Consulting, Research, and Consulting Research

Shugan, Steven M.
March 2004
Marketing Science;Spring2004, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p173
Academic Journal
Consulting and scholarly research often have very different objectives with respect to advancements in practice, theory, and observation (e.g., data collections). For example, consulting often emphasizes immediate benefits, specialized applications, and a focus on only the key variables. Scholarly research often emphasizes replicability, generalizability, and introducing previously uninvestigated variables. However, these activities complement each other, and each activity is important for the advancement of the other. Benefiting from that complementarity requires the literature to bridge knowledge gained from each activity. It is unnecessary for every researcher to try to bridge theory and practice by working on the interface between academics and practice. However, it is critical that some researchers do so. This issue of Marketing Science examines several excellent applications of Marketing Science that provide detailed microexaminations of the fundamental marketing practices that we seek to understand and improve. Beyond demonstrating how to solve specific problems in practice, in my opinion, the articles and commentaries in this issue also illustrate at least the following ideas: Short-term tactics can produce significant short-term advantages. Existing models in the literature can be useful with proper implementation. State-of-the-art research is most useful for infrequent decisions. Finally, knowing the decision-making context is essential for determining which variables to include in the analysis.


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