Call for Memories, Acknowledgements and Thanks – Emeritus Professor Michael J. Baker

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A Tribute to the Legacy of Professor Michael J. Baker (1935-2021)

Professor Michael J. Baker was an outstanding marketing academic, mentor and inspiration to so many of us. His achievements are remarkable and in recognition of those achievements he is acknowledged by many as the father of academic Marketing in the UK.

The aim of this Call for Memories, Acknowledgements and Thanks is to give all those he inspired, mentored and motivated an opportunity to acknowledge his contribution to their lives. We have organised this Call around three key themes: Professor Baker’s impact on (i) Marketing thought, (ii) the institutions of Marketing, and (iii) the experiences and careers of the individuals he influenced through his teaching, supervision, and mentorship.

Contributions to Marketing Thought

During his career Professor Baker published more than 50 books, 36 chapters and more than 120 refereed papers. He was the founding editor of the Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Customer Behaviour, The Marketing Review and Social Business. These journals reflect Professor Baker’s evolving interest in supporting the field of marketing, marketing scholars and doctoral students. In addition, his books brought marketing theory to practitioners and exposed marketing students to the broad range of disciplinary approaches underpinning contemporary marketing thought. He was a pioneer in his development of industrial marketing, with seminal texts on Industrial Innovation, Product Strategy and Management, Marketing Strategy and Management and Marketing and Competitive Success. Through his academic legacy and his roles as a researcher, as well as a journal editor/ founder, Professor Baker was one of the most highly influential marketing scholars of the past fifty years.

Contributions to Marketing Institutions

Professor Michael Baker established the first UK Department of Marketing at the University of Strathclyde in 1971. Michael was a very passionate Strathclyder! His leadership spawned the careers of a multitude of academics now based throughout the world. While establishing Marketing as a Department at Strathclyde he was also driving the establishment of the Marketing Education Group (1973), which later became the Academy of Marketing (1996). In parallel his contribution to marketing practice was acknowledged by the award of the Gold Medal by the then Institute of Marketing (later the Chartered Institute of Marketing). He was later awarded an Honorary Fellowship in 1988, the highest honour the CIM can bestow. Professor Baker held many senior leadership roles at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, including National Chair, Trustee and Founding Dean of Academic Senate. He was also Chair of Trustees at the Marketing Trust. Without his drive and vision, these major UK Marketing institutions would not be what they are today.

Contributions to Marketing Career Development and Mentorship

Michael has undoubtedly had a lasting impact on the theory and practice of marketing, both directly through his own work, and also, indirectly through developing, supporting and encouraging other people. He was very interested in people and was keen to identify and nurture talent wherever he saw it – in his classroom, at a conference, or through a journal submission. He had a tendency to reach out, offer a helping hand, instil new ambitions and then offer the advice and support required to realise these. He supervised 53 doctoral students, many of whom subsequently became Professors of Marketing. He examined numerous PhD candidates in the UK, Ireland and Europe. He encouraged people to write articles, develop new pedagogic approaches, author books, edit special issues, establish new journals, apply for funding, consider new roles, and scale new heights. His range of papers published in The Marketing Review such as Writing a Literature Review, Selecting a Research Methodology and so on were aimed at supporting doctoral students. For many people, having Michael tap you on the shoulder and suggest that you could make a difference, really made a difference! If you recognise yourself here, we would love to hear from you.

Honouring Professor Baker’s Legacy

The Academy of Marketing was one of Professor Baker’s many significant achievements and he attended almost every conference in our more than 50 year history. Therefore, we feel it fitting to take the opportunity of the annual conference to celebrate his life and accomplishments. On the evening of Tuesday 5 July 2022, at the University of Huddersfield, we will hold a reception to honour his life and work and we invite you to join with us. There we will present the outcome of this Call, a written tribute to him by those whose lives and work he impacted for the better.

If you would like to tell us how Michael contributed to your journey through his development of Marketing thought, his leadership of the Department of Marketing at Strathclyde, the Academy of Marketing (formerly MEG) and/or the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and/or his contribution to your career development and mentorship, we would love to hear from you.

While we know colleagues and friends may want to give the most fulsome account of Professor Baker’s impact, we do need to limit each contribution to 500 words. Please submit your contributions to us no later than 1 June 2022 at the email addresses below.

Thank you so much, in anticipation.

Professor Anne Marie Doherty (annemarie.doherty@strath.ac.uk)
Professor Finola Kerrigan (f.kerrigan@bham.ac.uk)
Professor Lisa O’Malley (lisa.omalley@ul.ie)

on behalf of the Academy of Marketing Executive Committee

You can read Professor Baker’s In Memoriam page here

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