Mendoza School of Business

Marketing study receives “Best Paper” recognition

Published: April 29, 2008 / Author: Carol Newswriting

John F. Sherry Jr., Herrick Professor and Chair of Marketing at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, recently received “best paper” recognition from the Marketing Science Institute for his working paper describing how companies progress through certain stages in order to become more market-oriented.

“Creating a Market Orientation: A Longitudinal, Multifirm, Grounded Analysis of Cultural Transformation” won the annual Robert D. Buzzell Best MSI Working Paper Award for 2008. The award recognizes papers that have made the most significant contribution to marketing practices and thought over a two year period, and signals writing and research that has lasting value to corporate marketing executives, according to the institute.

“I’m gratified that the qualitative methods and cultural perspective employed in this study have proven to be so managerially relevant,” Sherry observed. “I’m hopeful that more firms will open their doors to kindred researchers as the nuances of market orientation become better understood.”

The study – co-authored with Gary F. Gebhardt, marketing professor at University of South Florida, and Gregory S. Carpenter, professor of Marketing Strategy at Northwestern University – suggested that companies engage in a four-stage process of transformation (initiation, reconstitution, institutionalization and maintenance). The research further uncovered six values that served as a company foundation for the changes to follow, leading to market-oriented behaviors and a strong organizational culture.

The journal article derived from this paper won the 2006 MSI H. Paul Root Award, which is given by members of the Journal of Marketing editorial review board to a paper that has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the practice of marketing.

The winning paper is selected using a two-step process from among the 24 working papers accepted for publication by MSI each year. Criteria include quality of the conceptual framework, and the potential impact on MSI companies as well as subsequent academic research, among other considerations. The award was instituted in 1993, but renamed to honor Robert D. Buzzell – the executive director of MSI from 1968-1972 – in 2002.

Sherry, who is also the department chair, has expertise in the areas of consumer experience, symbolic communication, ethnographic methods, cultural analysis and “servicescapes,” which refers to the impact a physical environment has on customer-seller interactions. He previously has researched topics including how consumers co-create the marketer’s offering at ESPN Zone and Niketown entertainment centers, as well as the meanings experienced by mother-daughter-grandmother consumers of the American Girl doll brand.

For more information about the MSI award or marketing study, contact John F. Sherry Jr. at (574) 631-6484 or





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