Research Traditions in Marketing

Time: 11.01. – 15.01.2016

Place: Vaasa University, Finland

Learning Goal and Objectives: The course provides an in-depth overview and understanding of the major theoretical approaches within marketing. 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; this not only supports participants’ own Ph.D. research but also offers them a systematic overview of the wide-ranging field of academic marketing discipline.

Instruction and examination: Seminar type of lectures and exercises, altogether 35 hours in a five-day intensive format. Examination of course material, active student participation; group/individual tasks through preparation of mini-presentations of given problems/articles; an essay based a student’s own research topic and related course material.
1. Lectures, active participation and exercises.
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 written essay on the theoretical stream that is linked to the participant’s own research area.

Credits: 6 ECTS

Grading: 1-5

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.
Fill in the ‘KATAJA course application form’ (see below) and send it no later than Fri 20 Nov 2015 to Petra Berg by email ( Please, remember to indicate your motivation and the phase of your doctoral studies properly. The acceptance will be notified by 30 Nov 2015.

Note! As the amount of participants is limited, and, as the 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.


1. Prof. Henrikki Tikkanen (Stockholm Business School & Aalto University): Marketing as a scientific discipline (Day 1)
2. Prof. Jaakko Aspara (Hanken): Research on strategic marketing management (Day 2)
3. Prof. Klaus G. Grunert (University of Aarhus): Research on consumer behavior (Day 3)
4. Prof. Tore Strandvik (Hanken) & Aino Halinen-Kaila (University of Turku): Research on services and relationship marketing (Day 4)
5. Prof. Arto Rajala (University of Vaasa): Research on b2b marketing and networks (Day 5)

Course coordinator and contact information:
Arto Rajala (, +358 29 449 8141) and Petra Berg (, +358 29 449 8600), University of Vaasa, Dept. of Marketing, P.O.Box 700, FI-65101 Vaasa, Finland.

Application form:

When officially accepted as doctoral student:
Research area/ Subject of thesis:
Phase of doctoral studies:
Motives for participating in the course: