Marketers in the Emerging Markets


Challenges and Opportunities, Special issue Journal of Business Research; Deadline 30 Sep

Call for Papers

Journal of Business Research – Special Issue

“Challenges and Opportunities for Marketers in the Emerging Markets”

Submission Deadline: Sep 30, 2016
Final Acceptance Deadline: Sep 30, 2017

Guest Co-editors:

  1. Piyush Sharma, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
  2. Sherriff T.K. Luk, Nanjing University of Finance & Economics, Nanjing, China
  3. Silvio Cardinali, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy
  4. Mario Henrique Ogasavara, ESPM, Sao Paulo, Brazil


Emerging markets are those lower-income but rapid-growth countries that are using economic liberalization as their primary engine of growth, and these fall into two groups: developing countries in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East and transition economies in the former Soviet Union and China (Hoskisson et al. 2000). Early research on emerging economies focused mostly on the differences in the business and management strategies between developed and emerging markets, using diverse theoretical perspectives, such as institutional theory, transaction cost theory, resource-based theory, and agency theory (Wright et al. 2005).

Interestingly, marketing researchers have also been interested in the emerging markets for over five decades despite “obstacles and technical difficulties in applying research techniques in lessdeveloped countries” (e.g., Boyd Jr et al. 1964). However, with recent advances in information and communication technologies, there is a renewed interest among marketing researchers and managers in trying to understand the differences between the consumers in the developed and emerging markets as well as the challenges and opportunities posed by these differences for both local and foreign marketers in these emerging markets (Sharma 2011; Sheth 2011).

A review of the literature on a wide range of topics related to consumers, brands and marketers in the emerging markets reveals the following major streams of research:

  1. Comparative Consumer Behavior: this body of research focuses on how the consumers in the emerging markets are different from those in developed markets due to a variety of cultural and socio-economic factors (e.g., Maheswaran and Shavitt 2014; Jones Christensen et al. 2015; Michaelidou et al. 2015; Morgeson III et al. 2015). Most of these studies show that the consumers in the developed and emerging markets are significantly different from each other in terms of their characteristics, values, attitudes and behaviors.
  2. Comparative Marketing Strategy: these articles explore the differences in the impact of marketing strategies in the developed and emerging markets, including advertising appeals (Zarantonello et al. 2014), product-market strategies (Wei et al. 2014), use of internet and social media (Berthon et al. 2012), loyalty management programs (Kumar et al. 2013) and the role of product innovation (Sok et al. 2015). Most of these papers show differences in the way these marketing actions and strategies affect consumers in the developed and emerging markets.
  3. Emerging Markets Perspective: there are a few papers that examine the consumers and marketers in the emerging markets for who they are and not necessarily compare them with those in the developed markets, such as the emergence of a global cultural identity (Strizhakova et al. 2012), role of country-market characteristics (Bahadir et al. 2015), the growing importance of new middle-class consumers (Kravets and Sandikci 2014) and the differences in attitudes towards local and international brands (Tanusondjaja et al. 2015).

In this context, there is a clear need to not only further extend but also develop a conceptual framework to guide and structure the rapidly growing research on the challenges and opportunities faced by the marketers in the emerging markets. Moreover, it is important for the future of marketing discipline that we reflect the real picture of the consumers and the markets in the emerging markets because they represent a large share of the world’s population as well as economic growth. A stronger focus on emerging markets will thus help us push the theoretical boundaries of the marketing discipline and also provide significant practical benefits and managerial implications (Burgess and Steenkamp 2013).

More specifically, most concepts and theories in consumer research and marketing strategy have been developed and tested in the existing developed markets and some of these have been replicated in the emerging markets. However, we argue that it is a very limited perspective because it colors our perceptions about the consumers and marketers in the emerging markets as seen through the cultural-institutional lens of the typical Western context in which major marketing journals and their contributors operate. This is in stark contrast to the professional marketing community and multinational companies who are able to keep pace with the rapidly globalizing world economy, resulting in a regular exchange of consumer and market knowledge from the developed to the emerging markets and vice versa.


In this special issue of the Journal of Business Research, we aim to push the agenda for making the field of marketing into a truly global discipline, by attracting not just mere replications of establish theories and models in the emerging markets, but fresh attempts to identify the limitations of the existing theories and to develop new or revised theories of consumer behavior and marketing strategy. We also note the relative paucity of research in the business-to-business (B2B) context in the emerging markets (Biggemann and Fam 2011) and would like to address this gap in this special issue. To conclude, we invite researchers with diverse backgrounds (e.g., consumer behavior, marketing strategy and econometric modeling) to submit papers to this special issue on a wide range of topics and not just limited to those shown below:

  1. Consumer decision-making processes in the emerging markets; influence of reference groups and social networks on information search, alternative evaluation and pre-, during and post-purchase behaviors.
  2. Critical look at the limitations of existing marketing concepts, models and theories in the context of emerging markets; development of new constructs and relationships to explain consumer or organizational buying behaviors in emerging markets.
  3. Identify the unique features of the marketing mix elements in the emerging markets such as product features, packaging, advertising, branding, distribution and disposal; implications of these unique features for the marketers in these markets.
  4. Impact of new media and technologies such as smartphones, broadband and mobile internet, social media and e-commerce, on the attitudes and behaviors of the consumers and firms in the emerging markets.
  5. Moderating influences of the institutional, socio-economic, cultural and other variables on the relationship between consumer and managerial attitudes and behaviors.
  6. Identify the unique marketing research tools and techniques used in the emerging markets and discuss the limitations and implications of these methods for both local and foreign marketers.
  7. Challenges and opportunities in the emerging markets, in terms of:
    1. Product: New product development, product lifecycle management, product innovation and enhancement, innovation diffusion and new product adoption;
    2. Price: Pricing models and rules, price mechanisms (peak vs. off-peak, bundling etc.), differences in taxation and regulations;
    3. Promotion: Impact of standardized versus localized promotion strategies, nature and reach of different media vehicles, influence of different types of advertising appeals and message framing, unique features of advertising and media agencies;
    4. Place: Local formal vs. informal distribution channels and their unique characteristics, role of channel partners and channel conflict, integrating local and global supply chains, business process outsourcing and its implications;
    5. People: Availability of trained sales and marketing professionals and agencies, recruitment and training processes and issues;
    6. Processes: State of process orientation in the emerging markets especially in the unorganized sectors, bottlenecks in creating and managing businesses such as bureaucracy and red tape, role of corruption and bribery;
  8. Marketing Strategy – segmentation and targeting of individual and institutional consumers in the emerging markets and the positioning of local and global brands.
  9. Business-to-business marketing in emerging markets: relationship quality, the role of market orientation, sales management and customer orientation of the salesperson, value creation through business relationships
  10. Reasons for failure and success of local and global marketers in the emerging markets; transfer of marketing knowledge and capabilities for success in emerging markets.
  11. Consumer reactions to globalization and global consumer culture in the emerging markets; rise of consumer movements and customer protection regulations.
  12. Dark side of emerging markets – copyright violations, corruption, bribery, counterfeit products, nepotism and cronyism, political connections etc.
  13. Rise of sustainable marketing and corporate social responsibility in the emerging markets, role of social entrepreneurs and not-for-profit segment.

We welcome papers from scholars in the emerging markets all over the world (e.g., Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Central and South America etc.) although they may have co-authors based in the developed markets (e.g., Western Europe and North America). We are looking for a wide range of contributions, including new theoretical insights, new concepts or models as well as new methods of data collection and analysis. We welcome both conceptual and empirical papers; however we discourage simple literature reviews that do not synthesize the current research and do not present any conceptual framework or testable propositions. We would also not accept simple case studies or mere replications of existing theories or models into an emerging economy. We are particularly keen to publish papers that provide insights that can be generalized to the other emerging markets and not those that are specific to a particular country or industry.


Authors will need to submit manuscripts for this special issue on the Elsevier Editorial System (EES) for the Journal of Business Research ( Please indicate that it is a submission for the special issue (e.g., Article Type: “SI: Emerging Markets”). All submissions will go through the regular JBR review process with at least two double-blind peer reviews of each manuscript. Each manuscript would be randomly assigned to one of the four guest coeditors to ensure complete fairness and transparency in the review process. All the guest coeditors would declare their conflict of interest if they know or are working with any of the contributing authors for the manuscripts assigned to them. Each guest co-editor would handle the complete review process for his respective manuscripts; however the final decisions would be made in consultation among all the four guest co-editors.

Major Dates

  • Submissions open from 1 March 2016
  • Last date for submissions by 30 September 2016
  • Complete the first round of reviews by 31 December 2016
  • Revised papers to be submitted by 29 Feb 2017
  • Complete the second round of reviews by 30 April 2017
  • Final versions of revised papers to be submitted by 30 June 2017
  • Notification of final acceptance for all the papers by 31 July 2017
  • Submission of final accepted papers to the editorial team by 30 Sep 2017

For any questions or concerns about this call for papers, please contact any of the four guest coeditors whose full details are given below.

Piyush Sharma
Professor of Marketing
School of Marketing, Curtin University
Bentley, WA 6102, Australia
Tel: +618 9266 3744

Sherriff T.K. Luk
Professor of Marketing
College of Marketing & Logistics Management
Nanjing University of Finance & Economics
Nanjing, China
Tel: +852 9386 3950

Silvio Cardinali
Associate Professor
Dipartimento di Management ed Organizzazione Industriale
Facoltà di Economia "G. Fuà"
Università Politecnica delle Marche
Ancona, Italy
Tel +39 071 2207221, +39 348 0743506

Mario Henrique Ogasavara
Professor in International Business Strategy and Innovation
Master and Doctoral Program in International Management
ESPM (Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing)
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Tel: +55 11 5085-4689


Bahadir S Cem, Bharadwaj Sundar G, Srivastava Rajendra K. Marketing mix and brand sales in global markets: Examining the contingent role of country-market characteristics. Journal of International Business Studies 2015.

Berthon Pierre R., Pitt Leyland F., Plangger Kirk, Shapiro Daniel. Marketing meets Web 2.0, social media, and creative consumers: Implications for international marketing strategy. Business horizons 2012; 55 (3): 261-271.

Biggemann Sergio, Fam Kim-Shyan. Business marketing in BRIC countries. Industrial Marketing Management 2011; 40 (1): 5-7.

Boyd Jr Harper W., Frank Ronald E., Massy William F., Zoheir Mostafa. On the use of marketing research in the emerging economies. Journal of Marketing Research 1964; 1 (4): 20-23.

Burgess Steven Michael, Steenkamp Jan-Benedict E. M. Editorial: introduction to the special issue on marketing in emerging markets. International journal of research in marketing 2013; 30 (1): 1-3.

Hoskisson Robert E., Eden Lorraine, Lau Chung Ming, Wright Mike. Strategy in Emerging Economies. Academy of Management Journal 2000; 43 (3): 249-267.

Jones Christensen Lisa, Siemsen Enno, Balasubramanian Sridhar. Consumer behavior change at the base of the pyramid: Bridging the gap between for-profit and social responsibility strategies. Strategic Management Journal 2015; 36 (2): 307-317.

Kravets Olga, Sandikci Ozlem. Competently ordinary: New middle class consumers in the emerging markets. Journal of Marketing 2014; 78 (4): 125-140.

Kumar V., Sharma Amalesh, Shah Riddhi, Rajan Bharath. Establishing profitable customer loyalty for multinational companies in the emerging economies: a conceptual framework. Journal of International Marketing 2013; 21 (1): 57-80.

Maheswaran Durairaj, Shavitt Sharon. Issues and New Directions in Global Consumer Psychology. Journal of Consumer Psychology 2014; 9 (2): 59-66.

Michaelidou Nina, Reynolds Nina, Greenacre Luke, Hassan Louise M. Cross-cultural and crossnational consumer research: psychology, behavior and beyond. International Marketing Review 2015; 32 (3/4).

Morgeson III Forrest V., Sharma Pratyush Nidhi, Hult G. Tomas M. Cross-National Differences in Consumer Satisfaction: Mobile Services in Emerging and Developed Markets. Journal of International Marketing 2015; 23 (2): 1-24.

Sharma Piyush. Country-of-Origin Effects in Developed vs. Emerging Markets: Exploring the Contrasting Roles of Materialism and Value-Consciousness. Journal of International Business Studies 2011; 42 (2): 285-306.

Sheth Jagdish N. Impact of emerging markets on marketing: Rethinking existing perspectives and practices. Journal of Marketing 2011; 75 (4): 166-182.

Sok Phyra, O’Cass Aron, Miles Morgan P. The Performance Advantages for SMEs of Product Innovation and Marketing Resource–Capability Complementarity in Emerging Economies. Journal of Small Business Management 2015.

Strizhakova Yuliya, Coulter Robin A., Price Linda L. The young adult cohort in emerging markets: Assessing their glocal cultural identity in a global marketplace. International Journal of Research in Marketing 2012; 29 (1): 43-54.

Tanusondjaja Arry, Greenacre Luke, Banelis Melissa, Truong Oanh, Andrews Taylah. International brands in emerging markets: the myths of segmentation. International Marketing Review 2015; 32 (6): 783-796.

Wei Yinghong Susan, Samiee Saeed, Lee Ruby P. The influence of organic organizational cultures, market responsiveness, and product strategy on firm performance in an emerging market. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 2014; 42 (1): 49-70.

Wright Mike, Filatotchev Igor, Hoskisson Robert E., Peng Mike W. Strategy Research in Emerging Economies: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom*. Journal of Management Studies 2005; 42 (1): 1-33.

Zarantonello Lia, Schmitt Bernd H., Jedidi Kamel. How to Advertise and Build Brand Knowledge Globally: Comparing Television Advertising Appeals across Developed and Emerging Economies. Journal of Advertising Research 2014; 54 (4): 420-434.