Defining Interesting Research Problems

Shugan, Steven M.
January 2003
Marketing Science;Winter2003, Vol. 22 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
We argue that research problems are only interesting relative to some external audience. Interesting academic research should impact, at least, that external audience. Hence, we should target our research toward specific external audiences. Several foreboding trends that exacerbate the urgency of this targeting are discussed. To facilitate the targeting task, a partial list of fifteen possible audiences for academic research in marketing is identified. We discuss some of them, including practitioners, in detail. For example, we conclude that, for our research to be interesting to practitioners, practitioners must have the ability to improve and to make better decisions with enhanced understanding. Finally, we strongly suggest that we focus our research on fundamental problems in marketing. These are problems with the property that external audiences would first look to the marketing literature for answers.


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