Hypotheses in Marketing Science: Literature Review and Publication Audit

Marketing Letters, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 171-187, 2001

15 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2005 Last revised: 31 Dec 2011

See all articles by J. Scott Armstrong

J. Scott Armstrong

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department

Rod Brodie

University of Auckland - Department of Marketing

Andrew G. Parsons

University of Auckland - Department of Marketing

Abstract

We examined three approaches to research in marketing: exploratory hypotheses, dominant hypothesis, and competing hypotheses. Our review of empirical studies on scientific methodology suggests that the use of a single dominant hypothesis lacks objectivity relative to the use of exploratory and competing hypotheses approaches. We then conducted a publication audit of over 1,700 empirical papers in six leading marketing journals during 1984-1999. Of these, 74% used the dominant hypothesis approach, while 13% used multiple competing hypotheses, and 13% were exploratory. Competing hypotheses were more commonly used for studying methods (25%) than models (17%) and phenomena (7%). Changes in the approach to hypotheses since 1984 have been modest; there was a slight decrease in the percentage of competing hypotheses to 11%, which is explained primarily by an increasing proportion of papers on phenomena. Of the studies based on hypothesis testing, only 11% described the conditions under which the hypotheses would apply, and dominant hypotheses were below competing hypotheses in this regard. Marketing scientists differed substantially in their opinions about what types of studies should be published and what was published. On average, they did not think dominant hypotheses should be used as often as they were, and they underestimated their use.

Keywords: Marketing, marketing science, literature reviews, publication audit, hypotheses

Suggested Citation

Armstrong, J. Scott and Brodie, Rod and Parsons, Andrew G., Hypotheses in Marketing Science: Literature Review and Publication Audit. Marketing Letters, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 171-187, 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=668129

J. Scott Armstrong (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department ( email )

700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States
215-898-5087 (Phone)
215-898-2534 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://marketing.wharton.upenn.edu/people/faculty/armstrong.cfm

Rod Brodie

University of Auckland - Department of Marketing ( email )

Private Bag 92019
Auckland
New Zealand

Andrew G. Parsons

University of Auckland - Department of Marketing ( email )

12 Grafton Rd
Private Bag 92019
Auckland, 1010
New Zealand
+64 9 373 7599 Ext. 87575 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://staff.business.auckland.ac.nz/aparsons

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