Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Journal of Marketing Call for Papers: Expanding the Boundaries: Marketing as a Multidisciplinary Knowledge Creation Engine

Journal of Marketing Call for Papers: Expanding the Boundaries: Marketing as a Multidisciplinary Knowledge Creation Engine

Distributed Special Section: Journal of Marketing

Editors: Shrihari Sridhar (Texas A&M University), Cait Lamberton (University of Pennsylvania), Detelina Marinova (University of Missouri), and Vanitha Swaminathan (University of Pittsburgh)


In 2017, the American Marketing Association modified the evolving definition of marketing to be “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

As is eminently clear from this definition, the marketing system operates at multiple levels of granularity (from individual decision makers to entire economies) and generates both discrete (messaging in a given context) and diffuse (processes and society-wide obstacles) challenges. Many of the challenges we face, as a result, present problems requiring multiple disciplinary lenses; using only a singular marketing lens may result in incomplete and suboptimal solutions to such complex issues.

For example:

  • Our efforts to understand peoples’ actions and recommend consumer-facing practice may go awry if we fail to consider the psychological factors, social and economic systems, cultural traditions, developmental life stages, and physical and mental health states at play.
  • Our understanding of firm strategies may be limited if we ignore rigorously obtained findings in computer science, economics, communication, sociology, political science, and management, while drawing from multiple functional areas within business.
  • Our understanding of the broad operation and evolution of large-scale marketplace entities might be incomplete if we fail to use tools offered by, for example, physical sciences, finance, complexity theory, and epidemiology.
  • Overall, failing to import knowledge can lead to duplicated effort across fields, reduce our ability to create cumulative knowledge, and slow advances that are possible only from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Multidisciplinary work can also maximize marketing’s knowledge export. Scholars from other disciplines who apply their tools to the marketing context can learn more about the limits and potential of their theories, instruments, and findings in a constantly evolving space. Thus, our field not only offers a laboratory for developing marketing knowledge but may constitute a knowledge-creation engine for larger communities of scholarship and practice.

To accelerate the import and export of marketing knowledge, the Journal of Marketing will launch an initiative titled “Expanding the Boundaries: Marketing as a Multidisciplinary Knowledge Creation Engine.” We view this initiative as building on prior work that “challenged the boundaries,” in our field—and also as fulfilling our editorial mission of being a catalyst for the creation of multifaceted impact and spur the next generation of marketing discoveries and inventions.

Special Issue Submission Requirements

The guidelines for authors submitting manuscripts to this initiative are as follows:

  • Focus on substantive topics and adopt a multidisciplinary perspective. The best papers will:
    • Introduce a relevant theory, framework, or method from outside marketing as a means of advancing marketing knowledge; and
    • Not only offer clear contributions to marketing theory and practice, but also articulate a contribution to the discipline from which the theory, framework, or method was imported.
  • Make a case for why multidisciplinarity is an important source of the contribution. Authors could consider, for example:
    • Emergent and/or nascent topics for which a multidisciplinary perspective is required to create theoretical and empirical frameworks to solve substantive problems; or
    • Established topics for which there is a clear leap in knowledge creation due to the adoption of a multidisciplinary perspective.
  • Be driven by a co-author team wherein:
    • at least one author must have their primary appointment in a marketing department, and
    • at least one author must have their primary appointment outside a marketing department.

We understand that various systemic hurdles such as data availability, author career stage, and the supply of reviewers with multidisciplinary expertise continue to reinforce a narrow disciplinary lens in the marketing field. We hope that this initiative begins to change this status quo, propelling marketing into a position where it is seen as a knowledge-creation engine for multiple disciplines, encouraging an active exchange of ideas across disciplines.

Special Issue Timeline

The timeline of the special issue is as shown below:

Manuscript submission window opens October 1, 2022The papers should be submitted to the “Expanding the Boundaries: Marketing as a Multidisciplinary Knowledge Creation Engine” initiative and should indicate in the cover letter that the paper is intended for this initiative. To maximize the opportunity for relevant feedback, we expect to recruit guest Associate Editors and reviewers from relevant disciplines if needed. We encourage authors to recommend names of Associate Editors and reviewers from other disciplines during submission.    
Manuscript submission window closesApril 5, 2024
Articles in print, and promotion of published articlesRolling basisAccepted articles will be published on a rolling basis as special sections within regular issues of Journal of Marketing.

Go to the Journal of Marketing