Revisiting marketing's lawlike generalizations

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Jagdish N. Sheth.

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Jagdish N. Sheth is the Charles Kellstadt Professor of Marketing at the Gouizeta Business School, Emory University. He has published 26 books and more than 200 articles in marketing and other business disciplines. His book,The Theory of Buyer Behavior (with John A. Howard), is a classic in the field of consumer behavior and is one of the most cited works in marketing. his other books includeMarketing Theory: Evolution and Evaluation (with David Gardner and Dennis Garrett) andConsumption Values and Market Choices: Theory and Applications (with Bruce Newman and Barbara Gross).

Rajendra S. Sisodia is Trustee Professor of Marketing at Bentley College. Previously, he was an associate professor of marketing and director of executive programs at George Mason University and assistant professor of marketing at Boston University. He has a Ph.D. in marketing from Columbia University. He has published more than 40 articles in journals such asHarvard Business Review, Journal of Business Strategy, Marketing Letters, andMarketing Management. He has also authored about two dozen cases, primarily on strategic and marketing issues in the telecommunications industry, as well as a number of telecommunications industry and company analyses.

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Sheth, J.N., Sisodia, R.S. Revisiting marketing's lawlike generalizations. J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci. 27, 71 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1177/0092070399271006

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Keywords

  • Marketing
  • Market Share
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Market Orientation
  • Product Life Cycle