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A Longer History of MMA

Adapted from:  A Brief History of the Midwest Marketing Association, 1977-1983″, by Donald F. Mulvihill.


The Marketing Management Association's history starts as a division within MBAA in 1964. Faculty from business administration disciplines reached the conclusion that their needs for a regional conference could be met best by forming a group separate from the existing Midwest Economic Association (MEA).  The year 1965 marked the first meeting of the MBAA, running concurrently with the MEA. The first Executive Secretaries were marketing professors and many of the MBAA presidents have been marketers.

The MBAA serves as a facilitating agency for the regional association in the midwest which has been defined as including 12 states:  Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, and South and North Dakota.  From its inception, the MBAA has negotiated with hotels for conference facilities and with publishers for exhibits and assembled and printed programs for the various disciplines.  Three groups developed formal organizations of their own, with officers, advisory groups, and program chairs.

At the beginning, the marketing group did not feel that a formal organization was necessary and that the essential position was that of the program chairman who sent out the call for papers, secured their review, and established a program which was sent to the Executive Secretary of the MBAA who assigned the schedule of hours and rooms and published the marketing program as part of the MBAA total program.  The marketing group held a Saturday breakfast each year with a business person or dean as a speaker and a program chairperson was selected for the following year.

As the MBAA grew in size and more disciplinary groups were provided programs, it seemed that perhaps the marketing group should have a formal organization similar to the Midwest Accounting (the largest group in the MBAA), Business law, or Case Writers Association.  A group of marketers including N.W. Edwards, Don Shawver, Elwyn De Vore, Don Scotton, James Spaulding, and Don Mulvihill thought that to provide better liaison with MBAA, a procedure to referee papers and regularize the selection of the program chair, a loose organization should be established.  


To determine the interest there might be, a letter was sent on November 15, 1976, to 673 marketing professors in 12 states.  The response was good; 150 faculty representing nine states and 32 schools indicated an interest in and approved of such a proposal.  The mailing list was provided by the national office of the American Marketing Association, the Tri-State Marketing Group, the Missouri Group, and the MBAA.  The mailing was made possible by the Department of Marketing at Kent State University.

Announcements were sent out suggesting that there would be a meeting to discuss the formation of a Midwest Marketing Association on the afternoon of April 1, 1977, at the MBAA program in St. Louis.  The meeting was held and the group agreed to meet the next morning to formally establish such an association, to adopt a tentative constitution and by-laws, and to elect officers.

When this meeting was held, it was decided to have such an organization.  A constitution and by-laws were adopted, and James P. Spalding, Jr., Eastern Illinois University, was elected President.  A. H. Kizilbash, Northern Illinois University, was elected Vice President, and Don Mulvihill, Kent State University, was elected Secretary-Treasurer.  Fifty-two marketers attended one or both meetings and were designated as charter members.

In 1978, the Midwest Marketing Association had grown in membership to 123.  More papers were submitted and more sessions were offered.  Automatic election to the presidency and to the vice-presidency was established as a policy to be followed – again in keeping with MBAA procedures.  Vice-President Kizilbash suggested that an advisory committee of 12 be established to aid in the refereeing of papers and to provide advice to the officers.  This was considered to be a way of recognizing those who aided in the difficult job of paper selection; the president was empowered to select such a group.  In 1989, the name of this advisory group was changed to “Board of Directors”.  The group has been expanded to include fifteen members.

The third year, 1979, was marked by the first publication of the Proceedings, made possible by the generosity and hard work of the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.  SIU-C continued to edit and print the Proceedings through 1983.

The fourth year, 1980, saw the expansion of officers from three to six:  President, President Elect (Program Chair), Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Immediate Past President (chair of the nominating committee).  It also provided for the election of the advisory committee members and their rotation after a three-year tenure.  The scope of work necessary to provide programs was shown by 62 papers refereed through the services of 39 reviewers with a final program of 31 papers.  This ratio of acceptance is somewhat representative of any year, though the number of papers submitted annually has grown to 80 or 90, and the number of reviewers employed is as high as 100 or more.

Since especially good papers should be recognized, awards were presented to the best paper in marketing and marketing management beginning in 1981.  The MMA is now one of four MBAA associations for which distinguished paper awards are provided annually by Richard D. Irwin, Inc. and Business Publications, Inc.  The MMA also awards a best marketing education paper award. At the 1985 meeting, it was decided to move from the publication of the Proceedings to the publication of the Journal of Midwest Marketing.

After several years of publishing the Journal of Midwest Marketing, the Publication Council proposed and the membership supported the initiation of a new journal by the association.  The journal was named The Journal of Marketing Management.  Dr. David Kurtz from the University of Arkansas was selected to be the editor.  In the Fall of 1991, the first issue of the Journal of Marketing Management was published with a subsequent listing in Cabell’s.  As with the MMA Proceedings, Southwest Missouri State University and Western Illinois University substantially took responsibility for publication and printing of the Journal of Marketing Management.

In 1993 Dr. Dub Ashton of the University of Arkansas became the second editor of the Journal of Marketing Management,  At the 1994 spring meeting of the officers and board, it was decided to try to publish the journal on a quarterly basis.

In 1995 the name of the Midwest Marketing Association was changed to Marketing Management Association to reflect the wide membership coast to coast and from several foreign countries.

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