Dr. Diane Martin is a Professor of Marketing in School of Economics, Finance and Marketing in the College of Business and Law at RMI. Dr. Martin’s publications, teaching and engagement activities reflect her core values which include an interest in environmental sustainability, social equity, and consumer empowerment and the interface of business and society. She links these values to research in corporate social responsibility and sustainability, consumer innovation and consumer movements, new market development, and gender and consumption. These research interests are also entwined with her teaching. Her textbook Sustainable Marketing (2012), grew out of a need for upper division undergraduate teaching materials at a time when no such book existed. In this book she reconceptualized each major marketing principle through the lens of a sustainability framework to demonstrate how to build a business case for sustainability
Her personal concern for the natural environment fuels her interest in the ways marketing and business education in general can be part of the solution when the problem is sustainability. A four-year multidisciplinary study of Baltic Sea leisure boaters’ use of anti-fouling paint on boat hulls (to keep algae and barnacles from attaching) resulted in multiple book chapters in a practitioner publication and an academic article focused on paint use by consumers (Martin, Harju, Salminen & Koroschetz 2019). Her work also examines tensions between locals and tourists, and locals and developers in the context of sustainable tourism (Martin, Lindberg & Fitchett 2019; Lindberg, Fitchett & Martin, 2020). She recently published a paper with co-authors in transformational consumer research to theorize the advantages of a symbiotic academic-social enterprise in the development of a customized sustainability literacy education in subsistence marketplaces (Viswanathan, et al. 2020). Her current projects in sustainability include a project examining the emerging electric vehicle market from the macro/industry level and the micro/consumer level, and a paper focused on citizens’ reactions to regulations forcing households to engage in curbside composting.
She’s also interested in theorizing the outcomes of surprising market dynamics. Her article explaining the concept of consumption driven market emergence demonstrates how adult fans of mini-moto riding converged to address unmet needs neglected by the motorcycle industry (Martin & Schouten 2014). This paper won the 2016 AMA Entrepreneurial Marketing SIG’s Gerald E. Hills Best Paper Award. In another study, Dr. Martin and colleagues examined how collective creativity evolved into a consumer movement for foodies participating in pop-up food festivals (Weijo, Martin & Arnould 2018), as a response to conditions in a highly regulated food local food culture. Her current projects in market dynamics include an assemblage theory approach to the recovery of a failing brand, the ways a mundane product emerges as an iconic metamorphic marker of cultural epochs, and a study of how senior consumers manage their self-socialization as effective consumers of continually evolving digital devices and processes.
Dr. Martin’s work also examines the intersections of gender and society, in particular in marketplace and organizational contexts, as a way to better understand opportunities and barriers to equality and equity. Her PhD dissertation topic, came from an off-hand remark about businesswomen and humor: they just aren’t funny. This claim contradicted her years of experience as a woman business owner so she decided to study the phenomena for her doctoral work and found that women are indeed funny, just in ways different from men (Martin & Gayle 1999; Martin, 2001; Martin 2004). The dissertation won the 2002 International Communication Association W. Charles Redding Outstanding Dissertation in Organizational Communication Award. Other projects focusing on gender include work on women’s experiences of consumption in a hypermasculine subculture (Martin, Schouten, & McAlexander 2006) and the ways gender status bias is experienced as a marketplace phenomenon by expert women mountaineers (Ferguson, Brace-Govan, & Martin 2020).
Dr. Martin has always considered education to be a great equalizer of society, and by creating real opportunity, intellectual freedom, and a tolerant atmosphere in the college classroom she can help students to gain all they can from the subject matter while expanding their critical thinking and analytical skills. Through thought provoking lectures, simulations, discussions and activities, students have opportunities for insight and reflexive action. In general, students enjoy her classes and the ways she brings her experiential knowledge as an entrepreneur into the classroom. They also respond well to the way she uses her scholarship to teach current marketing theory. Stories from her ethnography of sustainability at Wal-Mart brings supply chain and public relations theories to life. Her consumer behavior research of women in the Harley-Davidson’s Harley Owners Group gives them a vivid context for understanding brand communities. The multidisciplinary outcomes of the Baltic Sea toxic paint project demonstrate how marketing is integral to consumer education and behavior change. For Dr. Martin, success as an educator means creating and maintaining standards of academic excellence while providing each individual with multiple and various opportunities to learn