Experiential Learning Projects: A Pedagogical Path to Macromarketing Education

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Marketing managers best equipped to transfer their knowledge across increasingly complex and dynamic market contexts will be those who have learned to frame managerial decisions in terms of the broad moral, political, and social contexts in which those decisions reside. Undergraduate marketing curricula that emphasize the study of micro-marketing topics rather than macromarketing topics have not delivered the critical thinking skills marketing students need to function and adapt to increasingly dynamic business environments. Experiential Learning Theory offers a framework for instructors to design projects that incorporate systems-level perspectives while encouraging rigorous marketing decision-making. We review literature on experiential learning to highlight how aspects of experience-based pedagogy align with the aims of macromarketing education. Then we describe two projects as examples of how experience-based projects teach managerial decision-making and foster understanding of the broader societal role of marketing. We propose using experience-based projects as pedagogical tools that deliver on the field’s commitment to managerial education and restore marketing education to its systems-level roots.