Comments on Extending the Domain of the Marketing Discipline
Reify (tr. verb) To regard or treat an abstraction or idea as if it had concrete or material existence.
Source: The American Heritage Dictionary, Boston, Mass: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1976
Marketing is a discipline concerned with human behavior engaged in exchange or potential exchange within a market ( Sheth, Gardner, Garret 1988). Since the idea of expanding the domain of the marketing discipline was introduced into mainstream marketing literature in the 1960's and early 1970's (e.g., Kotler 1972; Kotler and Levy 1969), there has been a certain amount of dissent regarding the proper domain of marketing -- although in a much muted state over the past decade. It is generally accepted that the discipline of marketing is concerned with explaining the act of exchange and the endogenous and exogenous variables that are associated with exchange, but it is unclear that a consensus has evolved as to what types of exchange are to be included in the domain of the discipline.
Bagozzi ( 1975a, 1975b) has been a major proponent for incorporation of "social marketing" into the marketing discipline. Bagozzi ( 1975a, 38) writes that:
social marketing, then, addresses a particular type of problem which, in turn, is a subset of the generic concept of marketing. That is, social marketing is the answer to a particular question: Why and how are exchanges created and resolved in social relationships?
Although Bagozzi offered no formal definition of "social marketing" in that particular work, there should be no disagreement among marketing scholars that concepts, such as power, persuasion, commitments, norms, and alternative sources, graphically outlined in hierarchical form by Bagozzi ( 1975b), influence behavior exhibited during exchange. Indeed, any marketing theory that leaves out such influences on exchange behaviors would be remiss. These concepts were