Revisit: Future Studies in Marketing


Special issue of European Journal of Marketing; Deadline 31 Oct 2017


Although world economies may be verging on dramatic societal and economic shifts, business in general—and marketing in particular—seems unprepared for them. Human intuitions mired in linear change cannot envision the consequences of exponential improvements in genetics, robotics, information technology, and nanotechnology (Garreau 2005; Kurzweil 2005) on society. To prepare for massive societal changes, researchers need to “adopt a mindset of professional futurists.…[and] embrace whole-system change” (Eckersley 2001, p.22). Several highly regarded social scientists have adopted this approach (Cowen 2013; Rifkin 2014; Schor 2010).

This field of inquiry is called ‘future studies’, and it involves systematic and explicit thinking about alternative futures. It is a growing body of work that examines and evaluates possible, probable and preferable futures, to inform societal expectations of the future, and to promote efforts to shape the future (Bell 2003).

Some members of established scientific fields advocate ‘futurizing’ their fields, i.e. incorporating principles of future studies into their perspectives, theories, teaching, and research; and even hiring ‘professors of foresight’ (Bell 2003; Wells 1989). Given likely structural, technological, and economic shifts, marketers should become cognizant of marketing’s future role and its consequences.

In this vein, an upcoming special section of European Journal of Marketing will be dedicated to the future studies in marketing. The many diverse topics suitable for this special section include, but are not limited to, the following possibilities:

  • Business and consumer responses to emerging technologies (e.g., robotics, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, biotechnology, self-driving vehicles, three-dimensional printers)
  • Role and relevance of marketing theory and practice under alternative socio-economic scenarios (e.g., jobless economy induced by ever-evolving artificial intelligence and automation, post-consumerism economy, diffusion of internet of things)
  • Virtual reality and consumer behavior (e.g., preferring a virtual to a corporeal existence)
  • Effects of improved consumer health and increased longevity on marketing practice (e.g., wearable technology for improved health monitoring, smart pills, companion robots)
  • Improved methodologies for future studies in marketing research (e.g., technology assessment, scenario-based research, Delphi technique)

Empirical studies (qualitative or quantitative), theoretical manuscripts, or case studies are welcome. The review process will be double blind, with at least three referees evaluating each manuscript. Prospective authors can find manuscript guidelines at

Although shorter manuscripts are acceptable, authors should assume an 8,000 word limit. Submissions should be made through the Scholar One online submission system available through the author guidelines. Please use the “submit to the journal” link and, when requested, select this special issue from the drop down menu provided during your submission.


Bell, J. J. (2003). Exploring the singularity. Futurist, 37(3), 18–25.

Cowen, T. (2013), Average is over: Powering America beyond the age of the great stagnation. New York, NY: Dutton.

Eckersley, R. (2001). Doomsday scenarios: How the world may go on without us. Futurist, 35(6), 20–23.

Garreau, J. (2005). Radical evolution: The promise and peril of enhancing our minds, our bodies—and what it means to be human (1st ed). New York, NY: Doubleday.

Hackley, C. E. (2009). Marketing: A critical introduction. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.

Kurzweil, R. (2005). The singularity is near: When humans transcend biology. New York, NY: Viking.

Rifkin, J. (2014). The zero marginal cost society: The internet of things, the collaborative commons, and the eclipse of capitalism. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan Trade.

Schor, J. (2010). Plenitude: The new economics of true wealth. New York, N.Y.: Penguin Press.

Wells, H. G. (1989 [1932]. Wanted—professor of foresight, in Studying the Future, R. Slaughter (ed.), Commission for the Future in Association with the Australian Bicentennial Authority.

Guest Editors

Michael R. Hyman
Distinguished Achievement Professor of Marketing
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001

Alena Kostyk
Assistant Professor of Marketing
NEOMA Business School
Reims, France