Credits: 6

Schedule: 26.11.2019 - 28.11.2019

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Prof. Henrikki Tikkanen, Dr. Joel Hietanen & Visiting Prof. Jacob Östberg

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

II 2019-2020

Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Over more than half a century, the field of marketing has been characterized by a number of ideological and epistemological debates covering issues such as what phenomena should be studied, from what perspectives, and for what purposes.

This course aims to introduce students to these debates in order to give a sufficient intellectual grounding in the field of marketing to be able to produce high quality research. The course takes its departure in some of the current and present debates and charts the philosophical underpinnings of the different protagonists.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Upon successful completion of the course, the student should have acquired a level of understanding and knowledge about philosophical underpinnings and ongoing debates of marketing and consumer research that allows him/her to:

•      Analyze and identify the philosophical underpinnings and ongoing debates on philosophy of science in marketing and consumer research.

•      Describe and discuss how different studies in marketing and consumer research are connected to different research paradigms, and underlying ontological and epistemological assumptions.

•      Reflect upon the impact of various philosophical underpinnings for the conduct of research in marketing and consumer research.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Forms of instruction

The course consists of a couple of days of intensive seminars where the texts are discussed together with the three course directors. In preparation for these intensive seminars the students should read the texts and prepare a learning diary. After the seminars the students are expected to prepare a final report.

Forms of examination

The course is assessed through active participation in the seminars and completion of written assignments.

•      Learning diary. The learning diary should be prepared before the seminars and should contain a summary and discussion of each journal article in the reading list.

•      Final report. The final report should connect these readings to the student's learning from discussions during the seminars and the core content of the books in the readings list (i.e.  Brown, S. 1995. Postmodern Marketing; Lincoln, Y. S., Guba, E. (1985), Naturalistic Inquiry; Clifford, J., Marcus, G. (1986) Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography; Marcus, G. E., Fischer, M. M. J. (1986) Anthropology as a Cultural Critique: An Experimental Moment in the Human Sciences.). Note! Those students who wish to do only a 6 ECTS credit course can drop any 2 of the 4 books.

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

A selection of the following readings will be discussed. Further instructions will follow closer to the start of the course.


Historical perspectives

Brown, Stephen. 1995. Postmodern Marketing. Routledge: London, UK.

Holt, D. B. (2002), Why Do Brands Cause Trouble? A Dialectical Theory of Consumer Culture and Branding. Journal of Consumer Research, 29 (1), 70-90.

Tadajewski, M. (2004), The Philosophy of Marketing Theory: Historical and Future Directions. The Marketing Review, 4 (3), 307-340.

Levy, S. J. (2006), History of qualitative research methods in marketing. In Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods in Marketing. (Ed.) Belk, R.W., 3-16, Edward Elgar: U.K.

Tadajewski, M. (2008), Incommensurable paradigms, cognitive bias and the politics of marketing theory. Marketing Theory, 8 (3), 273-297.

Thompson, C. J., Arnould, E., & Giesler, M. (2013). Discursivity, difference, and disruption: Genealogical reflections on the consumer culture theory heteroglossia. Marketing Theory, 13(2), 149-174.

Fragmentation of the ‘Received View’

Marcus, G. E., Fischer, M. M. J. (1986), Anthropology as a Cultural Critique: An Experimental Moment in the Human Sciences. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, USA.

Anderson, P. F. (1986), On Method in Consumer Research: A Critical Relativist Perspective. Journal of Consumer Research, 13 (2), 155-173.

Siegel, H. (1988), Relativism for Consumer Research (Comments for Anderson). Journal of Consumer Research, 15 (1), 129-132.

Holbrook, M. B., O’Shaughnessy, J. (1988), On the Scientific Status of Consumer Research and the Need for an Interpretive Approach to Studying Consumption Behavior. Journal of Consumer Research, 15 (3), 398-402.

Hudson, L. A., Ozanne, J. L. (1988), Alternative Ways of Seeking Knowledge in Consumer Research. Journal of Consumer Research, 14 (4), 508-521.

Monieson, D. D. (1989), Intellectualization in Macromarketing Revisited: A Reply to Hunt. Journal of Macromarketing, 9 (2), 11-16.

Hunt, S. D. (1990), Truth in Marketing Theory and Research. Journal of Marketing, 54 (3), 1-15.

Hunt, S. D. (1991), Positivism and Paradigm Dominance in Consumer Research: Toward Critical Pluralism and Rapprochement. Journal of Consumer Research, 18 (1), 32-44.

Heath, T. B. (1992), The Reconciliation of Humanism and Positivism in the Practice of Consumer Research: A View from the Trenches. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 20 (2), 107-118.

Hunt, S. D. (1993), Objectivity in Marketing Theory and Research. Journal of Marketing, 57 (2), 76-91.

Firat, F. A., Venkatesh, A. (1995), Liberatory Postmodernism and the Reenchantment of Consumption. Journal of Consumer Research. 22 (3), 239-267.

Firat, F. A., Dholakia, N., Venkatesh, A. (1995), Marketing in a postmodern world. European Journal of Marketing, 29 (1), 40-56.

Van Maanen, J. (1995), Style as Theory. Organization Science, 6 (1), 133-143.

Smithee, A. (1997), Kotler is dead! European Journal of Marketing, 31 (3/4), 317-325.

Gummesson, E. (2003), All research is interpretive! Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 18 (6/7), 482-492.

Tapp, A. (2007), Physics envy. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 25 (3), 229-231.

Belk, R. W. (2009), The Modeling-Empiricism Gap: Lessons from the Qualitative-Quantitative Gap in Consumer Research. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 45 (1), 35-37.

Patterson, A., Bradshaw, A., & Brown, S. (2008). Don't forget the fruit gums, chum': Marketing under erasure and renewal. Marketing Theory, 8(4), 449-463.


Criteria for emerging qualitative approaches

Lincoln, Y. S., Guba, E. (1985), Naturalistic Inquiry. Sage Publications: Beverly Hills, USA.

Clifford, J., Marcus, G. (1986), Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. University of California Press: Berkeley, USA.

Hirschman, E. C. (1986), Humanistic Inquiry in Marketing Research: Philosophy, Method, and Criteria. Journal of Marketing Research, 23 (3), 237-249.

Wallendorf, M., Belk, R. W. (1989), Assessing trustworthiness in naturalistic consumer research. In Special Volumes – Interpretive Consumer Research, (Ed.) Hirschman, E. C., 69-84, Association for Consumer Research: Provo, USA.

Holt, D. B. (1991), Rashomon Visits Consumer Behavior: An Interpretive Critique of Naturalistic Inquiry. In Advances in Consumer Research (18), (Eds.) Holman, R. H., Solomon, M. R., 57-62, Association for Consumer Research: Provo, USA.

Richardson, L. (2000), Evaluating ethnography. Qualitative Inquiry, 6 (2), 253-255.

Denzin, N. K. (2001), The Seventh Movement: Qualitative Inquiry and Practices of a More Radical Consumer Research. Journal of Consumer Research, 28 (2), 324-330.

Cho, J., Trent, A. (2009), Validity Criteria for Performance-Related Qualitative Work: Toward a Reflexive, Evaluative, and Coconstructive Framework of Performance in/as Qualitative Inquiry. Qualitative Inquiry, 15 (6), 1013-1041.

Borghini, S., Carù, A., Cova, B. (2010), Representing BtoB reality in case study research: Challenges and new opportunities. Industrial Marketing Management, 39 (1), 16-24.


Marion, G. (2006). Marketing ideology and criticism: Legitimacy and legitimization. Marketing Theory, 6(2), 245-262.

Mick, D. G. (1986), Consumer Research and Semiotics: Exploring the Morphology of Signs, Symbols, and Significance. Journal of Consumer Research, 13 (2), 196-213.

Thompson, C. J., Locander, W. B., Pollio, H. R. (1989), Putting Consumer Experience Back into Consumer Research: The Philosophy and Method of Existential-Phenomenology. Journal of Consumer Research, 16 (2), 133-146.

Murray, J. B., Ozanne, J. L. (1991), The Critical Imagination: Emancipatory Interests in Consumer Research. Journal of Consumer Research, 18 (2), 129- 144.

Bristor, J. M., Fischer, E. (1993), Feminist Thought: Implications for Consumer Research. Journal of Consumer Research, 14 (4), 518-536.

Hetrick, W. P., Lozada, H. R. (1994), Constructing the Critical Imagination: Comments and Necessary Diversions. Journal of Consumer Research, 21 (3), 548-558.

Arnold, S. J., Fischer, E. (1994), Hermeneutics and Consumer Research. Journal of Consumer Research, 21 (1), 55-70.

McLarney, C., Chung, E. (1999), Post-materialism’s “silent revolution” in consumer research. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 17 (6), 288-297.

Gherardi, S. (2000), Practice-Based Theorizing on Learning and Knowing in Organizations. Organization, 7 (2), 211-223.

Kozinets, R. V. (2002), The Field Behind of the Screen: Using Netnography for Marketing Research in Online Communities. Journal of Marketing Research, 39 (1), 61-72.

Sherry, J. F., Schouten, J. W. (2002), A Role for Poetry in Consumer Research. Journal of Consumer Research, 29 (2), 218-234.

Vargo, S. L., Lusch, R. F. (2004), Evolving to a New Dominant Logic for Marketing. Journal of Marketing, 68 (1), 1-17.

Brownlie, D. (2006), Emancipation, Epiphany and Resistance: On the Underimagined and Overdetermined in Critical Marketing. Journal of Marketing Management, 22 (5-6), 505-528.

Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

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