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Understanding Influence of Marketing Thought on Practice: an Analysis of Business Journals Using Textual and Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) Analysis


Several calls have been made to understand the influence of marketing thought on practice (Rust et al. J Mark 68:76–89, 11). Practice includes practitioners who mostly use concepts and frameworks (general practice) and who mostly use quantitative models (quantitative practice). This paper compares the relative influence of marketing thought compared to other disciplines and uncovers seminal marketing thoughts that have influenced both general and quantitative practice. Using topic modeling procedures on 94 years of Harvard Business Review, 46 years of Sloan Management Review, and 47 years of Management Science, this paper illuminates the evolution of the influence of marketing thought over time. Despite marketing’s slow start, it has an increasing influence on both general and quantitative practice. Foundational topics in marketing such as product, promotion, place, consumers, and marketing research methods have influenced both general and quantitative practice. Surprisingly, price has not influenced practice. Marketing Communications is increasingly influential while Channel Management, Product/Service Management, and surprisingly Customer Relationships have lost their early influence to practice. General practitioners find Marketing Environment and Business Models increasingly influential while quantitative practitioners find Social Influence and Metrics increasingly influential. Quantitative practice has kept up to speed with marketing thought that influence general practice.

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  3. Details are in Web Appendix B.

  4. A list of the five most representative Management Science articles for each topic is in Web Appendix C.


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The authors thank Johannes Boegershausen for his detailed comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Abhishek Borah.

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Borah, A., Wang, X.(. & Ryoo, J.H.(. Understanding Influence of Marketing Thought on Practice: an Analysis of Business Journals Using Textual and Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) Analysis. Cust. Need. and Solut. 5, 146–161 (2018).

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  • Marketing topics
  • Practice
  • Harvard Business Review
  • Management Science
  • MIT Sloan Management Review
  • Topic modeling
  • Historical analysis
  • Latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA)