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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

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Mark Tadajewski

This paper reviews the contributions of Harry Tosdal, a pioneer of sales and marketing management. It serves to puncture a variety of marketing myths and illuminate a…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper reviews the contributions of Harry Tosdal, a pioneer of sales and marketing management. It serves to puncture a variety of marketing myths and illuminate a completely neglected concept of the consumer.

Design/methodology/approach

This account is based on a close reading of Tosdal’s publications.

Findings

Tosdal articulated a highly nuanced interpretation of marketing management, market research and sales force management. Each of these elements was keyed into fostering goodwill between firm and customer. Perhaps most importantly, he provides a counterpoint to the idea that the consumer is sovereign in the marketplace. Instead, he makes a case that the ontology of the market is riven by compromise.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the concept of the compromising consumer. Arguably, this is a much more empirically realistic conception of the agency we possess in the marketplace than the idea that we move markets in ways absolutely consistent with our desires.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 July 2020

Mark Tadajewski and D.G. Brian Jones

Abstract

Details

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

Content available
Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

Mark Tadajewski and D.G. Brian Jones

This paper aims to introduce a special issue of the Journal of Historical Research in Marketing which includes autobiographical sketches by leading scholars in the history…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce a special issue of the Journal of Historical Research in Marketing which includes autobiographical sketches by leading scholars in the history of marketing and consumer research.

Design/methodology/approach

A brief review of the (auto)biographical tradition in marketing scholarship leads to a commentary on the four accounts in this issue.

Findings

Highlights of the four portraits are presented and insights into their authors’ lives and careers are offered.

Originality/value

The authors hope this introductory article whets readers’ appetites to learn more about the four contributors whose careers and personal lives are explicated for their consumption.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 June 2020

Mark Tadajewski

This paper examines a neglected stream of literature in marketing theory which engaged with the idea that there was more to consumer behavior than conscious and rational thought.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines a neglected stream of literature in marketing theory which engaged with the idea that there was more to consumer behavior than conscious and rational thought.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a close reading of the core themes that appear in William A. Shryer’s work. Linkages are made to other pertinent sources.

Findings

We extend McMahon’s (1972) study and offer a different reading of Shryer’s writing to that proffered in recent commentary by Tadajewski (2019), focusing on the managerial side of Shryer’s publications, connecting this to the theoretically innovative foundations based on normal and abnormal psychology. We respond to the suggestion proposed by McMahon (1972) that Shryer was an early pioneer of motivation research, largely in the affirmative.

Originality/value

We provide an alternative interpretation of Shryer’s writing, connecting this to an emergent “advertising science” and subsequently to contemporary strands of literature that have a “family resemblance” to his contributions. These include salient aspects of motivation research; crowd and habitual behavior; mindlessness and social cognition; and finally, empirical examinations of cumulative value theory.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 August 2014

Mark Tadajewski

This paper aims to provide a history of a number of intellectual debates in marketing theory and consumer research. It outlines the key arguments involved, highlights the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a history of a number of intellectual debates in marketing theory and consumer research. It outlines the key arguments involved, highlights the politics and acrimoniousness that often accompanied the competition for academic prestige or practitioner remuneration. It weaves the contents of the special issue into its narrative.

Design/methodology/approach

This article engages in a broad historical survey of the history of marketing thought, as it pertains to intellectual debate and disputation.

Findings

While scholars often articulate objectivity as an intellectual ideal, many of the debates that are explored reveal a degree of intellectual intolerance and this is refracted through the institutional system that structures marketing discourse.

Originality/value

This account provides an introduction to the intellectual debates of the last century, highlighting the ebb and flow of marketing thought. It calls attention to debates that are largely under explored and highlights the politics of knowledge production in marketing and consumer research.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 30 September 2019

Mark Tadajewski and D.G. Brian Jones

Abstract

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Mark Tadajewski and Brian Jones

This paper reviews autobiographical accounts of thought leadership in the marketing discipline and draws out pertinent insights for senior, mid-career and junior academics alike.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper reviews autobiographical accounts of thought leadership in the marketing discipline and draws out pertinent insights for senior, mid-career and junior academics alike.

Design/methodology/approach

This narrative is based on a close reading of the pertinent material.

Findings

To be a pioneer in marketing takes considerable hard work, tenacity, serendipity, and a high tolerance for risk.

Originality/value

This manuscript can be used by junior scholars to legitimize the challenges they pose to more established colleagues. It helps contribute to the reversal of extant power relations in academic practice.

Details

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

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

Mark Tadajewski, Andrew Pressey and D.G. Brian Jones

Abstract

Details

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

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 July 2019

Mark Tadajewski and Brian Jones

Abstract

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

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