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06 March 2022
Diversity and Inclusion Practices in Marketing Education
Marketing education needs to not only prepare students to become marketing practitioners, but also to advance marketing practice in addressing the needs and wants of an increasingly diverse society. Organizations are changing long-standing branding and marketing communication strategies to challenge cultural, gender, racial or other stereotypes that they may have helped create. For instance, Unilever--owner of famous brands such as Dove and Axe--has decided to drop the qualifier "normal" from its expansive line of personal care products, as well as ban the excessive manipulation of its brands advertisements. Furthermore, similar to efforts to ethnically diversify the supply-chain of leading multinationals, leading financial institutions such as JP Morgan and Ariel are consciously investing more into minority-owned businesses to correct a racial imbalance pervasive among public companies. Even leading sports organizations such as German Bundesliga have been actively involved in promoting diversity with, for example, a recent LGBTQ+ campaign supported by over 800 players. Thus, for marketing education to reflect marketing practice and how it is changing, it needs to also become more diverse and inclusive.
The education literature offers some guidance on how to advance teaching practice to reflect the diversity of both our students and marketing practice, as well as promote inclusive practices in the marketing curriculum. For example, Barbara Stern (2008)'s innovative idea of a "diversity walk" that exposes her students to ethnic minority retail environments and neighborhoods allows students to broaden their perspectives outside of their own lived experience. Other articles promote social justice projects (Grier 2020), experiential cultural intelligence assignments (Kurpis & Hunter 2017), multicultural experiences in diverse servicescapes (Rosenbaum, Moraru & Labrecque 2013), and photovoice diversity training (Pierce & Longo 2020); all of which are aimed at introducing students to inclusion and diversity issues within the marketplace and society. However, more research is needed to explore diversity and inclusion issues both in the world of marketing practice and also within the marketing classroom, especially given the recent move to remote, virtual, and blended forms of teaching and learning.
In the spirit of diversity and inclusion, we welcome submissions to the Marketing Education Review special issue on "Diversity and Inclusion Practices in Marketing Education" that may draw on diverse theoretical domains, methodological approaches, and data sources. We are especially interested in marketing education research that identifies positive, meaningful, and implementable solutions. Potential research topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Conceptually aligning diversity and inclusion activities that occur in the marketplace with marketing education practice
- Identifying teaching methods that seek to overcome pervasive stereotypes in society to bring student awareness and action
- Designing activities to unpack students own unconscious biases and assist them in recognizing the implications of these biases
- Mapping which employable skills are needed for students to gain cultural competences
- Championing organic inclusivity in the classroom that enables and encourages minority students to voice their contributions
- Developing actionable strategies to attract new marketing students from under-represented local groups, including racial, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic status, and ability groups
- Formulating educational practices that facilitate excellence from all students regardless of mental and physical health challenges
- Investigating how to include diversity in a remote or virtual classroom
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Papers targeting the special issue should be submitted through the Marketing Education Review submission system and will undergo a similar review process as regular submissions. Questions about the special issue should be submitted to both special issue guest editors via email.
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