EMAC Chronicle - March 2005

  1. Letter from the President

    1. From the President 

      As I write this Spring is definitely in the air – even in the damp Midlands of the United Kingdom. Looking out of my study window at home I can see buds opening on the trees, daffodils and snowdrops in the hedge, a pond full of frogspawn, and grass that definitely needs cutting!

      In a similar way EMAC is moving forward to a new season, some might even say new era. There are a number of significant changes taking place, and many of them aimed at improving the service that we offer to the future of our academy – the doctoral students who will form the next generation of marketing scholars, researchers and teachers. I’d like to draw attention to just a few of these.

      Under the dynamic leadership of Luk Warlop the EMAC doctoral colloquium has been re-designed to help develop the publishing skills of our students. We all know that publishing in the top Marketing journals is becoming increasingly competitive (I have the scars from many anonymous reviews to prove it!) and that it is not simply a matter of doing good research these days. That research has to be crafted and presented in a manner that will maximise its impact, and the new DC is designed to help with that.

      There is, however, a potential downside of focusing the DC on publishing in top tier journals. There is a concern that this focus may be at the expense of the more traditional role of helping students in the middle stages of their thesis, in refining their research approach and/or analysis. To ensure we are catering for all of our research students, not just those aspiring to the top journals, a review of provision for students is being carried out by the EMAC Fellows. Berend Wierenga, past president of EMAC and recently elected Dean of the Fellows, is chairing a review group looking at the impact of the new colloquium arrangements.

      There are a number of other measures we are taking to support our students:

      · To encourage research students to attend our conference and network with each other and more established marketing academics, all students attending the DC are eligible for a 50% reduction in the conference fee
      · In addition, the Milan conference organisers have generously offered a 10% price reduction to doctoral students who were not able to attend the DC because of space limitations to attend and present posters of their work for discussion.
      · In the last edition of the Chronicle I reported that a new Alumni Association was being set up for past students of the doctoral colloquium. The first meeting will take place in Milan at the conference in May.

      Finally, it is very pleasing to see that the current round of elections for the Executive Committee has produced far more nominations for all posts than in the recent past. This is a good sign of a healthy, dynamic academy. The results will be announced at the AGM.

      See you in Milan!

  2. News regarding EMAC membership fees

    1. New, simplified approach to collecting membership fees Submitted by Graham Hooley

      Over the past couple of years there has been considerable debate at the EMAC Executive Committee over the payment of membership fees. The basic problem centred on renewals at the start of each calendar year, and then updating membership lists to ensure the correct fees (for members or non-members) were being charged at the annual conference. Over the last few years there have been problems with collecting the fees and dealing with new members in a timely and welcoming way. At the November 2004 Executive Committee meeting we agreed to make changes to the system and we have now, in discussions with EIASM who administer our systems, agreed a way forward. The approach we will adopt is that used successfully by the other academic associations managed through EIASM.

      In future the main collection of membership fees will take place at the annual conference in May. This will mean we need only have one conference fee and everyone who attends automatically becomes a member for the following year. It also means that most members will be able to claim membership as payable by their universities as part of the combined fee when attending the conference, rather than have to pay personally. Those past members who do not attend the conference will be sent separate invitations to renew following the conference so that they are not left out.

      We debated long and hard whether the conference fee should cover the same calendar year as the conference or the year following (i.e. if the fee is collected at the 2006 conference should it include membership for 2006 or 2007?). Because a main member benefit is the journal (IJRM) we do not want to create any disruption in members receiving their copies. Therefore we have agreed that the fee will cover the following year rather than the current year. This also makes sense for new members as they will not have received benefits up to the time of the conference, almost half way through the year. It is better to start their full membership benefits the following January.

      The transition to the new system will take place in 2006 and that year will be a little complicated until we get up and running properly. Once the new system is established it should run much more smoothly than the current confused approach. During the transition, however, we will need to ensure we receive 2006 fees as well as 2007. We will proceed as follows:

      All existing members will be written to in November 2005 informing them that their membership expires at the end of December and inviting them to renew by return for 2006. They will also be told that they will have the option of paying for 2006 at the conference if they plan to attend but that at that conference they will be charged the conference fee plus 2007 membership. That would mean two payments in one year if they take that option (but they would then receive member benefits including the journal until December 2007). Those who choose not to renew until the conference would, of course, cease to be members from January to May 2006 (as at present). They would not receive member benefits such as IJRM and access to the website.

      At the 2006 conference there will be one fee only for both members and non-members – the conference fee plus membership for the 2007 calendar year. In addition, those members who have not paid the 2006 membership fee in advance can choose to pay 2006 as well as 2007. If they do pay for 2006 membership they will receive backdated benefits, such as copies of the missed editions of IJRM and immediate full access to the website.

      There is a separate, ongoing, issue concerning new members who join by attending the conference. This relates to the long gap between them joining (at conference in May) and the commencement of their full member benefits (the next January). Those new members who wish to receive immediate benefits will be able to pay for the current year and receive backdated benefits (in particular back copies of IJRM). For those who choose not to do so we plan to offer some limited member benefits through the website free of charge until their full membership begins. These will be benefits that have no additional cost to EMAC but will help with 'customer care' until full membership begins.

      I realise this is an awkward transition but do believe it is the best way forward in the longer term. If you have any concerns or questions please contact our Executive Secretary, Nicole Coopman, at EIASM and we will respond as quickly as possible.