Too much research in marketing focuses on narrow methodological issues and esoteric phenomena detached from the reality of the business world. The critique is frequently advanced by both scholars and practitioners that the marketing discipline has developed in an incremental manner without challenging or de-constructing its established, underlying concepts and assumptions. As MacInnis (2011) observes, “empirical advances (in methods, statistics) and empirically focused PhD coursework have outpaced conceptual advances and courses. Empirical methods are essential, but unless they are accompanied by good and interesting ideas, their value diminishes” (p. 151). As discussed by other authors throughout this book, the Nordic School of marketing thought has, in the spirit of free enquiry, offered research characterised by theory generation, inductive reasoning and case-study method. While conceptually novel and innovative, it has been firmly anchored in the reality of the business world. For example, managerially relevant phenomena have been addressed through in-depth case studies and action research, helping to generate managerial insight and clarify the complexity and ambiguity of the world around us. From my point of view as business marketing researcher, the Nordic School’s perspective on marketing is intellectually interesting, rhetorically appealing, and managerially applicable. In this short piece, I hope to share my thoughts about its relevance to business marketing, its methodological and philosophical position, and how it might help to increase marketing impact.
Helsingfors: CERS, Hanken Svenska handelshögskolan , 2015. 55-67 p.