Developing Research Methods and Metrics in Macromarketing

Introduction

A Call to Doctoral Students and Young Scholars to Set the Future Agenda, Special issue of the Journal of Macromarketing; Deadline 28 Feb 2022

INTEREST CATEGORY: MARKETING AND SOCIETY
POSTING TYPE: Calls: Journals

Author: Julie V. Stanton


Call for Papers — Journal of Macromarketing Special Issue

Developing Research Methods and Metrics in Macromarketing: A Call to Doctoral Students and Young Scholars to Set the Future Agenda

Submission Deadline: February 28, 2022 via http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jmk

Aims and Scope of the Special Issue

For this special issue, we seek submissions that emphasize the identification and implementation of diverse and meaningful quantitative methods to explore Macromarketing topics.  The Macromarketing field addresses complex socioeconomic phenomena which have not been easily captured with existing scales and measures.  This special issue will help bridge the gap between limited, partial measures, and more comprehensive and novel measures and modeling of these complex phenomena.  Accordingly, we seek to develop an agenda for the future, one with robust avenues of quantitative research and the macromarketing scholars to carry it forward.  To foster this, we aim for every article to be written either in whole or in part by current doctoral students or recent doctoral graduates whose contributions warrant first or second authorship.

This special issue presents new macromarketing scholars with the challenge of generating fresh measures to assist in addressing the wicked social problems, environmental challenges, and injustices that have been the focus of Macromarketing scholars in their analysis of marketing systems (Layton 2011) around the globe. Accomplishing this endeavor has been demonstrated to be highly challenging and part of an ongoing debate in the macromarketing field.  In 2016, it was the topic of the Special Issue that addressed Research Methodologies for Macromarketing, including both new qualitative and quantitative approaches, from Grounded Theory to Bayesian Network Analysis (Wooliscroft 2016).  More recently, Ekici, Genc and Celik (2021) point to a relative dearth of quantitative macromarketing research, particularly in areas of experimental studies and new analytical measures, despite Fisk (2006) and Peterson (2006) pushing for both increased use of metrics in macromarketing research and a need to go beyond descriptive research of macromarketing topics.

This special issue also builds on the cumulative research that marked key anniversaries of the Journal of Macromarketing, with compilations of the diverse Macromarketing literature to illustrate trends and opportunities within the discipline. These include specifically Fisk (1990), Shapiro (2006), and Shapiro, Tajadewski, and Shultz (2009). The most recent effort of this kind (DeQuero-Navarro, Stanton, and Klein 2021) highlighted the need for “more macromarketing measures to better capture constructs and system performance if it is to provide evidence of the sort that business and public policymakers understand and require.” This is the focus of the special issue: to leverage the training of current/recent doctoral students from various disciplines – including marketing, psychology, political science, statistics, development, and others – to help address the quantitative gap in the study of macromarketing.

What is Macromarketing?  One of the discipline’s founders declared that macromarketing’s purpose was to save the world (Fisk 2001), a description that captures a fundamental focus of macromarketing research. As economic, social and political activities occur within or alongside marketing systems, the underlying objective of macromarketing research is to identify, understand and help solve the societal challenges that result from and influence the marketing system.  Macromarketers attack wicked social problems which include the vast set of connections between individuals, organizations, and governments that involve economic, social, well-being and distributive justice activities, and for which no easy solution exists. They are systemic issues that have many interrelated and interconnecting societal factors that perpetuate the issue and are inherently hard to define or solve (Rittel and Webber 1973).  These may include behavioral social traps at the individual level or natural resource commons dilemmas (Shultz and Holbrook 1999) that exist around the globe. A useful lens for understanding Macromarketing’s concerns comes from the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), which include 17 distinct but interconnected calls for action that, if reached, could lead to an end of poverty, hunger, discrimination and other social & environmental ills.  Such goals permeate the nature and structure of macromarketing research, and are likely to shape its agenda in the coming years.

Why a call for quantitative measures?  We seek, with this special issue, research that analyzes macromarketing contexts in ways that allow comparison, whether from one location or context to another, between key constructs, or between points in time.  For example, firms which seek greater participation in social activities, such as through Corporate Social Responsibility programs, can benefit from being able to measure the impact of their investment.  Similarly, a firm attempting to position its “greener” product offering can finetune its approach when the level of impacts is better understood.  Communities seeking appropriate guidelines for use of its scarce natural resources can better target acceptable activities when the interaction between different uses can be quantified.  Beyond the localized level, any attempt to design programs, initiatives and policies that could be expected to address wicked social problems or meet UN SDGs benefits from knowing both the baseline values of and changes to the underlying factor(s), i.e. the effectiveness of such programs and policies.  Illustrating the severity of a problem by allowing levels to be contrasted can help policymakers see the merit in investing public monies toward a solution.  Arguing for policies that shift rights and responsibilities in a way that seems likely to solve underlying injustices or negative externalities is made easier when the depth of problem can be demonstrated quantitatively.  More broadly, evaluation of programs designed to achieve Macromarketing goals needs adequate tools to evaluate: 1) how programs as micromarketing strategies generate measurable results, 2) how programs as micromarketing actions have a macro impact in society and how this can be measured, and 3) how public policy programs reflect the macromarketing orientation and can have an impact on marketing systems (Goeke 1987).

Such measures should not take the form of singular behavioral scales or constructs, as few would be able to capture something meaningful from the macro perspective.  Instead, useful quantitative methods are more likely to capture the system connections between behaviors, policies and outcomes, and illustrate the partial v. general equilibrium (spillover) effects of steps taken to address the problems.  We welcome the design and testing of economic and behavioral models, the development of additional scales as part of a comprehensive depiction of the setting, the testing of relationships between existing scales and measures to illustrate macromarketing connections, random controlled experiments that address social issues, and variations thereof. Identifying and demonstrating publicly available databases that provide valuable starting points for analysis are also helpful in this regard.  By posing systemic questions and identifying measures for them, submissions to the special issue will help push forward a macro agenda for new avenues of analysis that illustrate the current challenges in our marketing systems.

Why doctoral students or recent doctoral graduates?  We are particularly interested in seeing the research agenda that emerges from this special issue have a direct bearing on the amount of macromarketing research that it can foster.  Our focus on current and recent PhD students is admittedly selfish – we want to grow the community of macromarketing scholars, and to do so in a way that offers a meaningful addition to the methodologies used in the discipline.  It is our view that current and recent doctoral students are arguably in an enviable and prime position to inject new methodological perspectives – and not necessarily originating from within the marketing discipline – that will blossom the quantitative side of macromarketing research, including novel research design, fresh metrics and new statistical applications. Establishing a macromarketing research agenda with quantitative depth also builds a clear, valuable path for new macromarketing scholars to reach their professional goals.  Of particular interest to us is the identification and testing of methods and tools more commonly used in other disciplines that can be adapted for addressing macromarketing topics.  Drawing on the knowledge from other disciplines is a natural step for macromarketers who recognize the inherent complexities of our marketing systems.

Submission Types

As contributions to the goals of this special issue, three main types of submissions are explicitly welcomed.  We also keep the door open to other means to address our key goals.

  • Quantitative modeling and methods: Of highest priority are submissions that directly demonstrate how a particular model, whether coming from the macromarketing discipline or elsewhere, is suitable and valid for macromarketing analysis and identifies potential solutions to wicked social problems.  This submission types challenges the researcher to identify and adapt quantitative modeling methods from other disciplines (e.g. engineering, sociology) or sub-disciplines of business (e.g. supply chain management, economics) to appropriately depict and analyze a macromarketing problem.  This submission type utilizes data, whether acquired directly for the submission or not, which are analyzed statistically for their fit with the proposed model and purposes.
  • Identification of quantitative metrics that extend and decode current macromarketing conceptual models: Also of great interest for the issue are submissions that offer a fresh and detailed analysis of a macromarketing model in a way that identifies key constructs or pathways that require measurement and provides the quantitative evidence of how to do so.  Such analyses might focus on illustrating the need for or impact of intervention (e.g., policy) to improve the modeled system’s outcomes, or otherwise quantify the system outcomes themselves.   These analyses would decode the linkages inherent to the model in direct and potentially causal ways and identify and test specific quantitative metrics that fit those linkages. Depending on the model, this may involve metrics for one, a few or all pathways as appropriate to the purpose of the model, the wicked problem or its analysis. An example of this might be to utilize the model proposed in Shultz et al. (2017, p.412) to facilitate sustainable QOL in distressed systems towards more flourishing societies as adapted to the context of Vietnam (Shultz and Peterson, 2019). For the case of Vietnam, Foreign Direct Investors (FDIs) were identified to be exogenous stakeholders who could greatly affect the Vietnamese system. In this sense, we would propose to measure the impact that FDIs have had on transparency, employment, general wealth, pollution, and health the regions where these investments have fallen upon. For this purpose, exploring the relations between indexes and data on the former elements is a necessary quantitative endeavor to evaluate how actually FDIs have ultimately influence macro factors towards a more sustainable QOL in the country.
  • Literature review of a specific topic with a macromarketing purpose: Also of interest, if less so, are submissions that conduct multi-disciplinary meta-analysis or systemic literature review to identify the myriad ways that a macromarketing topic, such as quality of life or externalities, has been studied in other disciplines, with focus on quantitative measurement approaches.  Such disciplines might include marketing, management, supply chain management, finance, accounting, engineering, physics and others, as relate meaningfully to the underlying macromarketing concern.  Submissions should include a thorough understanding of the macromarketing topic, and use a macromarketing filter to present how the diverse quantitative methods from other disciplines can meaningfully influence a future macromarketing agenda.  (Submissions should avoid offering a “catch-all” summary of quantitative analyses, so to preclude recommendations based on poor or ill-suited methodologies.)

Sample Topics

By definition, Macromarketing is concerned with a wide array of topics. Studying them from a quantitative approach could involve the following types of studies, among many others.

  • Building measures of environmental impacts from marketing activities in a certain territory, as well as measures of how conscious and responsible marketing efforts are reducing environmental impacts in a country or sector.
  • Constructing empirical models of localized marketing systems, such as the market network of a rural village with persistent poverty, despite the varied economic activities, that demonstrate the interconnectedness of decisions and activities, and allow subsequent analysis of different model settings. The insights derived from this type of analysis should show new corporate socially responsible activities, inclusive marketing strategies, and new strategies for a more efficient interconnectedness between marketing agents and other stakeholders.
  • Creating empirical tools that evaluate both economic (e.g. household income) and subjective aspects (e.g. going to bed hungry, QOL) of poverty to test the public policy recommendations for a given marketing system on poverty alleviation, so that marketing system contributions to poverty are better understood and addressed.
  • Evaluating alternative marketing system paths to reducing firm contributions to climate change using quantitative assessment of their effectiveness. Environmentally friendly CSR initiatives and NGO-Business alliances for sustainability are good examples of Macromarketing solutions for environmental issues; complementarily, metrics and methods to evaluate how these marketing strategies actually impact macro factors that will foster long-term environmental protection are welcome.
  • Putting marketing system lenses on the measurement of benefits from reducing embedded racism in marketing actions and society at large. Macromarketing systemic models can help connect the quantitative demonstration of the benefits of inclusive and anti-racist policies and business campaigns with their implications for a higher level of social change.

Given the variety of marketing systems around the world, “from the hunter-gatherer communities of Africa and Australia to the kibbutzim of Israel and the separate Amish communities of America, to the limited but open markets that formed in socialist China and Russia on the edges of planned economies, to the emergent evidence of trade in the large refugee camps in countries such as Kenya, to the shopping malls and increasingly complex supply chains of Western life” (Layton, 2019, pp.1), there are myriad wicked social problems to address.

Examples of papers at different levels of analysis within the marketing system (micro, meso, and macro) that use a quantitative method and have been recently published in the Journal of Macromarketing include:

Çiçek, Ulu, and Uslay (2019), “The Impact of the Slow City Movement on Place Authenticity, Entrepreneurial Opportunity, and Economic Development,” 39(4), 400-414.

Glavee-Geo, Burki, and Buvik (2020), “Building Trustworthy Relationships with Smallholder (Small-scale) Agro-commodity Suppliers: Insights from the Ghana Cocoa Industry,” 40(1), 110-127.

Howell, Sinha, Wagner, Doorn, and van Beers (2020), “Consumption of Bottled Water at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Who Purchases First?” 40(1), 31-50.

Hult, Mena, Gonzalez-Perez, Lagerström, and Hult (2018), “A Ten Country-Company Study of Sustainability and Product-Market Performance: Influences of Doing Good, Warm Glow, and Price Fairness,” 38(3), 242–261.

Mullen, Doney, Ben Mrad, and Ye Sheng (2009), “Effects of International Trade and Economic Development on Quality of Life,” 29(3), 244–258.

What Not to Submit

For this special issue, we ask contributors to avoid submissions of the following types:

  • Analyses that simply illustrate quantitative methods over the value that they bring to Macromarketing concerns. While we welcome quantitative specialists to contribute to this special issue, the underlying Macromarketing topic of the analysis must be evident and well-explained.  A co-author with Macromarketing experience may be helpful.
  • A re-presentation of an existing analytical model or quantitative analysis with a simple reframing as relevant to Macromarketing. While we explicitly welcome models which originate in other disciplines, our goal is to have them adapted and explained for specific and meaningful Macromarketing contexts.
  • Studies which gather existing scales related to behavior and attitude of consumers, measure them for a Macromarketing context, and report statistical comparisons. While there are useful outcomes to measurement of many such scales, they do not fit the novelty goals of this special issue. We seek new approaches to measurement and modeling.

Submission Requirements, Information, and Timeline

We expect contributors to this special issue to adhere to the general requirements associated with submissions to the Journal of Macromarketing.  Inquiries can be directed to the special issue co-editors: Beatriz DeQuero-Navarro (bquero@uloyola.es), Christine Domegan (christine.domegan@nuigalway.ie), Julie Stanton (jvs11@psu.edu), and Ben Wooliscroft (ben.wooliscroft@aut.ac.nz). Submissions should follow the manuscript format guidelines for the Journal of Macromarketing found at: https://journals.sagepub.com/author-instructions/JMK

All manuscripts should be submitted through the Journal of Macromarketing online submission system, and are due February 28, 2022, with anticipated publication in October 2022.

References

DeQuero-Navarro, Beatriz, Julie Stanton, and Thomas A. Klein (2021), “A Panoramic Review of the Macromarketing Literature,” Journal of Macromarketing, 41:1, 48-64, online https://doi.org/10.1177/0276146720949636

Ekici, Ahmet, Tugce Ozgen Genc, and Hafize Celik (2021), “The Future of Macromarketing: Recommendations Based on a Content Analysis of the Past Twelve Years of the Journal of Macromarketing,” Journal of Macromarketing, 41(1), 25-47.

Fisk, George (1990), “Toward Maximum Understanding and Use of the Macromarketing Bibliography,” Journal of Macromarketing, 10(1), 41-71.

Fisk, George (2001), “Reflections of George Fisk,” Journal of Macromarketing, 21(2), 121-22.

Fisk, George (2006), “Envisioning a Future for Macromarketing,” Journal of Macromarketing, 26(2), 214-218.

Goeke, Patricia E. (1987), “State Economic Development Programs: The Orientation is Macro but the Strategy is Micro,” Journal of Macromarketing, 7(1), 8-21.

Layton, Roger A. (2011), “Towards a theory of marketing systems,” European Journal of Marketing, 45(1/2), 259-276.

Layton, Roger A. (2019), “Marketing Systems – Looking backward, Sizing up, and Thinking ahead,” Journal of Macromarketing, 39(2), 208-24.

Peterson, Mark (2006), “Focusing the Future of Macromarketing,” Journal of Macromarketing, 26(2), 245-49.

Rittel, Horst W. J. and Melvin M. Webber (1973), “Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning,” Policy Sciences, 4(2), 155-69.

Shapiro, Stanley J. (2006), “A JMM-based Macromarketing Doctoral Level Reading List,” Journal of Macromarketing, 26(2), 250-5.

Shapiro, Stanley J., Mark Tadajewski, and Clifford J. Shultz (2009), “Interpreting Macromarketing: The Construction of a Major Macromarketing Research Collection,” Journal of Macromarketing, 29(3), 325-34.

Shultz, Clifford J. and Morris B. Holbrook (1999), “Marketing and the Tragedy of the Commons: A Synthesis, Commentary, and Analysis for Action,” Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 18(2), 218-229.

Shultz Clifford J. and Mark Peterson (2019), “A Macromarketing View of Sustainable Development in Vietnam,” Environmental Management, 63(4), 507–519.

Shultz, Clifford J., Don Rahtz, and Joseph Sirgy (2017), “Distinguishing Flourishing from Distressed Communities: Vulnerability, Resilience and a Systemic Framework to Facilitate Well-Being,” in: Phillips R, Wong C (ed.) The Handbook of Community Well-Being. Springer, Dordrecht, p 403–422.

Wooliscroft, Ben (2016), “Introduction to the Special Issue on Research Methodologies for Macromarketing: Macromarketing Research; It’s Not Rocket Science … It’s Much Harder,” Journal of Macromarketing, 36(1), 8-10.