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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2015

Brian Jones and Mark Tadajewski

The purpose of this paper is to document contributions to the early study and teaching of marketing at one of the first universities in Britain to do so and, in that way…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to document contributions to the early study and teaching of marketing at one of the first universities in Britain to do so and, in that way, to contribute to the literature about the history of marketing thought. Given that the first university business program in Britain was started in 1902, at about the same time as the earliest business programs in America, the more specific purpose of this paper was to explore whether or not the same influences were shared by pioneer marketing educators on both sides of the Atlantic.

Design/methodology/approach

An historical method is used including a biographical approach. Primary source materials included unpublished correspondence (letterbooks), lecture notes, seminar minute-books, course syllabi and exams, minutes of senate and faculty meetings, university calendars and other unpublished documents in the William James Ashley Papers at the University of Birmingham.

Findings

The contributions of William James Ashley and the Commerce Program at the University of Birmingham to the early twentieth-century study and teaching of marketing are documented. Drawing from influences similar to those on pioneer American marketing scholars, Ashley used an historical, inductive, descriptive approach to study and teach marketing as part of what he called “business economics”. Beginning in 1902, Ashley taught his students about a relatively wide range of marketing strategy decisions focusing mostly on channels of distribution and the functions performed by channel intermediaries. His teaching and the research of his students share much with the early twentieth-century commodity, institutional and functional approaches that dominated American marketing thought.

Research limitations/implications

William James Ashley was only one scholar and the Commerce Program at the University of Birmingham was only one, although widely acknowledged as the first, of a few early twentieth-century British university programs in business. This justifies future research into the possible contributions to marketing knowledge made by other programs such as those at the University of Manchester (1903), University of Liverpool (1910) and University of London (1919).

Originality/value

This paper adds an important chapter to the history of marketing thought which has been dominated by American pioneer scholars, courses, literature and ideas.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 49 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 March 2009

D.G. Brian Jones, Eric H. Shaw and Deborah Goldring

The purpose of this paper is to examine the history of the Conferences on Historical Analysis & Research in Marketing (CHARM) from their inception in 1983 through 2007…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the history of the Conferences on Historical Analysis & Research in Marketing (CHARM) from their inception in 1983 through 2007 focusing on the influence of Stanley C. Hollander, who co‐founded the CHARM conference and whose drive and determination fueled its growth for the first 20 years.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses traditional historical narrative based on personal interviews, archival research, and content analysis of CHARM Proceedings.

Findings

The history of CHARM is described and Hollander's role in developing the conference is highlighted.

Originality/value

There is no written history of CHARM. This story is a major part of Hollander's legacy.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 March 2009

D.G. Brian Jones and William Keep

The purpose of this paper is to describe Stanley C. Hollander's doctoral seminar in the history of marketing thought and offer some insights into its uniqueness.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe Stanley C. Hollander's doctoral seminar in the history of marketing thought and offer some insights into its uniqueness.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a combination of personal reflections, personal interviews, and documentation from the final offering of the course.

Findings

Hollander's course was distinctive among such efforts at doctoral education and probably one of the last such seminars in North America.

Originality/value

There has been little written about teaching the history of marketing thought and to date no published account of Hollander's seminar.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 June 2020

Mark Tadajewski and D.G. Brian Jones

The purpose of this paper is to provide an historical analysis of an important early contribution to the history of marketing thought literature – the six-book series…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an historical analysis of an important early contribution to the history of marketing thought literature – the six-book series titled The Knack of Selling – which was published in 1913 and intended as an early training course for salesmanship.

Design/methodology/approach

This research utilized a close, systematic reading of The Knack of Selling series and places it in the professional and intellectual context of the early twentieth century. Books published about marketing are primary source materials for any study of the history of marketing thought. In this case, The Knack series constitutes significant primary source material for a study of early thinking about personal selling.

Findings

Echoing A.W. Shaw, Watson offers a more sophisticated interpretation of the “one best way” approach associated with Frederick Taylor. Watson’s advice did not entail the repetition of canned sales talks to each customer. His vision of practice was more complicated. Sales presentations were temporally and locationally relative. They were subject to ongoing evolution. As the marketplace changed, as customer needs and interests shifted, so did organizational and salesperson performances. To keep sales talks relevant to the consumer, personnel were encouraged to undertake rudimentary ethnographic research and interviews. Unusually, there is oscillation in the way power relations between marketer and customer were described. While relational themes are present, so are military metaphors.

Originality/value

This is the first systematic reading of The Knack of Selling that has been produced. It is an important contribution to the literature inasmuch as this book set is not in wide circulation. The material itself was significant as an input into scholarship subsequently hailed as seminal within sales management.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 November 2011

Ronald Savitt

The purpose of this article is to advance biographical work in marketing, to summarize the status of biography in marketing, and to illustrate the process with an example…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to advance biographical work in marketing, to summarize the status of biography in marketing, and to illustrate the process with an example of a developing study.

Design/methodology/approach

The article is based on a literature review of biography and a brief review of biography in marketing; the article illustrates biographical research and writing.

Findings

The discussion introduces approaches for undertaking marketing biography, especially the challenges of developing information, assessing its quality, as well as methods for telling the story.

Research limitations/implications

Biography is a “flawed process”. It is difficult to fully elaborate the scope of biography in a journal length article let alone apply the principles. Some topics are shortened, others are hinted at, and others are omitted but the discussion points the way to undertaking biography.

Originality/value

This article introduces contemporary elements for the development of marketing biography illustrated with elements from the life of E.T. Grether.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 November 2011

Stephen Brown

Felicitous writing is enormously important. However, the art of writing well is rarely addressed by marketing scholars. This paper seeks to argue that the marketing

Abstract

Purpose

Felicitous writing is enormously important. However, the art of writing well is rarely addressed by marketing scholars. This paper seeks to argue that the marketing academy has much to learn from historiography, a sub‐discipline devoted to the explication of historical writing.

Design/methodology/approach

Although it is primarily predicated on published works, this paper is not a conventional literature review. It relies, rather, on the classic historical method of “compare and contrast”. It considers parallels between the paired disciplines yet notes where marketing and history diverge in relation to literary styles and scientific aspirations.

Findings

It is concluded that marketing writing could benefit from greater emphasis on “character” and “storytelling”. These might help humanise a mode of academic communication that is becoming increasingly abstruse and ever‐more unappealing to its readership.

Research implications

If its argument is accepted by the academic community – and, more importantly, acted upon – this paper should transform the writing of marketing. Although the academic reward systems and power structures of marketing make revolutionary change unlikely, a “scholarly spring” is not inconceivable.

Originality/value

The paper's originality rests in the observation that originality is unnecessary. All of the literary‐cum‐stylistic issues raised in this paper have already been tackled by professional historians. Whether marketers are willing to learn from their historical brethren remains to be seen.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 November 2018

Elin Gardeström

This study aims to analyze the use of two concepts, propaganda and advertisement, in two areas of Swedish society during the 1930s; first, their use by the advertisement…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyze the use of two concepts, propaganda and advertisement, in two areas of Swedish society during the 1930s; first, their use by the advertisement business, and second, their use by the Swedish Cooperative Union and Wholesale Society.

Design/methodology/approach

By adopting a perspective of conceptual history, inspired by Reinhart Koselleck, the author is trying to pinpoint the meanings that were ascribed to these concepts in a 1930s context, the interdependency between these concepts and other keywords that were used in connection with them.

Findings

The study reveals how the ambiguous and synonymous use of these concepts served different purposes in the two fields of study. In the 1930s, propaganda was a key concept of communication and was used in manifold ways for selling goods and disseminating ideas. Propaganda was used to explain the newly introduced American marketing terminology. During the 1930s, the field of advertisement was trying to change what previously had been labeled as “idea propaganda” into “advertisement.” The ambiguous use of concepts made it possible for the Swedish Cooperative Union and Wholesale Society to combine advertisement for their produced goods with disseminating ideas of the cooperative ideology. The concepts of enlightenment (upplysning) and propaganda were crucial to hold together the ideological and commercial parts of the cooperative movement.

Originality/value

The interaction of meanings between commercial and political concepts is rarely researched in conceptual history or marketing history, which this article advocates to be an important field of study.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Ruth N. Bolton

My goal is to describe my life in marketing over more than 36 years and to help readers better understand (from my personal perspective) the history of marketing. I also…

Abstract

Purpose

My goal is to describe my life in marketing over more than 36 years and to help readers better understand (from my personal perspective) the history of marketing. I also aim to lift the curtain on some aspects of service within the marketing community.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is an autobiographical sketch. It describes some key moments in my career, as well as describing how my most cited articles came to be written. It emphasizes the contextual factors at work in different periods, so readers can better understand how and why my research evolved in certain ways. I aim to convey the nature and variety of career experiences that were (and are) open to marketing academics. I discuss my experiences at the Journal of Marketing and the Marketing Science Institute.

Findings

Marketing changed rapidly between 1974 and 2017. Although change can be uncomfortable, I urge marketers to seek exposure to new ideas and practices; they are essential to learning and growth. Unexpected opportunities will come along and an alert individual can learn much from them. My time in industry was a learning experience for me. There are many kinds of interesting and successful careers.

Practical implications

The marketing field advances, not by the work of a single individual, but from the accumulated work of the entire marketing community. Everyone has a role to play. I encourage each individual to look for ways to contribute. I offer thoughts on how to build a research career based on my own experience.

Social implications

My thoughts may shed some light on the experiences of a woman academic and the globalization of marketing academia between 1974 and 2017.

Originality/value

My hope is that this paper contributes to a better understanding of the history of marketing, when it is considered together with other articles on this topic. It may also be useful to people who are embarking upon a career, as well as those seeking to understand the work of earlier marketing scholars.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

D.G. Brian Jones and Alan J. Richardson

The aim of this study is to explore the attempts by early twentieth century cyclecar manufacturers in the UK and USA to segment the personal transportation market and to…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to explore the attempts by early twentieth century cyclecar manufacturers in the UK and USA to segment the personal transportation market and to position early cyclecars through the development of unique product attributes and advertising. More specifically, the authors speculate about early twentieth century British cyclecar marketing strategies that implicitly recognized a sports car segment and positioned cyclecar brands to meet the needs of that segment.

Design/methodology/approach

The primary source material for this research is a sample of 205 print ads and articles from the early twentieth century (1912-1921) specialty magazines devoted to cyclecars in the UK and USA. We combine the content analysis of the sample of ads with a critical reading and interpretation of a sub-sample of those same ads.

Findings

Between 1910 and 1921, a new form of personal transportation was developed that combined the technology of motorcycles with the utility of automobiles. Known as “cyclecars”, these vehicles were typically constructed from off-the-shelf motorcycle parts and assembled in small batches by a myriad of manufacturers. Current scholarship suggests that the cyclecar craze of the 1910s ended with the introduction of low cost “real” automobiles such as the Ford Model T, Austin 7 and Morris Oxford. We use the content analysis of cyclecar advertisements to construct a brand-positioning map of this emerging segment of the transportation market. We argue that while the core cyclecar positioning was in direct competition with small economically positioned cars such as the Ford Model T, a significant part of the market, primarily centered in the UK, could be considered as for sports cars. That segment of the cyclecar market, along with the development of cyclecars into urban delivery vehicles, continued over time and has re-emerged today in a range of three-wheeled sports cars, including the updating and continuation of the British Morgan 3 Wheeler model which was launched during the heyday of cyclecars.

Research limitations/implications

The authors can only speculate about the impact of the Ford Model T in this study. Further research on that issue is needed.

Originality/value

This is the first historical study of cyclecar marketing. Most of what little has been published about cyclecars focuses on their design and technology.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 July 2020

Mark Tadajewski and D.G. Brian Jones

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Abstract

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

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