Actionable Marketing Knowledge: A Close Reading of Representation, Knowledge and Action in Market Research

Carlos Diaz Ruiz, Maria Holmlund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper conceptualizes the notion of actionable marketing knowledge by investigating how market researchers produce and justify actionable recommendations for their clients. We build upon the market practices approach, as well as a close reading of market research reports, to conceptualize the rhetorical strategies used to guide firms into action. The findings show three rhetorical strategies: First, framing managerial anomalies draws managerial attention to perplexing situations. Second, loading instruments with meaning develops a narrative in which charts and tables “speak for themselves.” Third, signposting prescriptions reduces interpretive flexibility by encoding guidelines within the text intended to lead readers to an intended interpretation. The relevance for business marketing is that by studying the ways representations are encoded in business reports, business scholars can better understand knowledge calibration in the theory-praxis gap.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalIndustrial Marketing Management
Issue numberOctober
Pages (from-to)172-180
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 21.09.2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Business, Markets and Societal Dynamics
  • Marketing Logics and Strategizing


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