The Journal of Marketing Management has, for 30 years, prided itself on seeing a bigger picture to the discipline of marketing. While strongly rooted in theoretical and empirical advances to the practice of marketing management in organisations, the journal inherently embraces a broader set of parameters to the discipline. This world view has enabled it to consistently go beyond guiding the purposeful action of business managers and support scholarship that investigates consequences on the broader society flowing from managerial (and consumer) action and vice versa. As such, over the years it has hosted cutting-edge research linking marketing practice with matters of the environment (Kilbourne & Beckman, 1998), charity (Sargeant, 1999), poverty (Hamilton & Catterall, 2006) and even religion (Veer & Shankar, 2011). It is therefore a natural fit for the journal to examine in depth the managerial challenges presented by subsistence marketplaces – consumer and entrepreneur communities living at subsistence income levels – found all over the globe but especially concentrated in large developing countries and regions. Indeed, the journal has previously examined questions of poverty as hidden consumers in affluent societies (Ekstrom & Hjort, 2009) and, more generally, as a subject for reflexive scholarship (Neyland & Simakova, 2009). At this juncture, a special section of an issue featuring research on subsistence marketplaces is timely, as the past few years have seen its emergence as a fresh, humanistic perspective on poverty, markets and development from within the marketing discipline (e.g. Nguyen, Rahtz, & Shultz, 2013; Viswanathan, Sridharan, Ritchie, Venugopal, & Jung, 2012 also see Viswanathan, 2013).
Sridharan, S., Viswanathan, M., Benton, R., & Shultz, C. (2014). Introduction to a special section on subsistence marketplaces: moving bottom-up from marketplace insights to managerial implications. Journal of Marketing Management, 30(5-6), 435-438. https://doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2014.884789