Senior Affiliate Professor of Marketing
Winner of 2021 Academy of Marketing Science Review Best Paper Award, Academy of Marketing Science
Marketing Theory Development; Research Propositions; Foundational Premises; Concepts, Constructs
Effective research propositions are key to advancing marketing theory and practice. However, our discipline provides little guidance on how to systematically craft impactful propositions. Consequently, scholars often refrain from including propositions in conceptual articles due to either a lack of knowledge or the confidence to do so. This proves detrimental to scholars looking to develop theory and conceptual papers.To address this challenge, this article defines research propositions and positions them within the broader set of the key building blocks of theory development. Based on an integrative framework that ties foundational premises, concepts, constructs, research propositions and hypothesis together, the article lays out four easy-to-follow actionable steps - grounding, crafting, connecting, and simplifying - that guide scholars in developing effective research propositions.Further, the article proposes four criteria, i.e., clarity, consistency, conciseness, and contribution to theory advancement and scholarly research, to assist scholars in evaluating outcomes achieved when writing research propositions.The article concludes by offering an agenda for how key stakeholders involved, i.e., Ph.D. students, early career researchers and established marketing scholars, university research program directors and promotion and tenure (P&T) committees, as well as reviewers and journal editors, can contribute to advancing knowledge and skills of crafting effective research propositions as part of the broader goal to stimulate the innovation and growth of marketing theories in our discipline.