Call for Manuscripts: Consumer Power and Access

M. Paula Fitzgerald, Sterling A. Bone, and Janis K. Pappalardo
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Call for Manuscripts: Consumer Power and Access
Key Takeaways

​What? Consumer power includes the power of voice, power of choice, policy power, and power over firms.

So What? Consumer power and access are in constant flux, influenced by changes in technology, consumer wealth, industry organization, and public policy.

Now What? Consider submitting a manuscript for inclusion in this Special Issue.

​The Journal of Public Policy & Marketing is soliciting manuscripts devoted to marketing andpolicy questions about consumer power and access.

Consumer power includes the power of voice (the ability to express opinions to others), power of choice (the ability to vote with one’s feet), policy power (the power to affect public policy), and power over firms (the ability to affect firm behavior). Consumer access encompasses the consumer’s ability to obtain products and services. This ability to obtain a good or service depends on a number of factors, including consumer income, market prices, the relative ease, effort, knowledge and time costs of obtaining the good or service, and availability of the good or service. Availability depends on firms’ perceptions of consumer demand, federal, state and local governmental regulations, and the cost of providing the good or service (e.g., cost of innovation or compliance with government regulations).

Consumer power and access are in constant flux, influenced by changes in technology, consumer wealth, industry organization, and public policy. Public policy and the regulatory environment affect the dynamics of power and access. For example, governments often determine which goods and services will be legally available to consumers and which goods or services society will provide to all people to ensure a minimum standard of living.

In this special issue, we are interested in the entire consumer journey: (1) the thoughts and actions that occur prior to purchase, (2) the purchase itself, (3) post-purchase cognitions, affect, and behaviors, and (4) feedback loops. The foci of research may explore the power balance or differential, choice freedom or restrictions, and questions of access that exist in a variety of

marketplace exchanges. This includes consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer, business-to- business, and business-to-government interactions.

We are particularly interested in papers that explore issues of shifts of power between consumersand firms, and the positive and negative impacts on consumers and firms. We invite theoretical research, as well as research that use primary or secondary data. We seek papers that propose and test appropriate interventions, mechanisms, and boundary conditions that inform how shifts in power may threaten or enhance consumers and firms. We welcome research that examines power and access shifts through a number of lenses: legal, ethical, economic, psychological, sociological, and behavioral perspectives are all of interest.

We broadly examine the domain of consumer access and power considering, but not exclusive to, the following issues:

  • How is the balance of power evolving between consumers and marketing organizations?

  • Theoretically, what are the boundary conditions of consumer access? What standards should be used to determine where boundaries should be shifted? Where should access be enhanced or limited and why? What are the moral dimensions of restricting or expanding access? How should society pay for expanded access and why? What market failures or government regulations may result in unacceptable loss of consumer access to products or weakened power? What are the limits of consumer redress? How does a successful or unsuccessful attempt to gain access or assert power influence a consumer’s future behavior? Under what conditions do shifts in power improve or diminish consumer well-being?

  • There are many specific domains of interest. A few examples include:

o Healthcare: how changing policies including access to experimental drugs, women’s healthcare, and end-of-life care, intermediaries, and healthcare providers.

o Legal Environment: how regulations affect consumers’ ability to file class action suits and how forced arbitration affect consumers, firms, and intermediaries.

o Locked-in Consumers: special problems that may arise when consumers have little choice over providers, such as mortgage servicers or credit reporting agencies.

o Financial Products: the likely effects on consumer welfare of changes in fiduciary rules or limits on financial products, such as payday loans.

o Discrimination: how policies change the likelihood and effect of overt discrimination or disparate treatment of people based on race, gender, national origin, religion, age, disability, or genetic information

o Social Services: changes in access and quality of services for consumer subcultures, including veterans, immigrants, and people with disabilities.

o Communication Technology: how the growth of social media affects consumer power and voice, firms, and overall welfare.


Submission Requirements and Information

Inquiries can be directed to the special issue co-editors: M. Paula Fitzgerald (, Sterling A. Bone (, or Janis K. Pappalardo (

Submissions should follow the manuscript format guidelines for the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing.

All manuscripts should be submitted through the JPP&M online submission system.

*The submission window for manuscripts is October 1, 2018 – January 10, 2019*


Author Bio:

M. Paula Fitzgerald, Sterling A. Bone, and Janis K. Pappalardo
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