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Sustainable marketing based on virtue ethics: addressing socio-ecological challenges facing humankind

Bruno Dyck () and Rajesh V. Manchanda ()
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Bruno Dyck: University of Manitoba
Rajesh V. Manchanda: University of Manitoba

AMS Review, 2021, vol. 11, issue 1, No 9, 115-132

Abstract: Abstract It is generally accepted that the primary goal of marketing, even conventional sustainable marketing, is to enhance organizations’ financial well-being, a view that is consistent with mainstream utilitarian ethics. However, this profit-first focus often inadvertently contributes to socio-ecological problems and undermines the ability of marketing to adequately address resulting challenges. This paper presents an approach to sustainable marketing that we call Social and Ecological Thought (SET) marketing, which is based on virtue ethics and aims to optimize social and ecological well-being while ensuring financial viability. We describe implications of SET marketing for each of the 4 Ps in the marketing-mix paradigm—product, price, place, and promotion—and compare them to conventional views based on mainstream utilitarian ethics. SET marketing is relevant for the growing number of consumers and businesses that willingly forgo the maximization of financial well-being in order to optimize socio-ecological well-being. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Keywords: Sustainability; Marketing-mix paradigm; Marketing 4 Ps; Triple Bottom Line; Virtue ethics; Utilitarian ethics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s13162-020-00184-7

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