Introduction: advances in marketing research methods
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As a discipline, marketing has matured after evolving for decades (Korai & Souiden, 2019; Leonidou, Barnes, Spyropoulou, & Katsikeas, 2010; Witkowski, 2010). Marketing research has achieved high methodological sophistication and theoretical awareness, whereas it previously lacked both. It has currently reached a stage of active scholarship in theory development and empirical testing. The proliferation of academic journals is one of the dominating features of this evolution, as these journals have taken a leading position in respect of the various knowledge dissemination channels. These journals serve the following important functions: first, academic journals play a central role in knowledge production and, by dispersing knowledge, are key for its advancement in all disciplines. Second, they indicate the existence of a scientific domain, niche discipline, or school of thought (Nie et al., 2009). Third, marketing journals are the main reservoir of knowledge for researchers, students, and practitioners alike. Fourth, these journals are, in their own right, the focus of investigations, which Figueroa-Domecq et al. (2015, p. 88) describe as "the scholarship on the scholarship" of marketing research. The book is divided into four sections: quantitative research approaches; qualitative research approaches; mixed-methods approaches; and other research issues. Each part of our handbook and its various chapters have an own internal logic; together the chapters serve as a "one-stop shop" for marketing scholars and practitioners interested in research. Given the differences between quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method research approaches, and their unequal use, this chapter provides a detailed explanation of how the authors of our handbook have used and applied them.