Practitioner theories at the advertising agency
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This dissertation investigates advertising agency practitioners’ theories of advertising. The study asks three fundamental questions about practitioner knowledge in advertising: (1) what ad practitioners think about how advertising works, (2) what meta-theoretical presuppositions they have about the nature of this knowledge, and (3) how this knowledge is negotiated with advertiser clients. Qualitative in-depth interviews with senior level advertising executives (creative, planning and account directors) in the Atlanta market constitute the empirical data. Findings include the description of practitioners’ Truncated Hierarchy model, ontological and epistemological meta-theories as well as pseudo-professionalization tactics. The study uses the sociological theory of professions as a theoretical framing and provides implications for the narrowing of the academician-practitioner gap in advertising.
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