On managerial relevance: reconciling the academic-practitioner divide through market theorizing

Heiko Wieland, Angeline Nariswari, Melissa Archpru Akaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The marketing academy continues to struggle with issues of managerial relevance. We argue that, at its core, marketing’s problems with managerial relevance do not lie in diverging roles and interests between academics and practitioners, but in the distinct lenses market actors apply to view and enact market realities. Building on market performativity, we assert that concepts and theories not only depict the world ‘out there,’ but also contribute to bringing about reality when enacted. Thus, the relevance of marketing academics and their work cannot simply be addressed by changing how research is conducted (e.g., more industry engagement), but more foundationally, through a shift in what is researched and how phenomena are studied. By refocusing the discussion from managerial relevance to the relevance of theoretical work in the shaping of markets, we show that both academics and practitioners need to be more cognizant of the market conceptualizations they help to perpetuate. All market actors need to broaden their understanding of markets to incorporate stable as well as dynamic and systemic depictions of markets. Market actors, paradoxically, need to become more theoretical to be more relevant in the shaping of markets.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalAMS Review
StatePublished - Jul 7 2021


  • Public Relations and Advertising
  • Sociology

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