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Review and Critical Assessment of Research on Marketing and the Environment

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This paper provides a review and categorization of the environmentally related research published in the major English language marketing journals over the period from 1971 to 1997. It traces the development from the early research which focused predominantly on the characterization of the "green" consumer, conceptualization of environmental consciousness, environmentally related behaviours such as recycling, and attitudes towards environmental problems such as pollution. This was followed by a period in which energy conservation, legislation, and public policy issues were added to the agenda which remained predominantly managerialist in perspective. While the same issues were studied within the 1990s, the research agenda was expanded again to include broader issues such as environmental values and institutions. Most recently, the macro issues of sustainable marketing and its relationship to the dominant social paradigm have been introduced into the literature. The paper concludes by arguing that the examination of the macro issues from an interdisciplinary perspective is necessary for further development of marketing thought in this area, and that a synthesis of the macro and micro perspectives is necessary for effective and enduring public policy regarding the marketing/environmental relationship.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 1998

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