Paper info: THE AETIOLOGY AND TREATMENT OF NETWORK INFERIORITY AND CONFERENCE INSECURITY SYNDROME
THE AETIOLOGY AND TREATMENT OF NETWORK INFERIORITY AND CONFERENCE INSECURITY SYNDROME
Malcolm T. Cunningham
Place of Publication
The paper was published at the 17th IMP-conference in Oslo, Norway in 2001.
This paper investigates the alarming effects of recent conferences upon the mental stabilityand self-confidence of marketing academics. A frightening spectre now haunts the IMPmembership: - the spectre of a virulent malaise.Specific papers presented at the Academy of Marketing (U.K.) conference of July 2000 andthe 16th IMP conference at Bath in September 2000 have precipitated a severe feeling ofnetwork inferiority and marginalisation among many IMP members. They find that theirinter-personal relationships are in jeopardy and their work ties with collaborating researchershave been put under critical public scrutiny. Additionally, several traumatic events at theBath conference have adversely affected the harmony of international relationships. TheIMP network may be imploding!One paper, by Australian authors, stressed the all-important role of internationalcollaborative research on the shaping of communication networks. It pointed to theemergence, with the IMP network, of an ?Elite Invisible College? of key, prestigiousresearchers. A consequence of this has been the creation of a marginalised group, which wecall ?Network Inferiors?. These members are not vital to the collaborative research networkand are less prolific in output.The malaise, which has now occurred, is termed Network Inferiority and ConferenceInsecurity Syndrome (NICIS). It may not be endemic nor untreatable and the paper proposesseveral positive steps to arrest and eradicate the syndrome.The probable causes of NICIS are discussed and set within the historical context ofinferiority and security at religious and cultural gatherings. A psychoanalytical insight isoffered, based upon both the drive model and relational model. Thereafter, three clinicalfeatures of the NICIS syndrome are identified prior to a proposed research methodology forthe study of the malaise. Six key factors are derived from a multi-factorial perceptualmapping technique. An agenda for the treatment of the syndrome is offered in considerabledepth. The paper concludes with important comments on the managerial implications of thestudy.