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Thoughts on the AMA-Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium and the Importance of Sub(Field) Friendships

Giesler and Gebhardt 2002

Giesler and Gebhardt 2002

Gebhardt and Giesler 2014

Gebhardt and Giesler 2014

Epp and Giesler 2014

Epp and Giesler 2014

We spend a lot of time telling our doctoral students about the importance of building friendships with their peers. And I’m really grateful for the friendships I have with Ashlee Humphreys, Amber Epp, Zeynep Arsel, Michelle Weinberger, Gulnur Tumbat, Risto Moisio, and many other CCT people. These are some of my closest friends and they have been great moral supporters, sparring partners, and friendly reviewers. These are my subfield friends.

But that’s not all. Last weekend I attended the AMA-Sheth Consortium 2014 in Evanston. Consortium was beautifully organized and coordinated by Angela Lee and Anne Coughlan and a terrific event in many different ways.

One of them is in highlighting the importance of field (rather than subfield) friendships. For instance, I have greatly benefited from the fact that Kellogg put me in one office with Gary Gebhardt, Alice Wang, Jeff Shulman, Adam Duhachek, and Frederico Rossi, many of whom I saw again last weekend.

Back in the day, we worked in one place, on very different topics, and we often didn’t fully grasp each others’ projects. But we still looked out for each other on the basis that we were part of a larger discipline: marketing. Today, we run into each other far less frequently owing to our specific subfield affiliations and duties but even after many years, the mutual respect and sense of “we-ness” has remained unbroken.

A prominent topic discussed at this year’s AMA-Sheth was whether marketing is losing relevance owing to internal fragmentation. There is probably a connection between this larger institutional trend and the fact that we’re now seeing a new generation of doctoral students to whom field (rather than subfield) friendships are becoming much less frequent than in my generation. To this coming generation of doctoral students I recommend: make also friends with people who are not working on the same topics as you.

I don’t think marketing will be losing relevance – if and as long there are places where modeler, behavioral, and CCT students can come together to kid around, discuss each other’s ideas, and grow as a generation of marketing scholars. The AMA-Sheth Foundation consortium is one of them. And that was great to witness…

Markus Giesler

York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Canada

Markus Giesler draws on concepts from economics, technology studies, and sociology to inform his research in marketing. He determines how ideas and things (products, services, experiences, technological innovations, intellectual property, brands, etc.) are made valuable over time, with research focused on improving marketing strategy through an understanding of markets as evolving social systems. Giesler's research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the European Research Council (ERC) and published in top-tier academic journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research and the Journal of Marketing. Giesler has an extensive entertainment industry background. He founded his own record label at age 17 and has worked in various production and marketing responsibilities for over a decade. He lives in Toronto, Canada.