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Marketing Theory

Marketing Theory

eISSN: 1741301X | ISSN: 14705931 | Current volume: 24 | Current issue: 1 Frequency: Quarterly

Marketing Theory provides a fully peer-reviewed specialised academic medium and main reference for the development and dissemination of alternative and critical perspectives on marketing theory.

There are a growing number of researchers and management practitioners who believe that conventional marketing theory is often ill-suited to the challenges of the modern business environment. Marketing Theory creates a high quality, specialist outlet for management and social scientists who are committed to developing and reformulating marketing as an academic discipline by critically analysing existing theory.

"I received a copy of Marketing Theory, Vol. 1, No. 1, and I read your article "Are Current Research Approaches in Marketing Leading Us Astray?" Great article. We should insist that it be read in every Ph.D. marketing class on methods."
Philip Kotler, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, USA

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

Marketing Theory provides a fully peer reviewed specialised academic medium and main reference for the development and dissemination of alternative and critical perspectives on marketing theory.

A growing number of researchers and management practitioners who believe that conventional marketing theory is often ill suited to the challenges of the modern business environment. The aim of Marketing Theory is to create a high quality, specialist outlet for management and social scientists who are committed to developing and reformulating marketing as an academic discipline by critically analysing existing theory. The journal promotes an ethos that is explicitly theory driven; international in scope and vision; open, reflexive, imaginative and critical; and interdisciplinary.

Focus on Theory
The journal encompasses theoretical, methodological and substantive debates and developments in marketing theory. Marketing Theory publishes articles covering different aspects of theory, including strategy, consumer behaviour, new product development and more. Research that builds on different methodological and disciplinary positions is particularly welcome. It is not the intention to promote any particular research or normative position. Both conceptual and empirical papers are equally encouraged. The editors particularly encourage contributions from academics at the start of their career as a positive strategy to create more interest in theory among new generations of the marketing academy.

The journal is not limited to specific areas of marketing but covers the whole range of marketing issues.

Rohit Varman University of Birmingham, UK
Finola Kerrigan University of Birmingham, UK
Andreas Chatzidakis Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
Associate Editors
Rachel Ashman University of Liverpool, UK
Janice Denegri-Knott Bournemouth University, UK
James Fitchett University of Leicester, UK
Suvi Nenonen University of Auckland, New Zealand
Per Skålén Karlstad University, Sweden
Media Editor
Olga Kravets Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
Book Review Editor
Robert Cluley University of Birmingham, UK
Advisory Editorial Board
Luis Araujo University of Manchester, UK
Rod Brodie University of Auckland, New Zealand
David Crockett University of Illinois Chicago, USA
Guliz Ger Bilkent University, Turkey
Evert Gummesson Stockholm University, Sweden
Morris B Holbrook Columbia University, USA
Pauline Maclaran Royal Holloway University of London, UK
Liz Parsons University of Liverpool, UK
Michael Saren University of Birmingham, UK
Editorial Board
Samuleson Appau University of Melbourne, Australia
Rachel Ashman University of Liverpool, UK
Alan Bradshaw Royal Holloway University of London, UK
Stephen Brown University of Ulster, UK
Benedetta Cappellini University of Durham, UK
Vassilis Charitsis Brunel University London, UK
Robert Cluley University of Birmingham, UK
Franck Cochoy University of Toulouse II, France
Bernard Cova Euromed Marseilles, France
Daniele Dalli University of Pisa, Italy
Andrea Davies De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
Nick Ellis University of Durham, UK
Bernardo Figueiredo RMIT University, Australia
A. Fuat Firat University of Texas - Pan American, USA
Susan Fournier Questrom School of Business, USA
Yiannis Gabriel University of Bath, UK
Christina Goulding University of Birmingham, UK
Kathy Hamilton University of Strathclyde, UK
Marcus Wilcox Hemais Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Paul Hewer University of Strathclyde, UK
Tim Hill University of Bath, UK
Elif Izberk-Bilgin University of Michigan-Dearburn, USA
Aliakbar Jafari University of Strathclyde, UK
Brian Jones Quinnipiac University, USA
Eminegul Karababa Middle East Technical University Chloe Preece, ESCP Europe, UK
Hans Kjellberg Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden
Gretchen Larsen University of Durham, UK
Chris Miles Bournemouth University, UK
Susanna Molander Stockholm University, Sweden
Elizabeth Nixon University of Nottingham, UK
Stephanie O'Donohoe University of Edinburgh, UK
Lisa O'Malley University of Limerick, Ireland
Giorgos Patsiaouras University of Leicester, UK
Anthony Patterson University of Lancaster, UK
Jaqueline Pels Universidad Torcuato di Tella, Argentina
Chloe Preece ESCP Europe, UK
Andrea Prothero University College Dublin, Ireland
Thomas Robinson Bayes Business School, UK
Pilar Rojas-Gaviria University of Birmingham, UK
Özlem Sandikci Istanbul Sehir University, Turkey
Jonathan Schroeder Rochester Institute of Technology, USA
Avi Shankar University of Bath, UK
Per Skålén Karlstad University, Sweden
Lorna Stevens University of Bath, UK
Peter Svensson Lund University, Sweden
Mark Tadajewski York University, UK
Ekant Veer University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Terence H. Witkowski California State University, Long Beach, USA
Niklas Woermann University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Detlev Zwick York University, Canada
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  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Marketing Theory

    This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics.

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Marketing Theory will be reviewed.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this Journal. Open Access options are available - see section 3.3 below.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere. Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that Marketing Theory may accept submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting (contact details are at the end of these guidelines) and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the journal's author archiving policy. If your paper is accepted, you must include a link on your preprint to the final version of your paper.

    Marketing Theory welcomes the submission of Special Issue proposals. Editors select Special Issues in consultation with the Editorial Board members on the basis of their relevance and potential to advance the aims and scope of the journal: Manuscripts should be prepared in conformity with the journal’s submission guidelines: 

    Peer review: papers to a special issue must be submitted via the online submission site The double blind peer review process is handled by Special Issue Editors, and is in line with the journal’s standard practise and Sage’s policies and processes.  

    The Editors maintain oversight of the Special Issue and has final say on manuscript decisions. In the event of the Special Issue not reaching the required number of articles, the Special Issue may be changed to a special section or the individual papers may be published as stand-alone articles (at the discretion of the journal Editors). 

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Acknowledgements
      2.4 Funding
      2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
    3. Publishing policies
      3.1 Publication ethics
      3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.3 Open access and author archiving
    4. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 Formatting
      4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.3 Supplemental material
      4.4 Reference style
      4.5 English language editing services
    5. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 ORCID
      5.2 Information required for completing your submission
      5.3 Permissions
    6. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 Sage Production
      6.2 Online First publication
      6.3 Access to your published article
      6.4 Promoting your article
    7. Further information

    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Before submitting your manuscript to Marketing Theory, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.

    1.2 Article Types

    The journal publishes theory papers and speculative essays, review articles and theoretically grounded methodology and empirical articles. Thematic symposia (typically comprising 3 or 4 papers) on a particular theme will be published from time to time.

    Articles should be written in English and should not have been published nor be currently under review elsewhere. Marketing Theory will consider papers that have been published elsewhere in languages other than English, if they are submitted with an accompanying English translation.

    Full papers should be 8000 words in length (including references) with shorter 'think pieces' of between 2,000 and 3,000 words.

    In the tradition of the journal a 'think piece' should offer an alternative critical viewpoint on an existing debate. It might also introduce a new perspective on how we might theorise marketplace activity (perhaps from a different discipline) with the aim of generating further conversation and debate.

    Abstract: All papers require an abstract of 100-150 words and five to eight keywords. Abstracts should be typed double-spaced on a separate sheet at the beginning of the manuscript.

    Please note that although we accept review papers, we are not interested in systematic or integrative reviews that mainly synthesise prior insights and offer suggestions for future research. Reviews submitted in Marketing Theory need to be more explicitly theoretically grounded by either using prior research as a means to developing new theory or problematising existing theory. For a difference between integrative and more theory-focused or problematising reviews see e.g. : Alvesson, Mats, and Jörgen Sandberg. "The problematizing review: A counterpoint to Elsbach and Van Knippenberg’s argument for integrative reviews." Journal of Management Studies (2020).

    The book review section of Marketing Theory invites reviewers to constructively assess books and highlight their relevance to theoretical developments and understandings of markets, market-based societies, and everyday consumption. Recognising the unique contributions that can be made by extended writing, the section invites contributors to either:

    • Appraise a contemporary book, including research monographs, novels, political pamphlets, methodological protocol from any discipline or background.
    • Compare and contrast more than one text on the same issue from any discipline or background.
    • Provide an exposition of a classic and foundational text from any discipline or background for a marketing theory audience.

    Contributions to the section will be reviewed by the Book Review Editor and, where appropriate, members of the Editorial Board. Contributions should be roughly 1,500-3,000 words.

    If you would like to produce a review or would like to receive updates on texts that are available for review, please contact Reviewers from early career researchers, scholars from the global South, and marginalised groups are particularly welcome.

    1.3 Writing your paper

    The Sage Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources. Sage Author Services also offers authors a variety of ways to improve and enhance their article including English language editing, plagiarism detection, and video abstract and infographic preparation.

    1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

    When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

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    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    Sage does not permit the use of author-suggested (recommended) reviewers at any stage of the submission process, be that through the web-based submission system or other communication. Reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Our policy is that reviewers should not be assigned to a paper if:

    •  The reviewer is based at the same institution as any of the co-authors

    •  The reviewer is based at the funding body of the paper

    •  The author has recommended the reviewer

    •  The reviewer has provided a personal (e.g. Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail) email account and an institutional email account cannot be found after performing a basic Google search (name, department and institution). 

    2.2 Authorship

    All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

    Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    2.3.1 Third party submissions

    Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

    • Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
    • Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
    • Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.

    Where appropriate, Sage reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

    2.3.2 Writing assistance

    Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance”).

    It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.

    Please supply any personal acknowledgements separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.

    2.4 Funding

    Marketing Theory requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. 

    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

    Marketing Theory encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the Sage Journal Author Gateway.

    2.6 Research data

    The journal is committed to facilitating openness, transparency and reproducibility of research, and has the following research data sharing policy. For more information, including FAQs please visit the Sage Research Data policy pages.

    Subject to appropriate ethical and legal considerations, authors are encouraged to:

    • share your research data in a relevant public data repository
    • include a data availability statement linking to your data. If it is not possible to share your data, we encourage you to consider using the statement to explain why it cannot be shared.
    • cite this data in your research

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    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway.

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    Marketing Theory and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a Sage journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the Sage Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Sage’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants Sage the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than Sage. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the Sage Author Gateway.

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    Marketing Theory offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice programme and Open Access agreements, where authors can publish open access either discounted or free of charge depending on the agreement with Sage. Find out if your institution is participating by visiting Open Access Agreements at Sage. For more information on Open Access publishing options at Sage please visit Sage Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit Sage’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.

    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.  

    Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Sage after receipt of your accepted article.

    4.3 Supplemental material

    This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files.

    4.4 Reference style

    Marketing Theory adheres to the Sage Harvard reference style. View the Sage Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    If you use EndNote to manage references, you can download the Sage Harvard EndNote output file.

    4.5 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using Sage Language Services. Visit Sage Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    5. Submitting your manuscript

    Marketing Theory is hosted on Sage Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    5.1 ORCID 

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.

    The collection of ORCID IDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID ID you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID ID will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID ID is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

    If you do not already have an ORCID ID please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. The affiliation listed in the manuscript should be the institution where the research was conducted. If an author has moved to a new institution since completing the research, the new affiliation can be included in a manuscript note at the end of the paper. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.3 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Author Gateway.

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    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 Sage Production

    Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal Sage Edit or by email, and corrections should be made directly or notified to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate.

    6.2 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the Sage Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    6.3 Access to your published article

    Sage provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.4 Promoting your article

    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The Sage Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice. 

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    7. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Marketing Theory editorial office as follows:

    Professor Pauline Maclaran 
    School of Management 
    Royal Holloway, University of London 
    Egham Hill, Egham 
    Surrey TW20 0EX 


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