Historical Research in Marketing: Literature, Knowledge, and Disciplinary Status


Historical research in marketing consists of a body of literature and specific norms regarding knowledge generation and presentation. Marketing academics have published historical studies in marketing journals since the 1930s, but over the past thirty years associational activities have greatly stimulated the growth of the literature, although it remains less developed than history subfields in accountancy, management, business, and economics. Historical studies published in mainstream marketing journals have favored explicit literature reviews, data borrowing, multiple types of primary sources, and transparency in research methods. We conclude with an assessment of marketing historiography as a legitimate discipline in its own right but with future challenges.