Volume 11 (2007)


Increasing attention has been dedicated recently to the subject of empirical generalisations in marketing science and the role of replication studies.

This paper considers the implications of epistemological limitations in a quantitative marketing research context, arguing that these are different and more numerous than those of a general nature, requiring special treatment and solutions. A number of specific problems are discussed including the Hawthorne effect, researcher-participant interaction, context dependency, conditioning, atypical research participants and differing measurement methods.

Quantitative marketing research, often regarded as scientific and objective by academics and practitioners, may be less reliable than generally claimed within the literature. Whilst the use of replication studies and the concept of falsifiability can facilitate genuine progress in marketing knowledge, the contention of this paper is that these need to be applied more fastidiously and with greater recognition of their limitations.


Robertshaw, G (2007), "Epistemological limitations in quantitative marketing research: implications for empirical generalisations", Journal of Empirical Generalisations in Marketing Science, Vol. 11, No. 2