The MSI Best Paper Award was instituted in 1993 to honor the authors of the MSI working papers that have made the most significant contribution to marketing practice and thought. It also serves to signal the kind of writing and research that is of lasting value to corporate marketing executives. Each year the award is given for the best MSI paper issued during the calendar year two years previous. This delay exists to allow sufficient time to assess the impact of each paper on the field of marketing.
Using a two-stage process, an advisory panel, consisting of Executive Committee members as well as current and past executive directors and academic trustees, nominates four to six papers for the award. Criteria for the nomination process include quality of the conceptual framework, quality of the support for the framework, potential impact on MSI companies, and potential impact on subsequent academic research. A ballot is then sent to all MSI Trustees to determine the winner.
In 2002, the award was renamed the Robert D. Buzzell MSI Best Paper Award to honor the contributions of Professor Robert Buzzell, who had a long-standing association with the Marketing Science Institute, and served as Executive Director from 1968-72.