A significant journey has been undertaken in this critical commentary on some of the problems associated with marketing in the 21st century. The 20th century — in retrospect — is seen as the “age of marketing” and a gradual move in the direction of customer focus and satisfaction. Speaking of “ages”, I recall as a young history undergraduate grappling with some of Eric Hobsbawm’s (1917–2012) series of wieldy texts such as The Age of Capital (1975) and The Age of Empire (1987). These books were both erudite and interesting and promised an apparently bright future for empire, with the necessary preceding phases associated with the accumulation of capital, the emergence of labour as a political force and the gradual coming of age of a more enlightened humanity. However, the reality has been somewhat different with the almost complete success of capitalism and democracy, and the (more gradual) acceptance of their role by the workers of the world as relatively quiescent consumers. These books did offer promise for the future, albeit of a somewhat proscribed Marxian nature. Returning to marketing — which is the dominant theme of this edited book — this has come a long way in just over a century. Like most journeys though, perhaps the current location is not necessarily the end point.
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- The Age of Organisationalism
Philip J. Kitchen
- Palgrave Macmillan UK