Our dissertation has several scientific and practical contributions. In our opinion, the most important contribution is that it introduces a new general shopping center theory, according to which, the shopping center is none other than a product, that is developed and managed through the strategic fit of modern methods in management. This new, general shopping center theory could enable a completely new paradigm shift in shopping center theory, whereby we can witness a shift from the so far dominant place paradigm towards the new product paradigm.
This paradigm shift offers a more precise structure for the shopping center literature along the composing elements of the shopping centers and along the evaluation of shopping center operation. This paradigm shift is useful for shopping center practitioners as well, as this new theoretical framework offers available concrete positive knowledge on shopping centers, instead of intuitions, gut feelings and experience on which practitioners were relying exclusively so far. This view attempts to reverse the pulling force found in shopping center research (from normative towards the positive) and thus, shopping center theory might positively influence shopping center practice. Our method paradigm approach emphasizes marketing as the dominant field of science playing a major role in shopping center management.