. McGarry acknowledges his coverage of the early 1960s is less complete. As one who helped Alderson administer these later meetings out of Wharton, I can assure readers that they continued along the same lines, without prepared papers as such being presented, though the number in attendance continued slowly but steadily to grow.

As an Assistant Professor at the time, it was a great honor for me to meet the greats of our own and kindred academic fields and to listen to the intellectual interaction between them, scholars, such as P.D. Converse, Ralph Cassady, Larry Lockley, Bill Baumol, and Kenneth Boulding. This was also my first opportunity to interact with Bill Lazer, Bill Davidson, Gene Kelley, Hans Thorelli, and a number of other outstanding members of the next academic generation up from my own. Finally, there were young scholars like Monty Sommers, Al Doody, and Al Barnhill all of whom became friends and the last two co-authors of mine in the years that followed.

The first of the annual AMA Doctorial Consortia were very different kinds of meetings. Drs William Lazer and Peter D. Bennett both describe these early gatherings and then contrast them with what that same event has now become. My personal experience with the consortium is limited to one week of service as a Resident Fellow at the event held, in 1971 I believe, at the University of Western Ontario. I still recall that as an exciting meeting where our discipline’s then “best and brightest” interacted with a group of scholars in training, some of whom went on subsequently to earn that same designation. It was, one of these young attendees said, “like meeting your marketing library face-to-face”. I can assure readers that Bill and Pete in their contribution have both captured the spirit of that early gathering and, more generally, have preserved a piece of Consortium history that would otherwise be lost.

Then, finally, there is Bob Nason’s description of the early days of the Macromarketing Seminar, a meeting I still view as the annual gathering of “my people”. That group comes together each year to explore different aspects of how well marketing is serving as society’s provisioning technology. Though I subsequently had an unbroken record of attendance at the next 15 seminars, I must confess I did not attend the first two gatherings. Though invited, I had initially dismissed the meeting as essentially yet one more effort, like two that had preceded it, to relive the past by relaunching the Alderson seminars. The early macromarketing gatherings I did attend, as well as the two seminars I missed, are well described by Dr Nason though he modestly understates the key role he personally played in assuring the continuation of these meetings after Chuck Slater’s untimely demise.

We are honored to add these contributions to other articles relevant to the history of the marketing discipline that JHRM has already published. I refer, of course, to the material on the early history of the CHARM Conference found in JHRM’s inaugural “Hollander” issue and to Terrence H. Witkowski’s contribution – recently chosen by the editors of JHRM as the best article published in 2010 – on the history of the two organizations that came together in the mid-1930s to form the AMA. All of this information belongs on the record so that subsequent generations of marketing scholars have available to them a fuller and more complete history of the institutional origins of their discipline.

Stan Shapiro

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