Marketing’s SEM Based Nomological Network: Constructs and Research Streams in 1987-1997 and in 1998-2008
Which constructs are most important to marketing? Has their importance waxed or waned over time? Is the discipline converging or diverging conceptually? Although scholars have attempted to study the evolution of the discipline, such questions remain largely unanswered. The present research addresses these issues by examining marketing's nomological network—the interconnection of psychometric variables found in the discipline's structural equation models (SEM)—using sociometric techniques. Two digraphs containing the interleaved and concatenated results from SEMs during two periods are investigated. The findings suggest that although marketing thought in SEM studies is somewhat fragmented, two dominant research streams emerge—one dealing with organizational behavior issues and the other with relationship marketing. The focus on SEMs suggests that the findings are particularly relevant for scholars or practitioners in survey-based research, as they provide direction for future research and suggest that firms can prosper by improving customer relationships.