The theme for the 2017 Transformative Consumer Research (TCR) conference was Relational Engagement to Escalate Impact. We proposed that transformative consumer researchers aiming to increase the societal impact of their scholarship should engage directly with relevant stakeholders. For maximum societal effect, this engagement needs to occur both within the research process and throughout the entire course of impact, from the creation, awareness and use of knowledge to societal impact. The relational engagement approach involves the cocreation of research with people beyond academia. 

We continued the tradition of two track types at TCR 2017: Track 1 and Track 2. TCR 2017 had 15 tracks that are the Track 1 type. Track 1 was for both new and long-time TCR participants who want the chance to dialogue about a new topic together for the first time at TCR. Track 1 is a gateway into the TCR community. 

TCR 2017 also had 10 tracks that are the Track 2 type. Track 2 is typically for a continuation of the research dialogue by the previous years’ conference participants that includes empirical work or action components. 

Track 1: Relational Engagement to Escalate Societal Impact

Track 1 had 15 tracks with a common goal: to address some of the most pressing societal problems in our world. The dialogues we began at this conference may build capacity for years to come. We invited participants to apply from academia, industry, non-profit, government and communities. 

For an overview of all available open tracks in Track 1, click here.

For information on the specific Track 1 topics see here:

Track 2: Action and Engagement

These tracks experimented with new ways to do team-based research toward real transformation and were aimed at either furthering empirical work in key substantive areas, deepening engagement with key stakeholders, or developing action components. Unlike the dialogical tracks, Track 2 involved longer-term projects. 

Track 2 participation was determined as part of the track proposal process that was open earlier in summer 2016. Please consider submitting a Track 2 type proposal for TCR 2019 during the open call for new tracks in spring/summer of 2018. TCR 2019 will be held at Florida State University and chaired by Maura Scott and Martin Mende!

For overviews of Track 2 and the chair bios click here.

For information on specific Track 2 topics:

New to TCR?

Here is a recent article on the history of the Transformative Consumer Research Movement on the American Marketing Association’s website with a free download of the original article that is forthcoming in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing.

Transformative Consumer Research is part of the Association for Consumer Research.

Read more about Relational Engagement in an American Marketing Association feature called “Making Research in Business Have More Impact: A Relational Engagement Approach” which summarizes an article by Ozanne et al. (2016) in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, Assessing the Societal Impact of Research: The Relational Engagement Approach,” which is itself a product of a track dialogue at the 2013 TCR conference.

 Applicants selected to participate in the conference will commit to:

Working with their track’s group members on pre-conference work preparations
Engaging in focused dialog about the track’s topic at the conference
Presenting a summary of the track members’ ideas at the end of the conference
Contributing to post-conference activities, including publication opportunities
For those people unfamiliar with the dialogical TCR conference, each conference typically produces at least one special issue. For examples, see the special issues of the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing (spring 2011), the Journal of Business Research (issue 66, 2013), and the Journal of Marketing Management (volume 30, issue 17-18, 2014). The next special issue, a product of the 2015 TCR conference, will be in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing (forthcoming). TCR published a special issue in the Journal of Consumer Research (2008). 

TCR: Important Pressing Social Problems

The purpose of the TCR conference is to address some of the most pressing global problems. Each track will consist of 8-10 people who commit to working on the social problem throughout the entire time of the conference, and before and after it as well. Rather than the traditional conference in which the expertise of a few people is explored, these dialogical tracks seek to explore the distributed intelligence across a group of people who possess a shared interest in the transformative consumer topic.

How Were TCR 2017 Tracks Formed?

We typically post an open call for track proposals about one year prior to a TCR conference, which is held every other year. The call for new track themes for TCR 2017 was in spring 2016. The next call for proposal will be in spring of 2018 for TCR 2019 at Florida State University!

Catalytic Research Relationships

We selected participants who demonstrated some sustained interest in the track’s identified social problems. Since most of the tracks are intersections of social problems, the sustained interest may relate to one or more aspect of the track. With an eye toward incorporating diverse perspectives, we sought people from different regions of the world and backgrounds. Applicants with different levels of experience were encouraged to apply (this format is the more grassroots, bottom-up process). This conference continued the practice of reserving spots for junior scholars, including doctoral students, to help create mentorship opportunities and build capacity.
The application should include a 300-500 word statement of your research vision in PDF format as well as a separate CV in PDF format. Note that each applicant may apply to no more than two tracks, and each application should be tailored to each track’s topic.
The deadline for submissions was November 15, 2016. Decision notifications were sent December 21, 2016. The submission system for 2017 TCR is now closed. Look for a call for track proposals in spring 2018 for 2019 TCR at Florida State University.  

Conference Chairs

CAL POLY

UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE

STIJN VAN OSSELAER

CORNELL UNIVERSITY

Thank you to the TCR Conference Website Sponsor: