Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Toward Marketing as a Discursive Practice: Rethinking the Discipline's Philosophical Foundations

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posted on 2021-11-09, 01:11 authored by Stewart, David Murray

It has been claimed that marketing needs to create a new 'paradigm'. Following a critical analysis of marketing' s philosophical foundations the thesis argues that the discipline should instead seek to build upon the 'linguistic' or 'postmodern' turns in the philosophy of science: a turn that has already been embraced by seemingly related disciplines like sociology, history and anthropology, for example. By connecting to this development, and the approaches that it has engendered such as narrative theory, neo-pragmatism and the notion of a discursive practice, marketing will be better able to develop more useful knowledge or practical wisdom ('phronesis'). A new approach to the generation of marketing knowledge based on praxis will enable three problems that have become apparent in the field over the past decade to be overcome. First, the debate whether marketing is an art or a science can be resolved. Second, the gap between the marketing discipline and practitioners can be closed. Third, the stagnant state of marketing theory can be  invigorated. An exemplary case study, which explores the launch of Air New Zealand's 'Domestic Express' service, demonstrates how such an approach to marketing might be operationalised and the added value that it could provide, both to marketing theorists and marketing practitioners.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Marketing and International Business


Cummings, Stephen; Gregory, Bob