International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

The Wicked World of Marketing Management
Dr. Peter Lenney

This paper reports some of the central findings of an extensive ethnographic study of a team of senior marketing managers in the UK subsidiary of a major multi-national supplier of branded consumer goods. It responds to repeated calls for more in-depth research that examines what marketing managers actually do and how their understandings inform their actions. It is argued that the particular character of the decisional milieu that confronts marketing managers has a central impact on their conduct and that this can be better understood by employing Rittel"s conception of wicked problems and Mischel"s conception of weak situations. It is demonstrated that the marketing managers studied confront a weakly situated wicked complex of commercial contradictions. It is contended that, due to their embedded formal techno-rationality, the marketing management discourse and pedagogy currently fail to speak to this reality of marketing management.

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