Organic Growth


Special issue of International Journal of Research in Marketing, Edited by David James, Donald Lehmann and Russell Winer, Deadline 30 Jun 2008

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Call for Papers: IJRM/MSI Special Issue on Organic Growth (Editors: David James, Donald Lehmann, Russell Winer)

Firms are under increasing pressure to grow. With acquisitions becoming more complex and expensive, the M&A route is no longer an attractive avenue for growth. Internally generated growth is therefore becoming an increasingly attractive option. As a consequence, marketing and CMO’s are increasingly being expected to generate and spearhead growth. A key question, therefore, is how to generate, evaluate, and implement growth options. This special issue, sponsored by the International Journal of Research in Marketing (IJRM) and the Marketing Science Institute (MSI), is designed to stimulate work on exactly that topic.

IJRM/MSI invites papers dealing with both conceptual and empirical studies across a broad range of organic growth issues. We encourage papers covering, but not limited to, the following areas:

Generation of growth options

  • Where do growth ideas come from?
  • How much growth comes from "big ideas" vs from minor innovations?
  • What is the return on organic growth efforts?
  • What metrics capture/predict the quality of growth initiatives?

Implementation of Growth Options

  • What resources are needed to promote growth options once they are identified?
  • What elements of the marketing mix are most crucial for driving growth?
  • How should the marketing department interface with other parts of the organization?

Organizational Issues

  • Which types of organizations (structure, culture) are most effective for producing organic growth?
  • What capabilities are most crucial and how can they be measured?
  • Is entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship more effective?
  • Is there a sustainable growth process?
  • Are there important country/culture differences in growth strategies?
  • What are the best incentives to drive growth?
  • What is the impact of growth initiatives on employees?
  • How can you get an organization to focus on organic growth?
  • Can growth be outsourced?


  • How does organic growth relate to market orientation, satisfaction, CRM, Branding, etc.?
  • What are the social welfare impacts of a focus on organic growth?

The deadline for submitting papers for the special issue is June 30, 2008. Authors will be notified by October 1st of the results of the review. Those papers that are encouraged to continue will have until January 1, 2009 to respond to the reviews. Final decision will be made by March 1, 2009 and final versions of the paper due June 30th. The plan is for the special issue to appear in December 2009.

Papers should be submitted to IJRM (Submission site: with the notation that they should be considered for the special issue. Detailed guidelines for authors are available at home/505550/authorinstructions.

Inquiries can be sent to

In addition to the special issue, a conference on organic growth is being planned by IJRM and MSI for May 2009 at Henley Management College (U.K.) for a select group of submitted papers. Details on the conference will be forthcoming.