University of Oulu

Ojansivu, I., Medlin, C. J., Andersen, P. H., & Kim, W. (2022). Using a ‘lens’ to re-search business markets, relationships and networks: Tensions, challenges and possibilities. Industrial Marketing Management, 100, 49–61.

Using a ‘lens’ to re-search business markets, relationships and networks : tensions, challenges and possibilities

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Author: Ojansivu, Ilkka1; Medlin, Christopher John2; Andersen, Poul Houman3;
Organizations: 1Department of Marketing, Management and International Business, Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Finland, and University of Melbourne, Australia
2University of Adelaide, Adelaide Business School, Australia and Aalborg University, Denmark
3Aalborg University, Denmark
4Nihon University, Japan
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-01-27


In this research, we wish to address the tension tucked away in scholarly work: the simultaneous need to break in and break out of academic communities and their ways of thinking. More precisely, we are interested in social re-search (i.e., searching again) processes and how scholars authenticate their research within an established cultural convention. For that purpose, we focus on the use of the term ‘lens’, which is omnipresent in research texts but rarely defined. Upon completing an integrative literature review and considering the embeddedness of a lens in culture, language, research communities and our ontological assumptions, we define a ‘research lens’ as a sociocultural representation and tool that helps to negotiate our scientific interpretation of the world. Our contribution to industrial marketing stems from surfacing and discussing four uses of a lens evident in the industrial marketing literature, introducing a metaphorical lens as a way to reform knowledge, and finally exemplifying how our lens tends to either mirror, reflect, symbolize or mirage the contours of our world without our full awareness of it.

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Series: Industrial marketing management
ISSN: 0019-8501
ISSN-E: 1873-2062
ISSN-L: 0019-8501
Volume: 100
Pages: 49 - 61
DOI: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2021.10.008
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (