Call for Papers: Reimagining Marketing Strategy: Driving the Debate on Grand Challenges

Special Issue and Thought Leadership Forum on Reimagining Marketing Strategy: Driving the Debate on Grand Challenges


Edited by: Kirk Plangger (King’s College London), Matteo Montecchi (King’s College London), Ko de Ruyter (King’s College London), Debbie Isobel Keeling (University of Sussex), Maura Scott (Florida State University), and Darren Dahl (University of British Columbia)

The grand challenges of climate change, widening inequalities with respect to gender, race, and wealth, alongside current healthcare, social, and economic crises are compelling organizations to reimagine their marketing strategy to make a meaningful contribution for a better world. Consequently, there is an urgent need for developing thought leadership based on responsible science, as expressed recently by the Community for Responsible Research in Business and Management (https://www.rrbm.network/). Thought leadership will drive the debate on addressing today’s grand challenges through purposeful engagement with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

We have designed a JAMS Thought Leadership Forum to encourage creativity and critical thinking, based on research excellence that has been central to marketing scholarship. There is no doubt that the robustness and relevance of marketing research are key enablers. Yet, there is now a pertinent need to truly reimagine marketing strategy by ensuring and shaping a meaningful contribution to a forward-looking intellectual framework that informs scholarship and practice. Thus, we challenge participating researchers to widen the strategic scope and consider three complementary principles to guide the transformation of marketing in becoming responsible, respectful, and resilient.

  • The Responsible principle requires giving voice to all marketing stakeholders for a shared vision on well-balanced and sustainable offerings. Especially when these offerings challenge conventional thinking, centered on short-term benefits, with business audacity or even moral courage. Within the context of marketing strategy, this requires forming (truly) collaborative partnerships among organizations, their customers, and wider stakeholders to develop purposeful engagement, as well as articulating social benefits alongside economic benefits.
  • The Respectful principle focuses on enabling different levels of aspiration within a fair society. Equality, diversity, and social inclusion underpin this principle to ensure that vulnerable, disadvantaged, and previously marginalized communities are empowered to make their own meaningful contributions in marketplaces.
  • The Resilient principle is based on continuous improvement through self and group reflections. The focus of improvement is on ensuring and enculturating operational effectiveness and sustainability. This is achieved through establishing world class infrastructure and supply chains, and appropriately harnessing innovation and entrepreneurship.

We welcome contributions to the JAMS Thought Leadership Forum that consider one or more of these three principles with respect to reimagining marketing strategy in an era of grand challenges. Submissions may draw on diverse theoretical domains, methodological approaches, and data sources. We value plurality and interdisciplinary collaboration to arrive at a rich understanding of alternative perspectives on marketing strategy. Research that identifies positive, meaningful, and implementable solutions is actively encouraged. Potential research topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Developing theoretical perspectives pertinent to the three principles, exploring concepts such as stewardship, psychological ownership, moral responsibility, and individual or collective autonomy. 
  • Formulating marketing’s contribution to alleviating poverty and bridging racial divides at local and global levels.
  • Designing resilient marketing (control) systems that promote sustainability as a means of long-term value creation. Innovating respectful approaches to (social) collaborations to inform, shape, and articulate the linkages between policy and strategy.
  • Engaging stakeholders in developing long-term value creation strategies beyond the creation of organizational and shareholder value. 
  • Developing innovative products with and for vulnerable consumer groups, including minorities, differently-abled individuals, and the poorest in society.
  • Championing a respectful society through methods and campaigns for reducing public stigma in acknowledged stigmatization settings, such as racial, gender, sexual identity, and mental or physical health related biases, in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 
  • Role-modelling strategies by operational leaders on the service and sales frontline that underpin the implementation of responsible, respectful, or resilient marketing strategy. 
  • Improving strategic responses to market and supply chain threats that take into account issues such as climate change, natural resource sustainability, and social instability. 
  • Aligning the sustainability imperative with the operational reality of revenue generation on the service and sales frontline. 
  • Using strategic enablement and incentive strategies for upskilling channel partners on formulating sustainability as a value proposition. 
  • Investigating cross-category differences between goods and services in relation to environmental consciousness and the consequences for cross-category brands. 
  • Assisting consumers in making favorable trade-offs between costs and longer-term collective benefits to the environment, such as recycling, reusing, and end-of-lifecycle programs, as part of a circular economy strategy. 
  • Deploying framing in communication strategies to encourage reductions in consumer stockpiling, disposing of recyclables, etc.
  • Using reality-enhancing technologies (e.g., VR and AR) to promote and engage stakeholders in sustainable solutions

Papers targeting the special issue should be submitted through the JAMS submission system (www.edmgr.com/jams) and will undergo a similar review process as regular issue submissions. The submission window for the special issue opens on August 30th, 2021, and closes on October 15th, 2021. Questions about the special issue should be submitted to Kirk Plangger at kirk.plangger@kcl.ac.uk and the JAMS Editorial Office.

In addition to the JAMS special issue, there will be a JAMS Thought Leadership Forum on the same topic at King’s College London, UK, on June 8-10, 2021, hosted by the Marketing Subject Group at King’s Business School. Interested researchers should submit proposals that consist of 10 presentation slides (maximum) in a PDF format no later than February 1st, 2021 (proposals will be accepted on an ongoing basis) to JAMS2021@conferencecollective.co.uk. Submissions should ensure that the research is clearly located within a grand challenge and the impact of outcomes in relation to that grand challenge is specifically outlined.

Attending the forum or submitting a manuscript to the JAMS special issue for publication consideration are independent activities. Authors are welcome to engage in one or both activities. Questions about the JAMS Thought Leadership Forum should be submitted to the conference email at JAMS2021@conferencecollective.co.uk.   


JAMS Editorial Office

John Hulland, Editor-in-Chief

Mark Houston, Editor

Anne Hoekman, Managing Editor

Email: jams.man.ed@gmail.com