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Journal cover: European Journal of Marketing

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Online from: 1967

Subject Area: Marketing

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Critically divided?: How marketing educators perceive undergraduate programmes in the UK


Document Information:
Title:Critically divided?: How marketing educators perceive undergraduate programmes in the UK
Author(s):Angela Tregear, (University of Edinburgh Business School, Edinburgh, UK), Suzanne Dobson, (School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK), Mary Brennan, (School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK), Sharron Kuznesof, (School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Citation:Angela Tregear, Suzanne Dobson, Mary Brennan, Sharron Kuznesof, (2010) "Critically divided?: How marketing educators perceive undergraduate programmes in the UK", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 44 Iss: 1/2, pp.66 - 86
Keywords:Critical thinking, Education, Marketing, Marketing theory
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/03090561011008619 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper. The authors would also like to extend their thanks to all the educators who took the time to participate in the empirical research reported here.
Abstract:

Purpose – “Theory versus practice” and “rigour versus relevance” debates have long been a feature of the discipline of marketing, not least within the sub-field of marketing education, where authors have increasingly called for the adoption of more critical approaches as a means to enhance undergraduate degrees. To date, however, little is actually known about how undergraduate programmes are perceived by those who deliver them. The aim of this research is to investigate educators' views of the primary purpose of undergraduate degrees, and their perceptions and experiences of critical approaches.

Design/methodology/approach – A series of 23 exploratory interviews was conducted, followed by a national survey of UK marketing educators. For the main phase of data analysis, multivariate techniques were employed.

Findings – Respondents generally agreed that intellectual rigour is a priority in marketing education. However, significant differences in opinion were identified on the extent to which degrees actually provide this, the extent to which students should be treated as customers, and whether curricula should be driven by industry. In terms of critical approaches, the majority of staff rated such approaches as important to undergraduate programmes, and most had introduced at least one type in their own teaching. There were no significant differences in ratings and experiences of critical approaches between those respondents who emphasised industry relevance in marketing education and the rest.

Originality/value – The divergence of views revealed by the research raises important questions about how marketing is currently positioned to different stakeholders, and how the discipline may evolve in future.



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