Revisiting marketing's lawlike generalizations
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Since being recognized as a separate field of inquiry over 75 years ago, marketing has made enormous strides in terms of becoming a scholarly discipline. Marketing scholars have used scientific approaches to discover and document a number of regularities pertaining to consumer behavior and marketing exchages. Many regularities that have been empirically validated have achieved the status of “lawlike generalizations.” In this article, the authors first classify these generalizations into four categories: location centric, time centric, market centric, and competition centric. They then argue that each category is now being affected by at least one major contextual discontinuity that is likely to challenge the relevance, if not validity, of these well-accepted lawlike generalizations. The authors also identify important questions stemming from these discontinuities and issue a call for further research to discover new insights and paradigms.