JM Insights in the Classroom
The field of consumer behavior has developed a set of implicit boundaries about what we study, why we do so and how we execute our research which limits our impact on marketplace stakeholders and academics in other disciplines. Breaking these boundaries can broaden our impact.
We offer a conceptual framework that details implicit boundaries and ways of breaking them. We offer guidance to authors by (a) describing 5 case studies that are exemplars of our ideas (b) articulating activities that researchers and gatekeepers can engage in to foster impact, and (c) noting other exemplar articles that have broken boundaries.
Breaking the boundaries we describe when engaging in consumer research benefits individual consumer researchers and the field of consumer behavior.
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MacInnis, Deborah, Vicki G. Morwitz, Simona Botti, Donna Hoffman, Robert Kozinets, Donald R. Lehmann, John G. Lynch, Jr.,Connie Pechmann (2020), “Creating Boundary-Breaking Marketing-Relevant Consumer Research,” Journal of Marketing, 84(2), 1–23.
Consumer research often fails to have broad impact on members of our own discipline, on adjacent disciplines studying related phenomena, and on relevant stakeholders who stand to benefit from the knowledge created by our rigorous research. We propose that impact is limited because consumer researchers have adhered to a set of implicit boundaries or defaults regarding what we study, why we study it, and how we do so. We identify these boundaries and describe how they can be challenged. We show that boundary-breaking marketing-relevant consumer research can impact relevant stakeholders (including academics in our own discipline and allied ones, and a wide range of marketplace actors including business practitioners, policymakers, the media, and society) by detailing five articles and identifying others that have had such influence. Based on these articles, we articulate what researchers can do to break boundaries and enhance the impact of their research. We also indicate why engaging in boundary-breaking work and enhancing the breadth of our influence is good for both individual researchers and the fields of consumer research and marketing.
Special thanks to Kelley Gullo and Holly Howe, Ph.D. candidates at Duke University, for their support in working with authors on submissions to this program.
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