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5 30 08 MacInnis Consumer Behavior

5 30 08 MacInnis Consumer Behavior

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Published by: sanaji on Mar 09, 2010
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 The Field of Consumer Behavior:Criticisms, Conceptualizations, and ConundrumsDEBBIE MACINNISVALERIE FOLKES*April 21, 2008
 2Author Note* Debbie MacInnis is the Charles L. and Ramona I. Hilliard Professor of BusinessAdministration and Professor of Marketing, Marketing Department, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0403, (213) 740-5039 (macinnis@usc.edu).Valerie Folkes is the USC Associates Professor of Business Administration and Professorof Marketing, Marketing Department, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0403,
(213) 740-5055(folkes@marshall.usc.edu)
Advancement of a field of study depends not just on the accumulation of knowledge butalso on a shared understanding of its defining properties and goals. Despite a proliferationof knowledge about consumer behavior, critics within the field have debated fundamentalissues about these properties and goals. Specifically, the field has witnessed debate onissues that include (1) what constitutes “consumer behavior”, (2) is consumer behavior anindependent, interdisciplinary field and (3) to whom should consumer behavior researchbe relevant. Progress toward resolving the debate over these issues requires greaterconceptual clarity. To serve this goal, we articulate six major models that couldcharacterize the field. Each of these empirically derived models bears some semblance tothe current status of or aspirations for the field, yet each offers different implications forknowledge valuation, knowledge generation, knowledge acquisition, and knowledgetransmission, and none is without its downsides. Although we do not advocate in favor of particular model, we do argue that the field requires (1) debate as to the value of theseand other models of the field and (2) some degree of convergence on where we as adiscipline should stake our claim.

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