Journal of Historical Research in Marketing: New Feature

2 08 2011

I was asked to post this by Stanley J. Shapiro, who Professor Emeritus of Marketing at Simon Fraser University, regular reader of this blog, and an editor of  the Journal of Historical Research in Marketing. Launched in 2009, Journal of Historical Research in Marketing is the only quarterly, peer-reviewed journal publishing high quality, original, academic research that focuses entirely on marketing history and the history of marketing thought.

Prof. Shapiro would like to bring your attention to a new feature in the Journal. That journal now wishes to introduce a Teaching & Learning feature which will highlight how others are teaching courses, whatever the home discipline, that devote considerable attention to the history of public markets,  marketing practice, advertising, retailing, cultures of consumption, distribution systems and related topics.

These are subjects on which economic historians, social historians,urban studies, and those working in women’s studies among others have published. However, JHRM has only a very limited knowledge either of how many courses are being taught that cover this area, in whole or in part,  or, evn more importantly, how those courses are structured. Put very simply, we want first to compile an ongoing and continually updated collection of this sort. Contributions to our list will both be announced in the new Teaching & Learning section of JHRM and the course outlines, bibliographies of interest and the like will also appear on the Resources page of JHRM’s sponsoring organization, the Conference on the History of Advertising, Retailing and Marketing.

Stan had this to say about the new feature:


Let me begin by briefly reviewing the relevant pedagogical content that has already appeared in JHRM. What’s been published to date provides readers with a most impressive mix of course outlines, edited collections of readings, and observations on teaching the history of both marketing thought and, to a lesser degree, marketing practice. In Volume I, Issue 1, Jones and Keep discussed in some detail Stan Hollander’s seminar taught at Michigan State University on the History of Marketing Thought and provided the 1994-95 syllabus for that course. The full table of contents of the associated Hollander and Rassuli readings volume is also provided. This remains a classic collection with numerous sources that would still merit consideration for inclusion in a more contemporary reading list. 


Two items of obvious pedagogical interest appear in Volume 1, Issue 2. The first is a discussion by Mark Tadajewski of the process he and Brian Jones used in assembling the mix of previously published articles included the in three volume set, The History of Marketing Thought, they edited for Sage. The full table of contents of that set is also provided so readers can compare Tadajewski and Jones’s selections, made fifteen or so years later, with those of Hollander and Rassuli. That E&I contribution by Tadajewski is accompanied by three others, authored by Eric Shaw, Robert Tamilia, and Goran Svensson, who provide commentaries on the three volume set of readings. The same issue of JHRM also includes Ron Savitt’s observations on both teaching and studying marketing history. There is much to be learned from that article and Ron’s comments on “the course that never was” would be of particular value to all those who today wish to introduce a course on marketing history.


There are no course outlines or discussions of pedagogy in Volume 2, Number 1, though Tracey Deutsch’s discussion of emerging areas of interest in retail history has obvious reading list implications. In Volume 2, Issue 2, Jones et al briefly reveal the scope of Danny Monieson’s doctoral level course at Queen’s University on the development of marketing thought. The full course syllabus with its reading list and assignment sequence is available on the CHARM web site at


The E&I found in Volume 2, Issue 3, also highlights new developments, neglected areas of interest, and emerging trends in the study of retail history. The direct pedagogical relevance of the three contributions there again relates to the design of reading lists on the history of retailing. Volume 2, Issue 4, on the other hand, contains three very detailed discussions, along with course outlines and reading lists, on how marketing theory and the history of thought is currently being taught. That material was provided by Shelby Hunt (teaching in the United States), Christine Domegan (in Ireland) and Ben Wooliscroft (in New Zealand). That E&I is, simply put, currently the “mother lode” source for any and all interested in introducing such a course be it at the BBA, MBA or PhD level.


Volume 3, Issue 1, contains two contributions of pedagogical importance. The first is Eric Shaw’s E&I commentary in which he reflects on the two offerings of Dixon’s doctoral seminar, 1975-76 and 1978-79, on the development of marketing thought and theory in which Shaw participated. The tone and tenor of that two semester offering is made clear as are Dixon’s views both on certain concepts of the time and on those who were then promoting these concepts. The thirty page reading list for the 1986 seminar is posted on the CHARM web site under “Resources”.  In that same issue of JHRM one also finds a previously unpublished Dixon paper which discusses the changes in the reading list for Reavis Cox’s Marketing Theory Course at Wharton before and after Alderson’s Marketing Behavior and Executive Action was incorporated therein. Though the sources discussed are now somewhat dated, the insights provided more than justify a careful reading of that article.


Course design of a sort, but at a very different level, is discussed in Volume 3, Issue 2, when Bill Lazer and Pete Bennett reflect on the initial mid-to-late 1960s offerings of the American Marketing Association’s Doctoral Consortium. An interesting comparison is made between how the Consortium, a gathering for some of the very best and brightest, functioned then and how, forty plus years later, it now is structured. Finally, the E&I in Volume 3, Issue 3, was devoted in its entirety to publication of Shapiro and Tamilia’s  annotated bibliography (some 200 items) on the history of Canadian marketing from earliest exploration until the beginning of World War II. This was intended, among other things, to serve as a source document from which modules or even entire courses might be fashioned. A more complete bibliography on the history of Canadian marketing is also to be found on the CHARM web site.


Looking backward (something I do with increasing frequency these days) it appears that a significant degree of progress has been made, especially in the marketing thought area, as regards the compilation of teaching material. That said, what has been highlighted above is only a down payment on what is needed. JHRM, in association with CHARM, must take the lead in assembling in one place all of  the course outlines, reading lists, and reflective essays on how marketing history is or could be taught either by marketing academics, business historians, or economic and social historians. Future “Teaching & Learning” sections will be devoted to briefly informing JHRM readers of our latest discoveries in this crucial area. Associated source documents will appear on the CHARM web site. In its own way this will be a major effort and we need JHRM readers to help identify any and all relevant pedagogical material.

If you have sources to suggest or ideas to share, please contact him at








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