Editors' Perspectives: V. Kumar on the Journal of Marketing

V. Kumar, Journal of Marketing
Key Takeaways

When researchers comprehensively answer the question “What’s in it for me?” (as viewed from the practitioners’ perspective), they address the relevance issue and should secure the attention of the practitioner audience.

The most common strenghts of papers that get accepted at JM start with the definition of the problem — Is the problem new and interesting? Who should care about it and why?

5 fatal errors that authors make: (1) weak conceptual foundation, (2) obvious hypotheses, (3) data sources are ​​mismatched with the problem, (4) model estimation doesn’t map well onto constructs, (5) weak mangerial implications.

V. Kumar, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Marketing, shared his advice on getting published and reacting to reviewer feedback along with other insights during Winter AMA 2016 in Las Vegas.

1. What does publishing an impactful paper mean to you?

The short answer to this question is that JM articles should have actionable managerial implications. Irrespective of the focal area of the article or the type of methodology used, articles published in JM typically are rigorous and have meaningful, generalizable, and managerially relevant implications. With regard to the domains of knowledge, all articles published in JM can be broadly classified into marketing management and strategy (MM&S) or consumer behavior (CB). The articles can be classified in to one of the following three groups: conceptual, empirical, and review focus. I believe that the marketing community will be better served if we adopt a rigor and relevance approach as opposed to a rigor versus relevance approach.

 

1. What does publishing an impactful paper mean to you?

The short answer to this question is that JM articles should have actionable managerial implications. Irrespective of the focal area of the article or the type of methodology used, articles published in JM typically are rigorous and have meaningful, generalizable, and managerially relevant implications. With regard to the domains of knowledge, all articles published in JM can be broadly classified into marketing management and strategy (MM&S) or consumer behavior (CB). The articles can be classified in to one of the following three groups: conceptual, empirical, and review focus. I believe that the marketing community will be better served if we adopt a rigor and relevance approach as opposed to a rigor versus relevance approach.

 Although many in the academic community area are aware of (and even focus too much on) empirical rigor, theoretical and analytical rigor also exist and are often ignored. Rigor thus should not be limited to study methodologies but should also be applied to articles’ conceptual and analytical frameworks. Authors can incorporate rigor into articles by (1) reviewing published articles in scholarly journals such as Journal of MarketingJournal of Marketing ResearchJournal of Consumer Research, and Marketing Science; (2) introducing from other disciplines such as economics, statistics, and psychology; and (3) interacting with peers in academia.

Ensuring relevance assists in making the research more accessible to the practitioner community. Establishing relevance in articles begins with solving a problem of potential managerial interest. Authors can identify such problems by interacting with practitioners and decision makers. Essentially, when research articles comprehensively answer the question “What’s in it for me?” (as viewed from the practitioners’ perspective), they address the relevance issue and should secure the attention of the practitioner audience. I would like to refer to the following papers as examples of potentially impactful papers.  In both these articles, the authors clearly establish the rigor in multiple ways, and also show the relevance to the practice of marketing. The first of these papers has won the prestigious Harold H. Maynard Award (2013), which recognizes significant contribution to marketing theory and thought. The second paper cited below has won the equally prestigious Marketing Science Institute/H. Paul Root Award (2014), which recognizes significant contribution to the advancement of the practice of marketing.

  • ​Oestreicher-Singer, Gal, et al. “The network value of products.” Journal of Marketing 77.3 (2013): 1-14. (Winner of the 2013 Harold H. Maynard Award) doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1509/jm.11.0400

  • Nam, Hyoryung, and P. K. Kannan. “The informational value of social tagging networks.” Journal of Marketing 78.4 (2014): 21-40. (Winner of the 2014 MSI H. Paul Root Award)​​​ doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1509/jm.12.0151