Special Session Summary Theory Building and Evaluation in Consumer Behavior

ABSTRACT - At the ACR conference in Minneapolis last October the president, Donald Lebmann, gave his presidential address on the subject of research standards and rigour within the discipline. As a result of this address a group has come together to research a number of aspects associated with this topic, specifically in the field of theory building and evaluation. The papers address how theory is built, analyse what methods are most applicable in consumer behaviour and also look at the competing dominant paradigms.



Citation:

Tony Ward (1996) ,"Special Session Summary Theory Building and Evaluation in Consumer Behavior", in AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2, eds. Russel Belk and Ronald Groves, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 30.

Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2, 1996      Page 30

SPECIAL SESSION SUMMARY

THEORY BUILDING AND EVALUATION IN CONSUMER BEHAVIOR

Tony Ward, Central Queensland University

ABSTRACT -

At the ACR conference in Minneapolis last October the president, Donald Lebmann, gave his presidential address on the subject of research standards and rigour within the discipline. As a result of this address a group has come together to research a number of aspects associated with this topic, specifically in the field of theory building and evaluation. The papers address how theory is built, analyse what methods are most applicable in consumer behaviour and also look at the competing dominant paradigms.

The first paper, by Tony Ward, describes a process for theory building using widely accepted methodological and scientific principles. The second paper, by Edwina Luck, considers the existence or otherwise of a dominant paradigm in marketing and suggests some ways forward. The final paper, by Debra Caldow, studies getting the right balance between alternative research designs and methodologies. The session hope to stimulate more debate about research methods and theory building and discipline within marketing in general and consumer behaviour in particular.

 

THEORY BUILDING IN CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR

Tony Ward, Central Queensland University

This paper reviews the development of research in a discipline by reviewing the progress pathways for developing new research tools and methods so that complex research topics can be addressed. Many dangers and difficulties along these pathways are identified and discussed. The paper then addresses how new theory can be established using criteria developed from the logical empiricists school and an example is given. The paper concludes that there is much yet to be learnt in our methods for sequentially and logically developing a research topic area in consumer behaviour.

 

MARKETING: SCIENCE OR ART: THE RIGHT BALANCE.

Debra Caldow, Central Queensland University

This second paper looks at the continuing debate into whether marketing a science or an art. A brief overview of the debate will be made by looking at the advances the discipline has made towards a scientific approach, with the emergence of logical positivism and later logical empiricism in rsearch. However, the focus of the paper is on how much science can actually be put into marketing and whether marketing will ever be able to meet the criteria associated with a science. Moreover, is it desirable that marketing ever become a science? What would be the usefulness to marketing if it was to meet the criteria for science, for example by developing a central theory? Is it in practice more desirable that marketing adopt a scientific approach, but temper that with just enough art to ensure relevance? Will this preoccupation with the desire for marketing to become a science ultimately harm the discipline?

 

WHAT IS THE DOMINANT PERSPECTIVE IN MARKETING

Edwina Luck, Central Queensland University

The third paper reviews the history of the dominant paradigms in marketing, from product concept to marketing concept. There have been transitions from the dominant consumer behaviour perspective to other viewpoints which incorporate many marketing foundations. The major conflicts between scholars, academics and corporate managers regarding these studies are identified and discussed. The discussion will also review current philosophy within consumer behaviour and possible future directions for the discipline.

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Authors

Tony Ward, Central Queensland University



Volume

AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 2 | 1996



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