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Abstract. Marketing has been practiced since ancient times and has been thought about almost as long. Yet, it is only during the 20th century that marketing ideas evolved into an academic discipline in its own right. Most concepts, issues and problems of marketing thought have coalesced into one of several schools or approaches to understanding marketing. In this article we trace the evolution of 10 schools of marketing thought. At the turn of the 20th century, early in the discipline’s history, the study of functions, commodities, and institutions emerged as complementary modes of thinking about subject matter and became known collectively as the ‘traditional approaches’ to studying marketing; shortly thereafter the interregional trade approach emerged. About mid-century, there was a ‘paradigm shift’ in marketing thought eclipsing the traditional approaches as a number of newer schools developed: marketing management, marketing systems, consumer behavior, macromarketing, exchange, and marketing history. During the mid 1970s, three of the modern schools – marketing management, consumer behavior, and exchange – underwent a ‘paradigm broadening’. The broadened paradigm has bifurcated marketing thought from the conventional domain of business behavior to the much broader domain of all human social behavior. Thus, at the beginning of the 21st century marketing thought is at a crossroads. Key Words • marketing history • marketing theory • marketing thought
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