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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. Marketing is defined broadly to include the activities involved in commercial exchange and other commercial-like activities. Marketing history includes, but is not limited to, the histories of advertising, retailing, channels of distribution, product design & branding, pricing strategies, market research, and consumption behaviour - all studied from the perspective of individuals, companies, industries, or of whole economies and societies. The history of marketing thought examines the histories of marketing ideas, concepts, theories, and schools of marketing thought including the lives and times of marketing thinkers. This includes biographical studies as well as histories of institutions and associations involved in the development of the marketing discipline. We welcome manuscripts that deal with the origins, growth, and development of both marketing history and the history of marketing thought. All time frames and geographical settings are of interest. Pedagogical and historiographical / methodological essays are also welcome as long as they are grounded in a marketing and historical context.
History broadens and deepens our understanding of marketing. It provides a context and perspective for contemporary marketing practices and ideas. Nevertheless, marketing history is also valuable in its own right and for its own sake. Marketing history is studied within a broad range of related historical disciplines including business history, social and cultural history, marketing, and other business disciplines. JHRM welcomes high quality, original research that encompasses that broader range of historical approaches, philosophical positions, and methodologies. The distinguishing theme is its historical orientation. The essence of an historical perspective is a thorough, systematic, critical, and sophisticated awareness of the changes (or continuity) in events over time and of the context in which change or continuity occurs. Historical research requires a coherent recreation of what happened and an interpretation of the significance of what happened, a narration of those events through time including the analysis and explanation of the causes and consequences of those events.
The quality of historical research depends largely on the data sources selected. One measure of the quality of historical research is its use of primary source material. Primary sources include written documents, images, artifacts, and memories elicited through oral history methods. Of course, the historical era being investigated will influence the mix of primary and secondary source material available. Obviously, primary source material relating to pre-industrial era marketing is much more difficult to find than, say, that relating to the twentieth century. And, some very good marketing history has been written using a fresh interpretation of secondary sources.
Historians are not generally methodological zealots. Yet, our readership ranges from scholars trained in history, working in history departments, to marketing scholars working in business schools. Our readers’ backgrounds and training are varied. So, while it isn’t necessary to include a separate research method section, some explicit discussion of sources and their selection should be included. If content analysis or some other statistical method of analysis is used, an appropriate description including rating reliabilities should be included. In short, authors should provide some transparency about their historical research methodology.
The process of analysis and writing are interwoven. The sine qua non of historical writing is clarity. If reviewers cannot decipher what an author means, the submission will not survive the review process. While history can be used to test marketing theory and to develop marketing policy, we are also firm believers in the value of history for its own sake. Nevertheless, the contribution of a paper to the marketing history literature must be made clear. Why is your paper important? What will readers learn that is not already known? Answering those questions requires that authors have a solid knowledge of the existing marketing history literature – and it has grown dramatically over the past 25 years or so.
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