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Title: Marketing managers : the evocation and structure of socially negotiated meaning
Author: Grafton-Small, Robert
ISNI:       0000 0001 3508 4062
Awarding Body: Sheffield City Polytechnic
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 1985
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The thesis begins with a parallel between marketing and personnel management and grows into an investigation of marketing managers as practising professionals. The subsequent methodological inadequacies of a dependence upon oral data lead to additional readings in anthropology and a methodology which attempts the complexities of consumption and the everyday importance of industrial artefacts. Individual consumers are seen accordingly as "bricoleurs" and their "closed world" as the result of a limited choice of physical and cultural possibilities. This commercially regulated exchange is, in turn, a significant determinant of social structure for marketing managers and any other band of workers may now be appreciated as kinship groups and not simply functional or work based gatherings. After establishing these patterns of social and industrial exchange as everyday means of communication, the thesis shows commercially regulated exchange to be a physically located practice and therefore responsible for forms of architecture and spatial understanding which reflect the social asymmetries that derive from a dependence upon mass consumption, mass employment and mass production. The same imbalance arises in an analysis of the Ford Edsel, a redoubtable commercial failure. Here, a considerable part of the thesis is focussed upon practical marketing management and the ways in which an industrial artefact might first symbolise "the power to speak" and then be reinterpreted within the terms of these same asymmetries. This process of evaluation involves coherent unspoken languages yet these "ways of seeing" are necessarily negotiated in accordance with the more commonly observed parameters of everyday reality; speech and the written word. "The power to speak" is thus a combination of these verbal disciplines and the visual aspects of consumption which codify and legitimise commercial exchange as a medium for the structuring of contemporary society. The thesis is therefore able to transcend the normally accepted view of marketing by arguing that mass consumption and commercially regulated exchange are so much a part of the "cultural design of persons and goods" as to undermine the exclusivity which is implied by ideas of marketing as a "professional understanding". This in turn enables a fuller evaluation of marketing management as a socially located practice whilst adding to theories of perception, the social construction of knowledge and the development of an "anthropology of consumption".
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Management & business studies