June 10, 2009

Marketing education vs Apprenticeship

Despite the number of people engaged in marketing (or for that matter business) education (there are, for example, over 50 taught MScs in Marketing in the UK alone (including WBS' MSc in Marketing & Strategy, of which the author is currently the Academic Director) and despite the fact that many universities (globally) have either a business school or a department of education or both, there is, relatively speaking, little research into the application of learning theory in marketing education.

Within the field of management, there are a few (all relatively recent) journals dedicated to management education, teaching and learning, but none in the 4* category (at least not in the 2009 ABS journal rankings . The highest ranked is the 3* Academy of Management Learning and Education journal. Marketing education does have its own journals (e.g. Journal of Marketing Education and Marketing Education Reviewinter alia) but these are ranked lower down the ABS scale.

What is telling is that, despite the clear importance of understanding a subject's pedagogy to both an educational establishment purporting to teach the subject and/or to the thousands practioners in the field itself, a review of the top marketing journals reveals a dearth of articles on marketing pedagogy.

The recognised leader in marketing journals, the Journal of Marketing, in the several decades of its existence, has published just 30 articles on marketing education, teaching &/or learning, the last of which was in 1981!!! And the Journal of Marketing Management (for many years the official academic journal of the Marketing Educators Group, now the Academy of Marketing) yields only 20 substantive articles that are related to marketing education in its 30 year history.

It seems that marketing educators are not interested in research relating to the pedagogy of their own subject. This suggests that either there is little to research (but the mass of published pedagocially oriented research in other fields and the growth of interest and research in business knowledge transfer suggests otherwise) or that marketing educators are arrogant to the point of believing that such research matters little to them or that they know best or that knowledge about teaching best practice is gained osmotically or that marketing teachers are born not made or ... . Studying how organizations learn (an oxymoron if ever there was, since an organization is a socially constructed abstract concept?) is a valid topic for research, but how individual marketers learn or how learning theory can be best utilised in the teaching of marketing seems to be of little interest. 

Of course it could be that few have yet produced research of the appropriate calibre!

Thoughts, comments, ideas, research, pointers, tips, etc., etc., that relate to pedogogy in the fields of marketing &/or strategy are welcome, but particulalry those, given other strands in this blog, relating to technology in teaching and learning.


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