Wikipedia: An Opportunity to Teach Marketing Students Worldwide-and a Call for More Crowdsourced Marketing Content on

Andrew J. Dahl, Deborah M Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Marketing discipline must advance along with technology advancements that bring new opportunities for teaching and learning in a global higher education environment. Students today live in a world with information readily available to them 24/7 and many of today’s students are not bound by the time and location demands of a physical classroom. Marketing students have an overwhelming number of digital information sources on the Internet including content provided by textbook publishers, online college library databases, content provided by professional associations like the Direct Marketing Association, the American Marketing Association, and crowd sourced websites like Wikipedia. Recent research findings suggest that students are heavy users of Wikipedia and use the website to get clarification on terms and concepts or to jump-start a research process (even if the instructor specifically asks them to avoid or not to cite Wikipedia) (Cheng 2010). We use categorical distinction content analysis to compare a sample of 852 marketing textbook glossary definitions to the definitions found on the Wikipedia website yielding over 4,000 pages of data. Additionally, a second study of 172 terms outlines how coverage on Wikipedia changed over time and provides a preliminary assessment of the reference credibility. The data suggest that overall Wikipedia is comparatively accurate to textbook definitions, but an incomplete source of information for general and domain-specific marketing content. We conclude with a discussion of recommendations for the marketing academic community to improve the accuracy and comprehensiveness of marketing related content by enhancing the completeness of cited references via Wikipedia-based learning activities designed to improve students’ digital literacy skills.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-40
JournalJournal of Strategic Management Education
Issue number2016
StatePublished - Dec 12 2016


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