Introduction to the context of the course 

Marketing has evolved towards becoming a foundational science and field of academic discipline that has played a major role in the way modern societies have evolved so far and will evolve further, thus marketing has pivoted towards an architecture of and a context-giving science of a complex global design of the future. The emergence of this fundamental shift within the raison d’être of marketing from being a field within business administration (BA) to become a field under its own right by pivoting towards humanity sciences (digital humanities) requires an adequate capacity of observation and contemplation of designing appropriate responses that bears sufficient requisite variety from traditional marketers (Ashby, 1958b; Beer, 1959a, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1984, 1993; Schwaninger, 1986, 1994, 2000b, 2001, 2006, 2008; Kotler, 2012). Thus, in terms of steering societies into a sustainability paradigm from a holistic Weltanschauung guided by the ubiquity of the legitimacy principle of marketing to serve as a moral compass of a value-laden meaningfulness of artefacts produced and by connecting the firms as social actors contributing towards the societies’ well-being, wherein they serve, instead of being mere a medium for advertisement of products, is an essential evolution for the field, which time has come.


The essence of marketing can be interpreted towards the emergence of “a how can” unconcealment of designing favorable future realities fostering the human condition. Observed from the complexity realm, emergence is understood as the notion of the parts of a complex system to have mutual, recursive and holistic relations that do not exist for the parts in isolation (Simon, 1969; Guerreiro and Henseler, 2017; Henseler, 2017; Schuberth et al., 2018; Baumgarth and Schmidt, 2017; Henseler and Guerreiro, 2020 (forthcoming)). The term 'holistic' used here is within the logic of the sciences of artificial (Simon, 1969) and which is considered essentially a synonym for holism as a viable totality (Ganzheitlichkeit), defined within general systems theory and cybernetics (Simon, 1969; Wiener, 1948; Ashby, 1956, 1958b, 1960, 1968, 1991; Beer, 1959a, 1959b, 1960, 1966, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1973, 1979, 1981a, 1984, 1981b, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2000, 2002; Schwaninger, 2009, 2000a, ; Malik, 1984, 2007, 2015; Bertalanffy, 1969). By postulating a holistic approach in dealing with complex phenomena of coping with the globally and hyper-connected societies, a counterpart to the fragmentation of perspectives in terms of the “reductio ad absurdum” lens that a growing scientific specialization has so far in managerial sciences have partaken and embraced, needs to be proposed (Beer, 1994; Simon, 1969; Baumgarth and Schmidt, 2017; Guerreiro and Henseler, 2017; Henseler, 2017; Schuberth et al., 2018; Henseler and Guerreiro, 2020 (forthcoming)).


According to Heidegger (1954) in (Heidegger, 2002): “The reason for this fact is that science, for its part, does not think and cannot think, and it is fortunate for it, and that means here to secure its own fixed course. Science does not think”. Thus, in order for marketing to be free of the reductionist’s sash, mainly guided by pure economics’ thought by observing all the constitution of this science mere as the ubiquity of a mercantile exchange as the sole form of all relationships (Bourdieu, 1986b), and to become fit for a holistic transcendence, marketing needs to integrate holistic sciences that have the attenuating powers in coping with the rising complexity of the contemporary era (Boulding, 1956; Beer, 1966; Schwaninger and Rios, 2010; Henseler, 2017; Schuberth et al., 2018). Based on the nature of the contemporary societal challenges and trends affecting successful marketing management, a need has been felt for a systematic body of inquiry and knowledge construct that studies the relationships between the (social) fields and does not see scientific inquiry in terms of a disciplinary lock-down of intellectual freedoms of justified intrusions, especially by leaving the spaces between sciences to pure luck and chance. A social science, which chooses the lens of looking at things based on the reductionist lens by not reflecting on the working principles that embody that raison d’être of that science and its historic inheritance , the consequences of the isolationism and the responsibility of competence given but ignored to execute appropriately, may carry diverse “identity crises” for the field, which would not only threaten the relevance of the field but moreover its rigor. For marketing also as a professional field, the dimension of relevance could be prescribed by the relevance to practice as the major criteria for rigor (Gutiérrez and Penuel, 2014). Hence, as relevance is embedded within the context of a field’s impact and as the roam, scope and milieu of application of a field changes, the Weltanschauung of the field, whereupon it looks at reality, needs to be updated accordingly and adjusted to the new realities. 


In my upcoming book, (Kamran, 2020), I chose to coin the nature of our contemporary era based on the term the “globalization of totality”, hence the tradition of linearity within intellectual pursuits, especially in social sciences has left us for good and thus I call for embracing the global and interconnected world of marketing based on the new dimensions. 


There are five essential foundations of the globalization of totality, which positions the author’s research addressing this complexity in the following manner (Kamran, 2020):

The globalization of capitalà e.g. capital movement has shifted from being purely from the West to the East. In 2015 China invested more FDI in Germany than vice versa.   

The globalization of connectivity-- The world has become one. While geographical boundaries may exist, the world of digital connectivity and ubiquitous computing is a contemporary transformation of the world in concert. 

The globalization of pandemics-- the Corona virus is a prime example that has changed the world, we are able to see the visible hands of countries’ helmsmen with a functioning socio-economic systems, in comparison to those countries, who choose to hide between reductionist walls of economic nationalism applied towards a global high-stake problem. The results are evident. 

The globalization of fundamentalism -- e.g. it was populism in the UK that resulted to Brexit and also the rise of Trumpocracy in US and including the rise of radical Islamism in terms of non-state-actor terrorism as ISIS. The ubiquitous transmission of information does not filter between a good or a bad idea or truths and falsehoods.

The globalization of migration -- e.g. the refugee-crises in European Union (EU) has challenged the very fabric of the EU and its tradition of values. This trend has also challenged even the raison d’être of American constitution and melting-pot society, which once welcomed and was built by emigrants.  


While another dimension of complexity could be added here in terms of defining what is the essence of marketing? The answer to this question depends on the reflection of questioning the foresight horizon, thus how far ahead and how embracive, does the marketer think to foresee? When the very structure of our field is undergoing cascades of a rapid shift and the contemplation regarding the nature of social systems and artefacts are characterized by ambiguity and a need for a breath of an intellectual fresh air to come is evident (Lane and Maxfield, 1997). I argue that the foresight horizon is holistic, it is emergent and thus, complex. This research furthermore underpins, that marketing, in the face of these challenges needs to proclaim an embodiment of the relational and interactional intelligence by setting models of reality and practices that are a design of the Weltanschauung and interpretation of the nature of our field’s shifting raison d’être, wherein the firms could navigate. Marketing is the design that comprises the relationships and interconnections, wherein the firm postulated business model hypotheses. 

I will provide you with all the essential literature.

Please come to class with an open mind and let's find it out together, what is the shifting raison d'être of marketing and how we can cope with the challenges in the era of the globalisation of totality.

Please contact me for any inquiries --> or

See you soon in class.

Prof. Dr. Sc. Qeis Kamran, MBA-GM, MBA-PPM, MBL-HSG, LLM

PhD. Scholar in Design Science @ UTwente

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