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Paper info: IMP as Fashion Revisited: A text selfie within the IMP community


IMP as Fashion Revisited: A text selfie within the IMP community


Debbie Harrison
Norwegian School of Management
Debbie Harrison

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 32nd IMP-conference in Poznan, Poland in 2016.


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The purpose of the paper is to join the ongoing conversation regarding a recurring question asked at IMP conferences: ‘what is IMP?’ It is inspired by current reflections on how and in what ways the research community maintains momentum (Cova and Salle, 2008: Cova, Ford, and Salle, 2009: Cova, Pardo, Salle, and Spencer, 2014, 2015), and in light of the activities around the 2016 Symposium (Håkansson, Snehota and Waluszewski). It also builds on and revisits the basic premise of an earlier paper, Harrison (2004), IMP as Fashion: Past, Present and Future. I stress that the wish is to capture a snapshot of variety, and not to smooth out some standardised version of what IMP is. The paper centres upon an IMP community research ‘selfie’. That is, the findings of a survey of IMP researchers as to the simultaneous variety and core of IMP. The simple question here is ‘what is IMP’. More specifically, the survey has progressed in two phases. First, using an email survey, I asked 100 researchers to reflect on five issues. These were: key assumptions, important concepts, main research areas, current trends or hot topics, and recent challenges respectively. I also asked participants to reflect on the question of ‘what makes IMP unique?’ The outcome is a ‘research selfie’, or an informal snapshot of our research approach: essentially, an empirically derived ‘theory of market’ (Harrison and Kjellberg, 2014).