Marketing and Operations


Integrating Marketing and Operations for Business Sustainability, Special issue of Industrial Marketing Management, Edited by Suraksha Gupta, John Rudd and Nick Lee; Deadline 1 Jul 2012

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“Integrating marketing and operations for business sustainability”

Deadline for submission: July 1, 2012

Current research on marketing and operations is narrowly focused towards building domain-specific theories. Yet, the dynamic environment of industrial markets restricts practitioners from using such theories in isolation. For example, marketing research indicates that a powerful brand supported with smooth operations can drive success in competitive industrial markets (Cronin et al, 2011; Piercy and Rich, 2004), while sustainability research takes a different view to explain how the practices adopted by a company for managing its operations become determinants of its strength. Sustainability practices enable consumers to understand these practices as brand values because of their influence on their lives (Mason et al., 2006; Juttner, 2007). Brands should assess the ecological requirements of consumers, and communicate about the methods they adopt to create such value as their efforts to create an sustainable environment for consumers to live in (Szekely and Knirsch, 2005). Intermediaries of brands that operate through industrial markets also engage themselves in co-creation and delivery of brand value to consumers, by participating in sustainable practices adopted by the company. However, businesses are still struggling to clearly understand ways to operationalize integration of marketing and operations for becoming ecologically sustainable.

Current research indicates that integrating operations with the marketing activities of a company – such as branding initiatives – enables businesses to be, and be seen as, more sustainable; although this is a complex issue for managers (Payne et al., 2009). One of the main reasons of this complexity regards the organisational objectives of intermediaries, apart from managing the adaptation and standardization of the marketing mix based on their own functional requirements and the intermediary’s rational requirements (Mudambi, 2002). Various research studies are available that reflect on survival of a brand in competitive industrial markets, however, there is very little research available that identifies and discusses this gap in academic research and managerial practices from the perspective of business sustainability (Chabowski et al., 2011).

The aim of this special issue is to explore the interplay between these different but crucial functions of a business in the context of both industrial and non-industrial brands. The guest editors invite research manuscripts on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Industrial marketing: A strategy for integrating marketing and operations
  • Issues in integrating marketing and operations
  • Industrial branding for business sustainability
  • Creation and delivery of brand value by industrial brands
  • Issues in delivering brand value to consumers through intermediaries
  • Business sustainability frameworks applicable for industrial or non-industrial brands
  • Antecedents and consequences of business sustainability for industrial brands
  • Business sustainability for improving efficiency of marketing and operations
  • Impact of sustainability initiatives on consumers and intermediaries

Authors are encouraged to submit manuscripts aligned with the themes above however, creative and original manuscripts that contribute to the ethos of this Call for Papers will also be considered by the Editors. All submissions should outline a compelling theoretical rationale for the work presented, and should seek to build knowledge of the relevant theory. Further, authors should be aware that the remit of the journal is industrial marketing, and therefore manuscripts solely focused on consumer research will not be reviewed.

Submission Guidelines:

Papers submitted must not have been published, accepted for publication, or presently be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Submissions should be no more than 7,500 words in length. Copies should be submitted via email MS Word attachment (in one file including all figures and tables) to the guest editor as well as the IMM office (; please indicate the paper is for the “Integrating Marketing and Operations for Business Sustainability” Special Issue of Industrial Marketing Management. For a full list of submission guidelines please see the Industrial Marketing Management / Elsevier website at:

Papers not complying with the guidelines will be desk rejected. Articles considered suitable, will be subjected to a double-blind review, hence authors must not identify themselves in the body of the paper. Please do not submit a Word file with “track changes” active or a PDF file.

Please address all questions to the guest editors:

Dr. Suraksha Gupta, Brunel Business School, UK,
Dr John Rudd, Aston Business School, UK,
Professor Nick Lee, Aston Business School, UK,


Chabowski B.R., Mena J.T. and Gonzalez-Padron T.L. (2011), “The structure of sustainability research in Marketing, 1958-2008: a basis for future research opportunities”, Journal of Academy of Marketing Science, 39: 55-70.

Cronin J.J., Smith J.S., Gleim M.R., Ramirez E., Martinez J.D. (2011), “Green marketing strategies: An examination of stakeholders and the opportunities they present”, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 39(1): 158.

Juttner U., Christopher M. and Baker S. (2010), “Demand chain management-integrating marketing and supply chain management”, Industrial Marketing Management, 36(3): 377-392.

Mason K., Doyle P. and Wong V. (2006), “Market orientation and quasi-integration: Adding value through relationships” Industrial Marketing Management, 35(2): 140-155.

Mudambi S. (2002), “Branding importance in business-to-business markets: Three buyer clusters”, Industrial Marketing Management, 31 (6): 525-533.

Payne A., Storbacka K., Frow P. and Knox S. (2009), “Co-creating brands: Diagnosing and designing the relationship experience”, Journal of Business Research, 62(3): 379-389.

Piercy N.C. and Rich N. (2010), “Strategic marketing and operations relationships: the case of lean enterprise”, Journal of Strategic Marketing, 12(3): 145-161.

Szekely F. and Knirsch M. (2005), “Responsible leadership and corporate social responsibility: Metrics for sustainable performance”, European Management Journal, 23(6): 628-647.