Generating BMBW research ideas

Better Marketing for a Better World (BMBW) Proseminar – Session 1

Faculty LeadersRajesh Chandy, London Business School and Christine Moorman, Duke University
Date: 28 September, 9-11:30AM ET / 2 – 4:30PM BST
Target Audience: Faculty and Ph.D. students interested in developing research in the BMBW area

Session Summary

The objective of this seminar is to help scholars develop skills in generating research ideas for the study of how marketing can have a more positive impact on the world. The seminar will be composed of an introduction, the first hour focused on how to approach ideas and tools in the BMBW area, a
break, and a second hour focused on generating ideas.

In the first hour, we will discuss papers (1) and (2) below, with the goal of offering deep examples of scholarship that links marketing activities to a better world. Problem selection, research design, data collection and analytical methods, and practical insights will be discussed to help scholars seeking to engage in this type of research with the crafting of their work.

In the second hour, participants will explore how core topics in marketing can be studied from a BMBW perspective. As a case study of one such topic, we will take a deep dive into one very traditional area of marketing—the role of the salesperson. Although we selected it as the context for
sharing ideas and approaches on how to generate BMBW research ideas, we believe these approaches will easily transfer to other areas of marketing. As one example of how to approach BMBW, paper (3), participants will review a short excerpt of the Habel, Allavi, and Lisenmeyer article on “Variable Compensation and Salesperson Health,” published in the Journal of Marketing Special Issue on “Better Marketing for a Better World,” and watch a brief video of the authors presenting their ideas.

Finally, participants will read a set of short popular-press articles listed in (4) about the impact of salespeople and their management on the world.


  1. Jensen, Robert (2007), “The Digital Provide: Information (Technology), Market Performance, and Welfare in the South Indian Fisheries Sector,” The Quarter Journal of Economics, CXXII (August), 879-924.
  2. Anderson, Stephen J., Rajesh Chandy, and Bilal Zia (2018), “Pathways to Profits: The Impact of Marketing vs. Finance Skills on Business Performance,” Management Science, 64 (December), 5559-5583.
  3. Habel, Johannes, Sascha Alavi, and Kim Lisenmayer (2021), “Variable Compensation and Salesperson Health,” Journal of Marketing, 85 (3), 130-149.
    – Scholarly insight (managerial summary) of article
    – Video of authors presenting article
    – Complete article

Popular press articles on salespeople and their environment


Using the materials above for inspiration, write two short paragraphs describing a research idea for examining how salespeople might be help create or hurt the development of a better world, including specifying the stakeholders who might be affected and the key activities important for creating or hurting a better world. Write ~100-200 words for each idea, outlining the nature of the impact and why it is important. Describe at least one key hypothesis you might study for each research idea. You can enter your ideas into this link and we will review these before class.

Watch a recording of the proseminar.

Generating BMBW research ideas