Reconnecting Marketing to Markets

May 26, 2011

Editors: Luis Araujo, John Finch and Hans Kjellberg

Edition: First

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Pages: 296

Price: £60.00 and £24.99

ISBN 9780199578061 and 578078

Marketing is still a relatively new discipline, and as a field that draws widely on other disciplines, it can be quite fragmented. This fragmentation has resulted in work that is grounded in economic, psychological or sociological approaches, and alongside the broadening of the marketing concept, one could say that there has been a narrowing of vision among some scholars in marketing when weighing micro considerations.

This edited collection identifies the need for marketing scholars to "reconnect marketing to markets" and proposes that in order to do so, it is necessary to re-engage with notions of the market. In drawing together contributions from marketers, sociologists and organisation-studies scholars, the book allows the reader to consider the constitution and importance of theorisations of the market for marketing scholars.

In setting this collection apart from dominant conceptualisations of the market, the authors present markets as dynamic and in constant flux, being shaped and reshaped by marketing practice.

The introduction highlights the four assumptions that underpin the collection: that markets are practical outcomes; marketing knowledge is performative; market exchanges require framing; and market agents are hybrid collectives. These key assumptions can be seen as closely linked to the IMP (Industrial Marketing and Purchasing) approach to understanding the (industrial) markets from which the editors acknowledge this collection has emerged, and also point to the influence of the work of Bruno Latour and Michel Callon on this volume.

The individual chapters highlight empirical work that presents markets as hybrid socio-economic configurations, emphasising the performative nature of these practices. Covering a range of research settings and considerations including acts of consumption, online retailers, new product development, the notion of the trading zone and contested market interactions and fair-trade retailers, the contributions illustrate the roles of the trade press, business associations, regulatory bodies and calculative agents in shaping the market.

Callon's chapter articulates the contribution that this volume makes to the wider project of understanding markets. In doing so, he highlights the need to study marketing collectives in order to enrich our understanding of the market. Collections such as this one allow the authors (and readers) to explore questions in a broader and more adventurous manner than is often possible in journal articles. In uniting the contributions around a theme, this text offers viewpoints that should be read by those in the field of marketing, but would also benefit sociologists, anthropologists and economists interested in markets.

This well-written, empirically grounded collection should be seen as the beginning of a conversation about the relationship between the market and marketing practice, and provides scholars in marketing and beyond with much intellectual food for thought.

Who is it for? Marketing academics, sociologists, anthropologists and economists with an interest in the conceptualisation of marketing and the market.

Presentation: Clear, well written and engaging.

Would you recommend it? I see this as essential reading for postgraduate students of marketing.


Principles and Practice of Social Marketing: An International Perspective

Authors: Rob Donovan and Nadine Henley

Edition: Second

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Pages: 524

Price: £80.00 and £35.00

ISBN 9780521194501 and 1167376

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