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Call for Papers: 2021 AMA Winter Academic Conference

Call for Papers: 2021 AMA Winter Academic Conference

The Human Side of Marketing in the Age of Digital Transformation

The digital revolution places marketing scholars amid a great transformation, recording changes, developing theoretical discourses to explain changes and contributing to new waves of change. While some technological advances certainly expand human potential, not all changes result in positive outcomes. The current global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the sharp divide between the myriad benefits of digital technology and the inherent risks in over dependence on these technologies and has exposed many points of weakness and vulnerability in the marketplace.

Digital technology enables businesses and customers to deliver and receive customized solutions to address unmet needs, work and engage in marketing exchanges 24-hours-a-day from anywhere in the world, experience endless opportunities for social interaction and entertainment, broaden possibilities for product innovation, revolutionize marketing research and teaching, and increase productivity and performance. Yet there are also dark side conditions under which these positive impacts are not shared by all individuals, groups or institutions in society. The necessary technology for customized digital solutions is not universally accessible, and productivity and performance can be hindered by obsessive, and perhaps excessive, focus on automation.

The 2021 AMA Winter Academic Conference in sunny St. Pete Beach, Florida, seeks to explore the full range of potential benefits and costs of 21st century technology, and calls for a renewed focus on the human side of marketing in the age of digital transformation.

The deadline for submissions is August 7, 2020.

Conference Co-Chairs  |  Tracks  |  Submission Information  |  Ethics

Conference Co-Chairs

Alan Malter

University of Illinois Chicago

Stacey Menzel Baker

Creighton University

Subin Im

Yonsei Business School, Seoul, S. Korea

Conference Tracks

Marketplace Diversity

Track Chairs: Benet DeBerry-Spence, University of Illinois at Chicago, Marie Yeh, Loyola University-Baltimore and Kevin Thomas, Marquette University

The Marketplace Diversity track encourages developmental and critical perspectives on omission (failing to act) and commission (acting erroneously) surrounding marketplace diversity. It welcomes a wide variety of methodological approaches and substantive issues, including how access to and usage of various technologies impact diverse groups. Research that explores diversity in terms of socioeconomics, racial, ethnic, disability, gender, sexual orientation, age, geographic (urban/rural), political and intersectional identities emanating from these social categories is encouraged. The track honors the memory of Geraldine (Gerri) Rosa Henderson whose work, mentorship and voice has been a powerful motivator in this space. Please email the track chairs with any questions at benet@uic.edu, mayeh@loyola.edu or kevin.thomas@marquette.edu.

Sustainability and Social Responsibility

Track Chairs: Ela Veresiu, York University, Canada and Ana Babic Rosario, University of Denver

The Sustainability and Social Responsibility track encourages research surrounding ecological, social and economic considerations and impacts relevant to marketing and business strategy. Research that examines innovative technologies, design and institutional responses from any methodological approach is especially encouraged. In addition, research that examines the tough trade-offs between long-term and short-term interests and between integrity, action and profits is welcome. Please email the track chairs with any questions at everesiu@schulich.yorku.ca or Ana.Babic-Rosario@du.edu.

Public Policy, Macromarketing and Ethics

Track Chairs: Kristen Walker, California State University, Northridge, Meike Eilert, University of Kentucky and Foo Nin Ho, San Francisco State University

The Public Policy, Macromarketing and Ethics track encourages research surrounding laws and regulations, the public interest, marketing systems, quality of life and ethical decision-making from a variety of methodological approaches. Research on innovative approaches to privacy and social and micro-entrepreneurship as each relates to various technologies is especially encouraged. Please email the track chairs with any questions at kristen.walker@csun.edu, mei224@uky.edu or fho@sfsu.edu.

Sales Management and Personal Selling

Track Chairs: Dawn Deeter-Schmelz, Kansas State University and Edward Nowlin, Kansas State University

The Sales Management and Personal Selling track encourages submissions on any aspect of strategy, operations, analysis and practice related to sales and selling performance. Research that interrogates the assistance and impacts provided by various technologies is especially encouraged. Any methodological approach is welcome. Please email the track chairs with any questions at ddeeter@ksu.edu or elnowlin@ksu.edu.

Advertising, Promotion and Marketing Communications

Track Chairs: Nancy Wong, University of Wisconsin- Madison, and Anjala Krishen, University of Nevada-Las Vegas

The Advertising, Promotion and Marketing Communications Track welcomes research on any aspect related to the promotions element of the marketing mix. This may include, but is not limited to, the design and effects of communication strategies, customer engagement, innovative approaches and socially responsible communications. Research on health and well-being is especially encouraged, particularly as it relates to technologies that enhance or detract from one’s quality of life. Any methodological approach is welcome.

Please email the track chairs with any questions at nywong@wisc.edu or anjala.krishen@unlv.edu.

Marketing Strategy

Track Chairs: Alok Saboo, Georgia State University and Kimberly Whitler, University of Virginia (Darden)

Marketing strategy generally refers to the set of decisions regarding “what” (e.g., content and process) and “how” (implementation choices) marketers will achieve desired goals. Accordingly, the Marketing Strategy track invites papers related to (1) strategy content and process decisions, such as strategy type, digital strategy, value propositions, market analysis, performance assessment/review, situation analysis and target market/customer selection, and (2) implementation decisions, such as marketing mix activities, resource allocation, alignment, and performance review. Consistent with the conference theme, we especially encourage papers and/or special session proposals that incorporate digital strategy and the challenges of technology transformation. We welcome conceptual as well as empirical submissions with diverse approaches that offer new perspectives and insights into any of these related areas.  Please email the track chairs with any questions at asaboo@gsu.edu or WhitlerK@darden.virginia.edu.

Channels and Supply Chain Management

Track Chairs: Charles Ingene, University of Oklahoma and Alok Kumar, University of Nebraska

The Channels and Supply Chain Management track seeks original submissions that advance our understanding of B2B markets and the industrial supply chains which underpin them. Special sessions and papers that examine value creation, value delivery and value appropriation between and within organizations and business networks are welcome. Consistent with the conference theme, papers that examine B2B exchange in online and offline settings and its impact on individuals, groups and societies are encouraged, as are manuscripts which deal with the impact of environmental uncertainty and crises on distribution channels. Papers that address Black Swan events, of which the COVID-19 pandemic is a dramatic example, are highly relevant as they call into question the wisdom of supply chains that are designed for maximal efficiency, but do not protect against unpredictable events that can impact a supply chain, global commerce, or demand for a firm’s products or services, or even a firm’s solvency. Conceptual and empirical contributions are welcome. Sample domains include:

  • Interfirm relationships
  • Online channels, business platforms, and digital markets
  • Business networks
  • Cross-national marketing relationships
  • B2B selling and Key Account Management
  • Industrial value chains during crises (e.g., coronavirus)
  • Supply chains, globalization and the human condition
  • Emerging technologies and marketing channels
  • Black Swan events

Please email the track chairs with any questions at caingene@ou.edu or akumar5@unl.edu.

Consumer Psychology

Track Chairs: Jeffrey Parker, University of Illinois at Chicago and Elizabeth Webb, Colorado State University

The Consumer Psychology track welcomes all innovative and groundbreaking research that expands our understanding of consumer behavior in marketing relevant contexts. Special consideration will be given to papers that examine the interaction between consumers and technology in consumption relevant domains. Such research might examine how consumers use technology as decision aids, consumers’ dis/trust of technology, the impact of technology use/reliance on ethical and moral decision-making, privacy concerns that arise with AI and issues of perceived volition, autonomy and control in an increasingly automated world, among other topics. Of course, the myriad topics concerning consumer-technology interactions cannot be listed here and we look forward to seeing the exciting work that is being done. Research on other traditional consumer psychology topics is also welcome, and we encourage submissions from all theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches.

Please email the track chairs with any questions at jeff@uic.edu or elizabeth.webb@colostate.edu.

Consumption, Markets and Culture

Track Chairs: Tonya Williams Bradford, University of California-Irvine amd Meredith Rhoads Thomas, Florida State University

The human experience in the marketplace is observed in various ways through the coronavirus pandemic. Building on this year’s conference theme, we ask: how does consumer culture drive, maintain, or constrain experiences of humanity? What socio-cultural conditions shape experiences of humanity? What relational configurations and stakeholder actions matter? The Consumption, Markets and Culture track seeks papers that consider those experiences. Examples include: over and under-consumption; isolation and quarantine; digital divide, digital disruption and digital transformation; hope and fear; privilege and poverty. This track welcomes inventive empirical and conceptual papers and special session proposals that either uncover new streams of culturally-oriented marketing thought or enrich existing theory on experiences of humanity in relation to digital transformation, market (co)creation and evolution, social connectivity, cultural innovation, collaborative networks, or alternate exchange modes. Please email the track chairs with any questions at tonya.bradford@uci.edu or mthomas@business.fsu.edu

Branding and Brand Management

Track Chairs: Lan Chaplin, University of Illinois at Chicag and Ayalla Ruvio, Michigan State University

This track invites conceptual and empirical papers that build our understanding of branding and brand management, with a special focus on the resiliency of brands. The current global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for brands to show resiliency to make quick pivots and to bounce back from any derailment from their brand strategy. The topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Brands and customer experience
  • Brand crises and failures
  • Brands co-creation
  • Anthropomorphism
  • Global branding
  • Personal branding
  • Brand ethics
  • Brand loyalty, its antecedents and consequences
  • Creating, managing and measuring brand equity
  • Consumers’ relationships with brands
  • The impact of new technologies on branding
  • Online brand engagement

Please email the track chairs with any questions at nguyenl@uic.edu or ruvio@broad.msu.edu.

International and Cross-cultural Marketing

Track Chairs: Goksel Yalcinkaya, University of New Hampshire and Samantha Cross, Iowa State University

The International and Cross-cultural Marketing track invites papers that address all issues and activities relevant to marketing across national and cultural boundaries. Topics addressing international marketing strategy or its individual elements; cross-cultural/national aspects of marketing or buyer behavior, involving brands, products, services, channels, consumers and relationships; and international marketing in the digital age (e.g., international eCommerce) are particularly welcome. Please email the track chairs with any questions at goksel.yalcinkaya@unh.edu or snncross@iastate.edu.

Services, Retailing and Entertainment

Track Chairs: Yong Liu, University of Arizona, Lauren Beitelspacher, Babson College and Martin Mende, Florida State University

The Services, Retailing and Entertainment track focuses on some of the most dynamic areas in marketing. Inspired by the conference theme, we invite submissions that help advance theory and managerial practice in the areas of services, retailing and entertainment/media marketing, with a particular emphasis on emerging marketing processes and identification of ways to transform the marketplace into a better world. Driven by novel business models and rapid technological advancements, companies in the services, retail and entertainment sectors can leverage emerging opportunities (e.g., innovation in customer service experiences as well as product design and delivery), but also face strategic challenges, which require marketers to re imagine what their services/products mean to consumers. For example, some industry observers claim that retail is dying, but it’s not; rather, the landscape of retail is changing: Physically, stores that once adopted a ‘bigger is better’ model are now opting for more streamlined and intimate spaces. Digitally, more consumers shop via mobile and the universe of online reviews has consumers potentially putting their choices in the hands of strangers. In this environment, retailers must find new ways to better engage consumers in more thoughtful, exciting, and meaningful ways. The media and entertainment industries (broadly defined to include markets such as film, TV, radio, music, video gaming, live performance, publishing, and sports) are another highly dynamic sector. Enabled by breakthroughs in information technologies, particularly digital transformation, the impact of media and entertainment products and services on both consumers and the societies overall is profound, but constantly changing and not yet fully understood.

We invite research that provides rigorous theoretical, empirical, and managerial insights into the behavior and strategies in services, retail and entertainment marketing. We welcome innovative and ‘traditional’ research topics related to consumers, service employees, or managers (e.g., consumer behavior, B-2-B, customer experience/relationship management, e-services, transformative services). With regard to media/entertainment, we welcome research focused on consumers/users, content producers, advertisers, copyright/franchise owners, facilitating agencies, or a combination of them. Finally, given the COVID-19 pandemic, we particularly encourage conceptual, empirical, and analytical work on how this crisis might affect the service, retail, and entertainment sectors. Please email the track chairs with any questions at yoliu@arizona.edu, lbeitelspacher@babson.edu or mmende@business.fsu.edu.

Product Development and Innovation

Track Chairs: Anna Cui, University of Illinois at Chicago and Ashish Sood, University of California, Riverside

New technologies and innovations in computing, automation and infrastructure are disrupting marketing and the marketplace. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Natural User Interfaces, Virtual and Augmented Reality, the Internet of Things are having a significant social and economic impact by changing consumer behavior and organizational routines. The Product Development and Innovation track invites papers focused on issues related to new product development, innovation processes within and across firm boundaries and the role of marketing at all stages of innovation such as initiation, development and commercialization. We invite papers that examine the profound impact of product development and innovation on marketing for both researchers and practitioners. Please email the track chairs with any questions at ascui@uic.edu or asood@ucr.edu.

Digital and Social Media Marketing

Track Chairs: Sue Ryung Chang, Yonsei University and Anindita Charkravarty, University  of Georgia

The Digital and Social Media Marketing track aims to understand the impacts of social media and digital technologies on behaviors of customers, firms and society and their implications for marketing actions. In this age of digital transformation, this track invites papers on a wide range of topics related to digital and social media marketing that include:

  • Customer engagement on different digital platforms
  • Impacts of new technologies and digital channels on consumer behavior and marketing strategies
  • Relationship between social media and branding
  • Social media use and implications for international marketing
  • Customer reviews on digital media and consumer decision making
  • Using social media for social impact
  • Mobile marketing and geo-targeting
  • Big data and marketing analytics in the digital world
  • Consumer sentiment analysis and social media marketing
  • Customer privacy in the digital world
  • Rise of fake media and implications for marketing
  • Implications of crowdsourcing for marketing
  • User-generated vs. firm-generated content

Please email the track chairs with any questions at suechang@yonsei.ac.kr or achakra@uga.edu.

Customer Insights from Data Analytics, AI and Machine Learning

Track Chairs: Neeraj Bharadwaj, University of Tennessee and Raoul Kubler, University of Munster, Germany

The volume and variety of data that are being created at an increased velocity poses unique challenges. The structured and unstructured data are massive, which taxes human abilities to collect, store and process. They are also high dimensional, which requires new methodologies and computational capabilities. So how can firms refine and harness structured and unstructured (e.g., video, audio, text) data to generate potential customer insights? Recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can be helpful. This track seeks submissions that explore how Big Data analytics, AI and Machine learning can generate meaningful insights about customers and markets. Please email the track chairs with any questions at nbharadw@utk.edu or raoul.kuebler@uni-muenster.edu.

Submission Types

All submissions should be made electronically via the AMA’s online submission management system, Ex Ordo) If you have submitted to an AMA academic conference in the last year, you should be able to use the same username and password. The deadline for submission is August 7, 2020.

Competitive Papers 

Submission Template – Competitive Paper

Manuscripts addressing substantive or theoretical topics are sought for competitive paper sessions.

It is mandatory that at least one author of all accepted papers register for, and present the paper at the conference. Submission of the same (or substantially overlapping) manuscript(s) to multiple tracks is not permitted. As a reminder, papers are reviewed following a double-blind process; reviewers will not know who authored the papers, nor will authors know the names of their reviewers.

Format and Style for Competitive Papers:

Prepare and submit electronic documents in PDF format.  Please include 1) Title, 2) Extended Abstract (175 word limit), 3) Key Contributions to academe and practitioners (300 words) 4) Manuscript (up to 3,600 words), 5) Table or Figure (optional) and 6) Selected references. Authors have the option of including one table summarizing results and/or one figure (these do not count against the word limit). References also do not count against the word limit.

[Please note that submissions with text longer than 3,600 words will not be reviewed].

To assure a blind review, authors must avoid revealing their identities in the body or reference section of the paper. Authors should do the following:

  • Do not include a front page with author-identifying information.
  • Remove the author identifying information from the document’s file properties.

At the time of submission via Ex Ordo, the submitter will be asked to provide contact information for all authors including name, affiliation and email.

Confirmation that your paper was submitted successfully will be sent via email to the submitter.

Authors of accepted competitive papers have the option of publishing either an extended abstract or a full paper in the conference proceedings. Choosing to publish an Extended Abstract gives authors the option to submit the paper elsewhere for publication after the conference.


Submission Template – Poster Presentation

Poster sessions provide an opportunity to share research in the working stage, i.e., with at least part of the data having been collected and analyzed, but not necessarily ready for submission to a journal. They are presented as part of poster sessions. Poster sessions can be particularly useful for getting input at intermediate stages of a research project. All poster abstract submissions must be directed to only one track

By submitting a poster abstract, the author affirms that he/she will register for and appear at the conference to participate in the poster session.

Format and Submission Process for Posters:

Prepare and submit electronic documents in PDF format.  Please include 1) Title, 2) Key Contributions to academe and practitioners (300 words), 3) Extended Abstract (1,000 word limit), 4) Table or Figure (optional) and 5) Selected references. Authors have the option of including one table summarizing results and/or one figure (these do not count against the word limit). References also do not count against the word limit.

To assure a blind review, authors must avoid revealing their identities in the body or reference section of the paper. Authors should do the following:

  • Do not include a front page with author-identifying information.
  • Remove the author identifying information from the document’s file properties.

At the time of submission via Ex Ordo, the submitter will be asked to provide contact information for all authors including name, affiliation and email.

Confirmation that your abstract was submitted successfully will be sent via email to the submitter.

Accepted poster authors must agree to prepare a poster for display during the session and be available to discuss your research and answer questions during the invited poster session.

Special Sessions

Submission Template – Special Session

Anyone may organize and propose a special session, although those who are unfamiliar with AMA conference special sessions are encouraged to discuss their ideas with the conference co-chairs for developmental feedback before submitting a proposal.  Special sessions provide a good vehicle to acquaint marketing academics with new perspectives, theories and provocative ideas to bring diverse participants together around a common theme or to integrate academically-minded practitioners into the conference. Sessions involving participants from multiple countries, focusing on theory development or cutting-edge research directions and offering insights regarding academic-business partnerships for teaching or research are particularly encouraged. 

Special sessions should feature three or four presentations on a related theme. Another possibility is an interactive panel discussion among four to six panelists and a moderator. Other creative special session formats are encouraged, particularly those that generate attendee interaction. 

All special session proposal submissions must be directed to only one track. Proposals for special sessions should describe the topic and its importance to marketing, summarize the issues to be covered and identify all individuals (with their qualifications) who will formally participate. Special session proposals should provide specificity regarding the purpose, format, participants and roles in the session. AMA Academic Special Interest Groups (SIGs) may propose special sessions to the SIG Programming track.

Selection criteria include the general quality of the proposal, the level of interest the session is likely to generate at the conference, and the session’s relevance to the conference theme.

By submitting a special session proposal, the organizer and listed participants affirm that, if accepted, all will register for and appear at the Conference as described in the proposal. 

Format and Submission Process for Special Sessions:

Prepare and submit an extended abstract in PDF.  Special session proposals must include the title of the session and an extended abstract of 3,600 words maximum. The proposal should describe the objective of the session, its structure and general orientation, likely audience, key issues, and topics to be covered, as well as a description of why the session is likely to make an important contribution to the discipline. Also, include a brief description of each paper in the session.

At the time of submission via the online system, the submitter will be asked to provide complete contact information for all presenters including name, affiliation, and email as it should appear in the final program materials. Special sessions are not included in the proceedings.

Due to the unique nature of special sessions, presenter names and information should be included in the proposal and will be noted as a part of the review process.

Confirmation that your proposal was submitted successfully will be sent via email to the submitter. All special session participants are expected to register for the conference.

Code of Ethics

Authors submitting papers to American Marketing Association academic conferences must adhere to the following code of ethics:

  • Submission of the same (or substantially overlapping) manuscript, special session proposal, or working paper abstract to multiple tracks is not permitted.
  • Submitting authors should specify who will present papers being considered for Special Sessions or Competitive Paper presentations. An author can be listed as a presenter for no more than two submissions but can be listed as the co-author of multiple submissions. This restriction is to encourage authors to submit their best work and to allow a wider range of presenters.
  • Submissions should not already be published in any journal or publication (including online journals, books, and book chapters). Submitting authors should monitor this issue carefully.
  • Competitive Paper and Poster submissions should not include content that has been presented at earlier AMA conferences.
  • Submissions that have been accepted to 2020 Summer AMA, but were withdrawn by the author, are eligible to be resubmitted for review to the 2021 Winter Call for Papers.