Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions of a group of undergraduate students undertaking marketing research consultancy projects for employers. The projects are informed by action learning. The intention is to demonstrate that this method of learning facilitates a level of student skill development that more traditional marketing courses find difficult to achieve. Design/methodology/approach – The study is underpinned by an interpretivist approach. Research involved students taking part in two focus groups during the consultancy and the completion of pre‐ and post‐consultancy open‐ended questionnaires. Findings – Findings suggest that the marketing consultancy project represents a way to help develop the general skills required by novice marketers. Students show an understanding of the importance of acquiring communicative, interpersonal, creative and team‐based skills. These assist them in developing a practical knowledge neglected by much existing marketing teaching. Research limitations/implications – The findings although based on a small sample, indicate that marketing education if based on action learning, positively engages learners. The emphasis on practice suggests that experience, work place socialisation and tacit knowledge, are essential components of learning about marketing that often get overlooked in more traditional marketing courses. Originality/value – This paper suggests that much established marketing education does not take sufficient account of experiential based learning and instead, is wedded to a model of teaching that sees marketing as being mainly about the transmission of administratively based knowledge. This paper argues that relying overly on the latter will not provide tomorrow's marketers with an appropriate skill set for employment.
Marketing Intelligence & Planning – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 26, 2010
Keywords: Action learning; Undergraduates; Skills; Marketing; Focus groups
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