Marketing Issues in the MENA Countries


Special issue of Qualitative Market Research; Deadline 31 Jan 2020

All Change No Change: Addressing Contemporary Marketing Issues in the MENA Countries

Special issue call for papers from Qualitative Market Research

Guest Editors

Julie Robson, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK,
Jillian Farquhar, Solent University, Southampton, UK;
Mana Farshid, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden,

The MENA (Middle East and North African) region represents an under explored context in marketing research for several reasons (Okazaki and Mueller, 2007; Al-Olayan and Karande, 2000) which are as follows:

  • government barriers and the lack of priority given to research (Lages, Pfajfar and Shoham, 2015, Balakrishnan, 2013);
  • considerable regional diversity (Lages, Pfajfar and Shoham, 2015; Mellahi et al. 2011);
  • market/industry factors i.e. access to data at industry level, survey barriers, quality of data/relevance of study, cost of gathering data
  • availability of secondary data, publishing factors such as competency in English, reviewer bias and ethnocentricity of journals (Lages et al. 2015; Balakrishnan, 2013).

Scholars suggest that this paucity of research has hindered the development of new constructs, dissuaded the questioning of conventional thinking (Burgess and Steenkamp, 2006) and thereby continues to limit the application of research developed in western countries to the MENA region. In addition, recent changes in the MENA region (for example the Arab spring and civil unrest) have generated a unique and specific context within which to conduct research (Balakrishnan, 2013). Hence, there is a pressing need for research in and about the MENA region (Lages et al. 2015) that addresses and responds to its diversity and richness.

The purpose of this special issue of Qualitative Market Research – An International Journal is to advance marketing theory and knowledge through the adoption of an emic perspective inherent in qualitative research. The special issue aims to illuminate research in the MENA region through the development of innovative qualitative research methodologies, established methods modified to capture challenges in the region and theoretical or empirical studies that address region-specific themes. Particular topics of interest for the special issue might include but are not limited to:

  • Review of the use of qualitative research methodologies or methods in the MENA region,
  • Novel qualitative data collection and analysis techniques that address issues and challenges at local level and more broadly within the region,
  • Refinement of existing qualitative data collection and analysis techniques to address local issues and challenges,
  • How to conduct novel qualitative research that address local issues and challenges.
  • Research into sustainability issues in marketing from a multiple stakeholders’ perspective in the MENA region.
  • Cultural and religious issues in conducting qualitative research in marketing.
  • Qualitative research into societal, economic and political changes that are linked to marketing.
  • Research into the impact of digitalisation on marketing such as the Internet and social media.
  • Research into gender issues that pertain to marketing research in the region

Submission Requirements and Information:

Inquiries can be directed to the special issue co-editors: Julie Robson,, Jillian Farquhar, or Mana Farshid,

Submissions should follow the manuscript format guidelines for QMR found at:

Submission can be made from 1st October 2019 until the 31st January 2020. A link to the online submission system will follow in October.


Submission of full paper: from 1st October 2019 to 31 January 2020.

It is anticipated that the special issue will be published no later than December 2020.

Articles that are accepted for publication in the special issue prior to this date will be available via EarlyCite on Emerald Insight ahead of the special issue.


Al-Olayan, F.S. and Karande, K. (2000), “A content analysis of magazine advertisements from the United States and the Arab world”, Journal of Advertising, Vol 29, Issue: 3, pp. 69-82.

Balakrishnan, M.S (2013), “Methods to increase research output: some tips looking at the MENA region”, International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 8, Issue: 3, pp. 215-239.

Burgess, S.M., and Steenkamp, J.B.E.M (2006), “Marketing renaissance: How research in emerging markets advances science and practice”, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Vol. 23, Issue: 4, pp. 337-356.

Lages, C.R., Pfajfar, G. and Shoham, A (2015), “Challenges in conducting and publishing research on the Middle East and Africa in leading journals”, International Marketing Review, Vol. 32, Issue: 1, pp. 52-77.

Mellahi, K., Demirbag, M. and Riddle, L. (2011), “Multinationals in the Middle East: challenges and opportunities”, Journal of World Business, Vol. 46 Issue: 4, pp. 406-410.

Okazaki, S. and Mueller, B. (2007), “Cross-cultural advertising research: where we have been and where we need to go”, International Marketing Review, Vol. 24 Issue: 5, pp. 499-518.

The authoritative version of this call can be found at