Writing as Craft and Vocation in Marketing and Consumer Research, 24.8. - 28.8.2020 (Postponed)


Postponed - more information will be posted later (August 24th to 28th 2020)


Aalto University

Learning goal and objectives:

Learning to write well is essential for aspiring academicians. Studies on academic writing overwhelmingly reveal that well-written papers wield a superior impact and attain greater visibility, no matter the discipline. In fact, a compelling writing style sometimes can contribute to reviewers’ favorable decisions to allow papers to advance through the review process. Many universities offer doctoral-level courses on writing, but most focus on syntax and disciplinary stylistic preferences.

This course shares a different set of goals – to enable budding academicians to both enhance their writing styles, and to understand how engaging writing contributes to both the aesthetic and intellectual contributions of academic pieces.

The purpose of this course is to invite students to perceive and practice writing as a craft. It is not enough to become familiar with rules such as writing in the present tense or avoiding the use of the passive voice (although these are both effective practices!) Writing should be an activity academicians love to do, and applaud, cherish, and seek to emulate when they encounter well-crafted work by their peers. We will ask students in this course to engage in deep scrutiny of who they are and how they would like to be regarded as writers. Topics we will discuss include:

  • Why do I write? What motivated me to choose a writing-intensive profession?
  • How, where, and when do I write? What sets of practices have contributed to output of which I have been proud, and that others have acclaimed?
  • How can I continuously improve my writing?
  • (How) could I experience greater enjoyment in writing?
  • How can I successfully learn to write collaboratively?
  • What are the writing conventions in marketing and consumer behavior –and which ones seem to help vs. hinder the crafting of deep and delightful output?



Two principal instructors are co-captaining the course. Pauline Maclaran, Professor of Marketing & Consumer Research in the School of Management at Royal Holloway, and Cele Otnes, Professor of Business Administration and Department Head and Anthony J. Petullo Professor at University of Illinois Gies College of Business. Both have extensive experience with various forms of writing, produced while pursuing their undergraduate degrees in English Literature, their post-graduate jobs in the advertising industry, and then their long careers in academia. Most recently, they collaborated on Royal Fever: The British Monarchy in Consumer Culture (University of California Press, 2015), which explores how the myriad ways the institution informs, shapes, and challenges consumer culture. The book was well- received for its rigorous and comprehensive treatment of the topic, and for its accessible writing style.

In addition, local and visiting faculty from Aalto University will serve as supporting instructors in the course. These include assistant professors Alexei Gloukhovtsev and Henri Weijo, professor emeritus Eric Arnould, and visiting scholars Soren Askegaard (University of Southern Denmark) and John Schouten (Memorial University).

Instruction and examination:

Students are evaluated based on their contributions to seminar discussions and activities, submissions of their own writing samples, and improvements made on these samples.








Applications are to be submitted through the EIASM course webpage:  http://www.eiasm.org/frontoffice/eden_announcement.asp?event_id=1447%20


Course coordinator and contact information:

Henri Weijo, Aalto University

Alexei Gloukhovtsev, Aalto University