Emerging Markets


Marketing in Emerging Markets, Special issue of International Journal of Research in Marketing, Edited by Steven M. Burgess and Jan-Benedict E. M. Steenkamp; Deadline 1 Jul 2011

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Call for Papers
Special Issue on Marketing in Emerging Markets
International Journal of Research in Marketing

Deadline for submission: July 1, 2011

Edited by:

Steven M. Burgess, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Jan-Benedict E.M. Steenkamp, University of North Carolina, USA

“Periods of fundamental social and political change always highlight, and make explicit, relations and linkages which in other times are more assumed and implicit.”

Nelson Mandela

Rationale for the Special Issue

The globalization of the marketplace is one of the most important challenges facing companies today. Given the importance of globalization for marketing, it is not surprising that leading marketing scholars and editors have repeatedly urged us to study marketing issues on an international basis, rather than staying “in the relative security of our own backyards.” In response to these exhortations, marketing academics have begun to devote more attention to international marketing. This research has yielded a valuable stock of theoretical and empirical findings, of which an important portion has been published in the International Journal of Research in Marketing (IJRM). It is fair to say that international marketing has become an important domain within marketing science.

A new opportunity exists to expand our work beyond the high-income, Western countries in which most international marketing research continues to be conducted. Although it is understandable that researchers in our maturing discipline would initially focus on the world’s most developed economies, we believe it is paramount for the future of marketing science and practice that we conduct more research in so-called emerging markets, where the majority of humanity resides. A stronger focus on emerging markets will have important theoretical as well as practical benefits (Burgess and Steenkamp 2006).

Theoretically, it is not at all obvious that our established theories and empirical generalizations apply in emerging market contexts. Our cherished theories often are conditioned by the cultural-institutional context in which we operate. Take the emphasis on individual decision-making. This makes sense once we realize that Western cultures tend to give primacy to the individual rather than to the group. However, emerging market cultures are more group-oriented, emphasizing embeddedness within collective social networks in which people have unequal roles and status. This not only limits the validity of individual choice models but also calls for theories and models that capture the dynamics of group processes. As this example shows, for marketing to be a truly global science, we need to understand the contextual contingencies (if any) of our theories and develop new or revised theories of market behavior.

Practically, there is general agreement that emerging markets will account for most of economic growth in the next decades. Success in emerging markets will be a make-or-break issue for most companies around the world. To remain practically relevant, marketing as a discipline has to develop new theories, models, and methods of data collection that are applicable to the very different contexts found in emerging markets.

In sum, we need to conduct more research in emerging markets, both to further advance marketing as an academic discipline and maintain its managerial relevance. Consequently IJRM has decided to publish a special issue on marketing in emerging markets.

About the Special Issue

IJRM invites people with diverse backgrounds (modeling, strategy, behavior) to submit papers for this special issue. Special topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  1. Theories of group decision making and how they work in emerging markets; social networks and marketing in emerging markets.
  2. Adaptation and modification of existing consumer behavior theories to emerging markets; novel constructs that help explain variations in consumer or organizational buying behaviors.
  3. Measuring the performance impact of marketing strategy; appropriate marketing metrics in emerging markets.
  4. Moderating role of institutional, economic, and cultural variables on consumer and organizational behavior.
  5. Methods of data collection that cater to the educational challenges of many citizens of emerging markets, while still allowing for insightful quantitative analysis.
  6. Effectiveness of marketing mix instruments:
    1. Product strategies: New product development and management, adapting existing products, innovation blowback.
    2. Distribution strategies: Integrating emerging markets into international supply chains, channel cooperation and conflict.
    3. Promotional strategies: Effective promotional strategies (e.g., media, content) for affluent and subsistence segments in emerging markets, measuring advertising and promotional strategy effectiveness.
    4. Pricing strategies: Heterogeneity in financial, temporal, and cognitive price preferences; standardization versus customization.
  7. 7. Evaluation of global and local brands.
  8. 8. Successful segmentation strategies in emerging markets.
  9. 9. Successful strategies by local firms to fight global multinationals.
  10. 10. Consumer responses to the forces of globalization and localization, acculturation versus rejection of global consumer culture; biculturalism, its impacts on social groups, and effects on consumer and organizational buyer behavior.
  11. 11. Multiple stakeholder perspectives; the role of marketing in managing business – government relations; environmental and social sustainability, social entrepreneurship.
  12. 12. Industry structures, product-market characteristics, and competitive dynamics in emerging markets with implications for resources, capabilities, and competencies. We welcome papers from all geographical areas, but obviously, the papers themselves have to deal with emerging markets. Successful papers will deepen our understanding of emerging markets. This “deepened understanding” can refer to new theoretical insights, new conceptual or mathematical models, or methods of data collection. In exceptional cases, papers that provide path-breaking new empirical insights per se will also be considered. However, simple descriptive studies or theoretical comparisons of countries are not enough. Straightforward replications of theories or measurement scales in emerging markets typically also will not make the cut.

    One thing to keep in mind is that papers should provide insights that have the potential to be generalizable to other emerging markets as well. We are less interested in papers that are so country-specific that we learn little about emerging markets in general. As so often, using a sound conceptual framework as point of departure goes a long way to address this issue.


    In terms of timing, submissions for the special issue are due July 1, 2011. Submissions will go through the regular IJRM review process, with one modification, viz., that we will not work with AE’s. We expect to give a response to the authors by October 15. A revised paper, when requested, will be due by March 1, 2012. The authors will be notified of final acceptance by June 1, 2012. If further minor revisions are necessary, the final paper will be due August 1, 2012. The special issue is scheduled to appear in print as the last issue of 2012 or the first issue of 2013.

    Papers can be submitted at any time until July 1, 2011 through the IJRM submission website http://ees.elsevier.com/ijrm. Please indicate that it is a submission for the special issue (Article Type: “SI: Emerging Markets”). Also, given that we aim to make a decision in the first, if not definitely in the second round, please polish your submission as much as possible. If you are not an experienced writer in the English language, please consider a copy-editor. If you have any questions, please contact us through e-mail.

    Steven M. Burgess Professor of Business Administration in Marketing Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, South Africa e-mail: Steve_Burgess@telkomsa.net

    Jan-Benedict E.M. Steenkamp
    C. Knox Massey Distinguished Professor of Marketing,
    Marketing Area Chair & Executive Director AiMark
    Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, USA
    e-mail: JBS@unc.edu


    Burgess, Steven M. and Jan-Benedict E.M. Steenkamp (2006), “Marketing Renaissance: How Research in Emerging Consumer Markets Advances Marketing Science and Practice,” International Journal of Research in Marketing, 23 (December), 337-356.