Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses


Generalizations in Marketing, Conference and JAMS Special Issue, Oslo, 3-5 Jun 2017; Deadline 1 Mar

Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science


Call for Papers for a Special Issue and Thought Leaders’ Conference on


Generalizations in Marketing: Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

Edited by Mark B. Houston and John Hulland


Science advances when studies are designed in a way that builds logically from the base of extant knowledge. New studies then reconcile conflicting findings, identify boundary conditions, and both reveal important gaps in and suggest exciting new directions for a given field of research. Inefficiency emerges when studies are ad hoc, one-off treatments that do not link systematically to the underlying body of knowledge. Thus, it is important in the design of new research for the researcher to have a state-of-the-art understanding of research findings (e.g., empirical generalizations) from the topical domain.


High quality, systematic review papers and meta-analyses can provide this state-of-the-art understanding to scholars and thus play an important role in a discipline’s progress. In doing so, they address three key challenges:

  • First, the marketing literature is spread across a broad set of domains, covering or bordering areas as diverse as econometric modeling, finance, strategic management, applied psychology, and sociology. In parallel, the literature evolves at a high velocity, in keeping with the ongoing rapid development of new data, theories, methods, and skills in marketing practice (e.g., digital marketing, social media, big data). Against this backdrop, review papers and meta-analyses help academics and interested managers to keep track of research findings that are outside their main area of specialization.
  • Second, increasing requirements of methodological rigor have inflated the technical sophistication of many marketing studies, which are often focused on small, isolated problems. By synthesizing these piecemeal findings, reconciling conflicting evidence, and drawing a “big picture,” meta-analyses and review papers play an indispensable role in providing a more comprehensive understanding of a phenomenon to the academic and practitioner communities.
  • Third, researchers are often forced to pursue opportunistic data collection strategies given that availability of data represents a key challenge in marketing. By exploring the boundaries of existing research findings via moderation analysis, meta-analyses can help the research community establish generalizability of findings and understand when certain findings do not apply. Additionally, meta-analyses can provide a better estimate of true effect sizes.


The editors of this special issue are interested in receiving papers that document generalizations in marketing via high-quality systematic review papers and meta-analyses.[1] Specifically, we encourage papers that provide an overview or synthesis of original research findings on a specific question or in a specific domain regarding any topic of interest to marketing scholars and managers; papers could also identify new patterns in existing studies’ data. Papers should emphasize managerially relevant findings in addition to research contributions.

We leave broad the domain of marketing to be reviewed. Areas of investigation might include (but are not limited to):

  • Consumer behavior and consumer-based strategy
  • Customer relationship marketing
  • Branding
  • Marketing channels and retailing
  • Innovation
  • Marketing analytics
  • Marketing organization
  • Online and digital marketing
  • Technology or entertainment marketing
  • Services marketing
  • B2B marketing
  • Marketing policies for global markets
  • Marketing strategies for entrepreneurial and start-up firms
  • Marketing mix decisions


We invite research using any applicable methodologies, ranging from qualitative synthesis of research findings to quantitative meta-analysis.


Papers targeting the special issue should be submitted through the JAMS submission system (, and will undergo a similar review process as regularly submitted papers. Submissions for the special issue begin April 17, 2018, with the final deadline for submissions being August 17, 2018. Questions pertaining to the special issue should be submitted to the JAMS Editorial Office or directed to one of the special issue editors.


In addition to the JAMS special issue, there also will be a Thought Leaders’ Conference on the same topic in Olso, Norway, June 3-5, 2018, hosted by BI Norwegian Business School ( Interested researchers should submit proposals, abstracts, or papers to the JAMS editorial office and Stefan Worm (stefan.worm(at) no later than March 1, 2018 (proposals will be accepted on an ongoing basis). Attending the conference and/or submitting a manuscript to JAMS for publication consideration are independent activities; authors are welcome to engage in one or both of these activities.



Barczak, G. (2017), “Writing a Review Article,” Journal of Product Innovation Management, 34 (2), 120-121.


Littell, J., J. Corcoran, and V. Pillai (2008), Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis. New York: Oxford University Press.



JAMS Editorial OfficeJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science

Robert Palmatier, Editor-in-Chief

Anne Hoekman, Managing Editor



[1] Systematic review papers, in contrast to narrative reviews, aim to “comprehensively locate and synthesize research that bears on a particular question, using organized, transparent, and replicable procedures” (Littell, Corcoran, and Pillai 2008, p. 1, quoted in Barczak 2017, p. 120). Meta-analyses use statistical techniques to draw summary conclusions from the combined quantitative analyses of independent studies (Barczak 2017).