Compartmentalized Reviews and Other Initiatives: Should Marketing Scientists Review Manuscripts in Consumer Behavior?

Shugan, Steven M.
March 2003
Marketing Science;Spring2003, Vol. 22 Issue 2, p151
Academic Journal
Effectively solving problems requires proper organization. Like other academic disciplines, our discipline must organize around our fundamental problems rather than around our procedures (i.e., tools, approaches, methods). Only that organization ensures healthy debate and constructive communication on relevant research questions. Three initiatives might help foster a transition from a procedure-based to a problem-based organization. One initiative is compartmentalized reviews. Rather than only assigning reviews based on the technical procedures used in a manuscript (e.g., experiments), we assign at least one reviewer, whose expertise is in the problem domain (e.g., advertising), to review only that part of the manuscript (e.g., relevancy to advertisers). Another initiative is to avoid dichotomous certification (i.e., correct or incorrect) for procedures. All procedures yield evidence that forms a multidimensional continuum from circumstantial to overwhelming. Sometimes, precision in stating the conclusion is more important than precision in the procedure. Finally, research streams on marketing questions are essential--no one article is definitive. To foster these streams, Marketing Science must encourage (to some degree) articles that expand on research previously published in Marketing Science. When Marketing Science publishes an article, it has some obligation to give some priority to manuscripts that build on the same topic (i.e., not to label them as "incremental").


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