Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    Researching with places: on using engaged scholarship in marketing

    Steadman, Chloe ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1132-3502 and Millington, Steve ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5143-3074 (2022) Researching with places: on using engaged scholarship in marketing. Qualitative Market Research: an international journal, 25 (5). pp. 646-661. ISSN 1352-2752

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    Purpose - As a core element of the marketing mix, place is of central concern within marketing. Yet existing literature typically presents accounts of research about rather than with places. This paper, therefore, argues engaged scholarship can help academics, practitioners, policy-makers, and communities to work collaboratively to solve place-based ‘wicked problems’. Specifically, we focus on high street revitalisation, a challenge frustrating policy-makers and communities since the 1980s. Design/methodology/approach - We draw on a mixed method research project conducted with place-based stakeholders in Manchester, UK, to discuss the benefits and challenges arising through an engaged scholarship approach. Findings - We outline several benefits to engaged scholarship, including forming tailored solutions to place-based problems, engendering trust and ongoing research partnerships, and generating real-world impact beyond the academy. However, we also draw attention to the challenges including political sensitivities within places, additional layers of scrutiny, and challenges to dissemination arising through partnership working with organisations external to the university. Originality - Whereas a range of techniques have been utilised to research places within marketing, engaged scholarship is lacking. We therefore provide first-hand insights into the benefits and challenges we experienced using the approach. This is of significance due to the rising importance of generating real-world impact within the academy, which we feel requires more institutional support. We also suggest Van de Ven’s diamond model of engaged scholarship extends to encompass issues of research governance.

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