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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Creating Boundary-Breaking, Marketing-Relevant Consumer Research

  • Author(s): MacInnis, Deborah J
  • Morwitz, Vicki G
  • Botti, Simona
  • Hoffman, Donna L
  • Kozinets, Robert V
  • Lehmann, Donald R
  • Jr, Lynch John G
  • Pechmann, Cornelia
  • et al.

Consumer research often fails to have broad impact on members of the marketing discipline, on adjacent disciplines studying related phenomena, and on relevant stakeholders who stand to benefit from the knowledge created by rigorous research. The authors propose that impact is limited because consumer researchers have adhered to a set of implicit boundaries or defaults regarding what consumer researchers study, why they study it, and how they do so. The authors identify these boundaries and describe how they can be challenged. By detailing five impactful articles and identifying others, they show that boundary-breaking, marketing-relevant consumer research can influence relevant stakeholders including academics in marketing and allied disciplines as well as a wide range of marketplace actors (e.g., business practitioners, policy makers, the media, society). Drawing on these articles, the authors articulate what researchers can do to break boundaries and enhance the impact of their research. They also indicate why engaging in boundary-breaking work and enhancing the breadth of marketing’s influence is good for both individual researchers and the fields of consumer research and marketing.

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