Making marketing decisions in turbulent business contexts

Fredrik Nordin, Annika Ravald, Paul Viio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Most, if not all, business contexts today are characterised by rapid change due to emerging technologies and macro-level disruptions. This makes decision making inherently challenging as increasingly complex issues need to be addressed and made sense of, often based on insufficient information and under time constraints. Although there is notable research on decision making in fast-moving markets (e.g., Eisenhardt, 1989), research with empirical grounds providing a real-world understanding (Basel & Brühl 2013) is scarce. We propose that there is a need for further research on how decision-making procedures and procedures align with different decision contexts. This knowledge gap is also addressed by Wierenga (2011), proposing more research on the determinants, outcomes, and conditions of decision-making processes in marketing. The purpose of this paper is to address this in gap in marketing theory, both in terms of better understanding how managers make sense of marketing problems in turbulent business contexts and what strategies they apply when making marketing decisions. We develop a conceptual model and provide empirically based propositions for how and why certain types decision processes (characterised by, e.g., their pace and nature) are adopted in specific decision contexts (with different problem structures, problem complexity, and problem context). Our specific focus is on marketing decisions in turbulent contexts where new business fields are emerging or where present business fields are disrupted. Such contexts are characterised by a lack of clear market structures and by high uncertainty concerning both the technological solutions and the potential key actors, their resources, and contributions (Nordin et al, 2017). Few research efforts have examined managerial marketing decisions in such contexts. A notable exception is provided by Yang and Gabrielsson (2017), 54 focusing on decision-making by entrepreneurs. Whereas they use effectuation theory (Sarasvathy, 2001) as the theoretical basis, we draw upon the problem-solving literature (e.g., Jonassen, 2000) and the behavioural aspects of decision making (Wierenga 2011, Basel & Brühl 2013). Thereby we contribute a novel perspective to this research area.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings (extended abstracts) of 23rd International Conference CBIM2018 : Sustainable business models: integrating employees, customers and technology
Publication date2018
ISBN (Electronic) 978-84-697-7437-5
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
Event2018 CBIM International Conference - Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain
Duration: 18.06.201820.06.2018


  • 512 Business and Management
  • decision making
  • turbulence
  • marketing


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