Research Traditions in Marketing

Time and Place: 30 Oct – 3 Nov, University of Vaasa, Finland

Learning goal and objectives: The course provides an in-depth overview and understanding of the major theoretical approaches within marketing discipline. Relevant theories are not only described but also discussed and evaluated. Emphasis is given to the ability to probe into the fundamental assumptions underlying different theoretical perspectives, into the basic questions they try to provide answers for, as well as into their basic limitations. Also, how research is carried out in each theoretical tradition is addressed. The course aims not only to support participants’ own Ph.D. research but also offers a systematic ‘state-of-the-art’ overview of the wide-ranging field of marketing discipline.

Instruction and examination: Seminar type of lectures and exercises, altogether 35 hours in a five day intensive format. Analysis and assessment of course material, active student participation; group/individual tasks through preparation of mini-presentations of given problems/articles; a reflective essay based a student’s own research topic and related course material.

1.    Lectures, active participation and exercises (20% of the grade).
2.    Readings of key articles (approx. 600 pages). Please, note that you should reserve enough time to prepare for the course (reading-package).
3.    Background literature recommended: Maclaran, Saren, Stern & Tadajewski (2009): The Sage Handbook of Marketing Theory. London: Sage Publications.
4.    A reflective essay on the theoretical stream that is linked participant’s own research area (80% of the grade).  Submission deadline 24 Nov 2017

Credits: 6 ECTS

Grading: 1-5 scale

Instructors (preliminary) and their core topics:
•    Prof. Henrikki Tikkanen (Stockholm Business School & Aalto University): Marketing as a scientific discipline  (Day 1)
•    Prof. Jaakko Aspara (Hanken): Research on strategic marketing management (Day 2)
•    Prof. Karin M. Ekström (University of Borås):  Research on consumer behavior (Day 3)
•    Prof.  Tore Strandvik (Hanken) & Aino Halinen-Kaila (University of Turku): Research on services and relationship marketing (Day 4)
•    Prof. Arto Rajala (University of Vaasa): Research on B2B marketing and networks (Day 5)

Admittance: The maximum number of students is 25 and the participants will be selected on the basis of KATAJA’s general instructions. There is no course fee. However, each student has to cover her/his travel expenses, accommodation and meals.

The course application should include the following information:

Contact address:
Thesis topic:
When officially accepted to doctoral program:
Phase of doctoral dissertation:
Motives for participating in the course:

Fill in the above information and send it no later than Fri 1 Sep 2017 to Lotta Alhonnoro by email ( Please, remember to indicate your motivation and the phase of your doctoral studies properly. The acceptance will be notified by 8 Sep 2017.

Note! As the amount of participants is limited, and, as the list of course material will be sent to the participants in advance, the application (when accepted) is binding. In case you have to cancel, please inform us immediately.

Course coordinators:
Arto Rajala, +358 29 449 8141
Lotta Alhonnoro, +358 29 449 8559
University of Vaasa, Dept. of Marketing, P.O.Box 700, FI-65101 Vaasa, Finland.

•    Prof. Jaakko Aspara, Hanken School of Economics
•    Prof. Aino Halinen-Kaila, Turku School of Economics at the University of Turku
•    Prof. Pirjo Laaksonen, University of Vaasa
•    Prof. Arto Rajala, University of Vaasa (coordinator)
•    Prof. Tore Strandvik, Hanken School of Economics
•    Prof. Henrikki Tikkanen, Stockholm Business School & Aalto University

•    Doc. Cand. Lotta Alhonnoro, University of Vaasa (coordinator)