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Teleological reasoning and knowledge generation in marketing theory: observations and recommendations

Cornelissen, Joep P. (2001) Teleological reasoning and knowledge generation in marketing theory: observations and recommendations. UNSPECIFIED. Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

The practice and sociology of theorising is one of the marketing discipline¿s most marginal specialties, yet its epistemological and methodological underpinnings including the morphology of explanations have very substantial bearing upon the nature and scope of marketing theory in general. Since the 1980s writings have increasingly attended to the relationship between philosophy and the marketing discipline. While much of the use of philosophy of science was rhetorical and directed towards either a critique or legitimation of the post-positivist or realist image of marketing science, certain ideas about the logic and epistemology of science nevertheless were insinuated into the practice of inquiry (see Hunt, 1991). Against this background and focussing on theory building and testing within marketing science, this paper discusses one act and aspect of theorising: the use of teleological reasoning in scientific explanations of marketing phenomena. The issues and problems surrounding the use of teleological reasoning are illustrated by an in-depth analysis of writings on 'integrated marketing communications' theory. Recommendations for the use of teleological reasoning in marketing and marketing communications theory are made.

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