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Engineered to SellEuropean Émigrés and the Making of Consumer Capitalism$
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Jan L. Logemann

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226660011

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226660295.001.0001

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Hidden Persuaders? Market Researchers as “Knowledge Entrepreneurs” between Business and the Social Sciences

Hidden Persuaders? Market Researchers as “Knowledge Entrepreneurs” between Business and the Social Sciences

Chapter:
(p.99) Four Hidden Persuaders? Market Researchers as “Knowledge Entrepreneurs” between Business and the Social Sciences
Source:
Engineered to Sell
Author(s):

Jan L. Logemann

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226660295.003.0006

This chapter surveys the practice of American market research from the 1940s to the 1960s, focusing especially on the postwar ascendancy of market researchers as independent “knowledge entrepreneurs” outside of corporate hierarchies and advertising agency structures. In part, these new experts were a result of the interplay of academic and commercial research covered in previous chapters. Being “scientific” outsiders to the corporate process provided both advantages and disadvantages within the business world, and research consultants at times struggled to find their proper role. Here, I will highlight two case studies of European émigrés, Ernest Dichter and Alfred Politz, who were not only two of the leading marketing research experts during the 1950s and but also counted among the most influential voices in the field. They stood on the forefront of a growing emphasis on scientific method and on creative innovation in midcentury consumer capitalism.

Keywords:   History of Market Research, Scientific Marketing, Ernest Dichter, Knowledge Entrepreneurs, Alfred Politz

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