Sustainable Enterprise: A Macromarketing Approach


Mark Peterson

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    Preface: A Macromarketing Approach

    I wrote this book to explain how businesses can benefit by taking a more holistic approach to the marketplace. While attending the Macromarketing Conference in May 2005 in St. Petersburg, Florida, I was stunned when one of the panelists at the final session of the conference gave a simple response to the question: “What is the future of marketing?” This panelist, Cliff Shultz, who was then the editor of the Journal of Macromarketing, confidently asserted, “the future of marketing is macromarketing” (Shultz, 2005).

    Macromarketing—taking a systems view of the interplay between marketing and society—had a rich history of scholarship with such accomplished scholars as Shelby Hunt, and Bill Wilkie contributing meaningfully to understanding the role of marketing in society. However, to my mind, macromarketers up to that time seemed to be satisfied with scholarship alone and had little interest in the practical aspects of market success for businesses. So when Cliff made his assertion, it struck me as a deep paradox—how could the ivory tower move to the mainstream of marketing practice? Yet, I instinctively knew he was right. Since then, business persons have increasingly sought answers for how to approach new complexities of the marketplace that macromarketers have studied over the years. This book is intended to help business persons tap into the wisdom accrued in macromarketing scholarship over three decades. In this way, the book is about managerial macromarketing—macromarketing for sustainable enterprise.

    In 2009 and 2010, I taught a new marketing and society course to MBA students at the University of Wyoming. Unlike other schools, ALL students had to take the course because it was required. This experience proved uniquely valuable because with all students in the course, many doubts and reservations about “going green” were expressed by students. These students instinctively knew that profits had to be made for businesses to continue operations, and many sustainability-related issues about including stakeholders in planning and being mindful of equity issues did not come with explanations about how the bottom line would be affected. At the time, no books existed to address this issue of how to operate in the marketplace with a social conscience and achieve profits. I have written this book to help business persons, teachers, and students better understand how this can be done.

    I believe most readers will find the contents of this book refreshingly different. Throughout the book, I have woven a theme of entrepreneurship—identifying and developing opportunities, regardless of the resources available. In this way, the book focuses on enterprise, rather than on “business as usual.” Part 1 presents and explains macromarketing as a valuable frame for understanding what is occurring in marketplaces today. Part 2 explains factors contributing to market dynamism today, such as empowered consumers, collaborative relationships, and globalization. Part 3 gives special attention to issues related to the natural environment. Part 4 discusses issues related to equity, such as developing markets, and poverty alleviation. Part 5 sets a primary theme of the book—entrepreneurship—into perspective and includes an actual business plan from a sustainable entrepreneur as an appendix on the supporting website for the book, The plan is not merely a checklist. It offers readers a more complete understanding of the thought and effort that goes into a successful business plan—especially the figures and tables.

    Each chapter of the book begins with a vignette featuring a living protagonist facing a real-life challenge related to marketing and society. In this way, the human aspect of business emerges. Each chapter closes with a mini-case called Mavericks Who Made It featuring an entrepreneurial figure. Some of these come from history. Some come from realms other than modern business. However, each should lead readers to reflect more effectively on the content of the chapters. Questions follow both the opening vignette and the Mavericks Who Made It mini-cases.

    Because this book addresses timely issues in the environment of the firm, it can be used in a variety of courses, including Marketing and Society, Business and Society, and a forward-looking Marketing Strategy course. However, this book will best match courses being fielded now with sustainability in the title. Such courses might be titled “Sustainable Enterprise,” “Sustainable Business,” and “Sustainable Marketing.”

    I wrote this book with my former MBA students in mind. However, my very capable reviewer/editor Laura Wespetal, a senior English major at the University of Wyoming and the university's Rhodes Scholar nominee in 2011, had never taken a business course. Through her attentiveness, the book should be accessible to all college students because she would not allow any business concepts or terms to be included without explanation.

    Ancillary materials for instructors using this book will be posted at These include (a) recommended Harvard Business School cases, (b) Microsoft PowerPoint slides, (c) additional short readings to supplement the book content, and (d) test bank questions with answers for each chapter, and (e) the author's blogging on sustainable enterprise.

    My first thanks go to Costco Wholesale CFO Richard Galanti and Costco Wholesale Senior Vice President for E-Commerce & Publishing Ginnie Roeglin who were two of the first business persons to grasp what a book like this could contribute to the sustainable enterprise movement. As a result of Ginnie's willingness to advance sustainable business practices around the world, several Mavericks Who Made It mini-cases come directly from the pages of The Costco Connection. In this way, readers can gain a richer understanding about a sustainable enterprise, such as Costco, and its collaborative partners. During my research for the book, Costco's Director of Corporate Sustainability Karen Raines provided valuable perspective regarding the development of sustainable business practices at Costco.

    Lisa Myers who heads Patagonia's environmental grant program was another business person who boosted the research involved in writing this book. Lisa willingly shared her time and perspectives on the environmental movement and stood ready to field questions from me any time. Patagonia's story is an important one among sustainable enterprises, and I appreciate Lisa's help in explaining key parts of it to me during a visit to Patagonia's headquarters in Ventura, California, in February 2011.

    I would like to thank Dana Cushman, my first and only research assistant, whose two months of part-time work helped me launch this book project. Enormous thanks go to Laura Wespetal who applied her formidable writing skills as my reviewer/editor once the chapters came into existence. I look forward to reading Laura's books in the future. Finally, Richard Vann helped valuably with obtaining permissions for the many figures, tables, and photos of the book.

    I have also appreciated the encouragement of the College of Business at the University of Wyoming and of my colleagues in the Management and Marketing Department. Special thanks go to John Mittlestaedt for doing the beta-testing of the first 10 chapters of the book in his Sustainable Marketing class in Fall 2011. As well, the thoughtful comments of each of the following reviewers for the chapters helped shape this book to be what you now hold in your hands:

    Michael L. Bruce, Anderson University

    Susan Dobscha, PhD, Associate Professor of Marketing, Bentley University

    G. Scott Erickson, Ithaca College

    Richard D. Hunley, Lindsey Wilson College

    Dr. Michael R. Hyman, Stan Fulton Professor of Marketing, New Mexico State University

    Stephanie Jue, Lecturer, University of Texas

    Richard Kalish, JD, Adjunct Professor, School of Business and Leadership, Dominican University of California

    Nada Kobeissi, Long Island University–C.W. Post

    Gene R. Laczniak, Professor of Marketing, Marquette University

    Roger D. Lee, PhD, Professor, Salt Lake Community College

    Jill K. Maher, PhD, Robert Morris University

    Michael J. Messina, PhD, Professor of Marketing, Gannon University

    John D. Mittelstaedt, Clemson University

    Nicholas Nugent, Jr., PhD, Florida Southern College

    Lori D. Paris, PhD, California State University, Bakersfield

    Mark J. Pate, King College

    Gregory Portillo, School of Business, Holy Names University, Oakland, California

    Nagarajan Ramamoorthy, PhD, University of Houston-Victoria

    Mary Anne Raymond, Clemson University

    Jose Rocha, Florida International University

    Andy C. Saucedo, Professor, Business & Marketing, NMSU-Doña Ana Community College

    Michael J. Scrivens, Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology

    Cliff Shultz, Loyola University Chicago

    Stanley J. Shapiro, Professor-Emeritus, Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University

    Mr. Joaquin Tadeo, MBA, Assistant Professor, NMSU-Doña Ana Community College

    Terrence Witkowski, California State University—Long Beach

    I would also like to thank the team at SAGE Publications for helping to make this project come to life. I really enjoyed working with such pros as Pat Quinlin, Maggie Stanley, Katie Guarino, Liz Thornton, Lisa Shaw, Deya Saoud Jacob, Julie Nemer, Terri Accomazzo, as well as Libby Larson and the production team. You get things done in the finest tradition of SAGE's founder Sara Miller-McCune. I smile, but I know Sara's dog, Duke, wags his tail when thinking of you.

    I thank my family for the time and encouraging gestures from my wife, Cindy, and daughters Emily, Angela, and Rachel over my years in academia. You have made me sustainable in all my endeavors.

    Finally, this book is dedicated to all macromarketers—past, present, and future. Thank you for daring to take a “big-picture view” of the marketplace and for sharing it with others.

    Shultz C. J. II. (2005, May). Panel on the future of macromarketing. Macromarketing Conference, St. Petersburg, FL.
  • Photo Credits

    Chapter 1, page 3Hemera Technologies / / Thinkstock
    Chapter 2, page 35Tom Brakefield / Stockbyte / Thinkstock
    Chapter 3, page 69Medioimages / Photodisc Thinkstock
    Chapter 4, page 101Alexander Hassenstein / Digital Vision / Thinkstock
    Chapter 5, page 139Allan Danahar / Digital Vision / Thinkstock
    Chapter 6, page 173Wikimedia Commons—Photo by Sgt. Derek Kuhn.
    Chapter 6, page 199Guinness & Co.,
    Chapter 6, page 200Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
    Chapter 7, page 207Stockbyte / Stockbyte / Thinkstock
    Chapter 7, page 227Thinkstock
    Chapter 8, page 235Stockbyte / Stockbyte / Thinkstock
    Chapter 9, page 265Getty Images / Thinkstock
    Chapter 10, page 303Digital Vision / Digital Vision / Thinkstock
    Chapter 11, page 339Jupiterimages / Comstock / Thinkstock
    Chapter 11, page 366Jim Neiman
    Chapter 12, page 373Goodshoot / Goodshoot / Thinkstock
    Chapter 12, page 379Thinkstock
    Chapter 13, page 411U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
    Chapter 14, page 453Medioimages / Photodisc / Thinkstock
    Chapter 15, page 495Stockbyte / Stockbyte / Thinkstock

    About the Author

    Dr. Peterson received his PhD in marketing from Georgia Tech in 1994 and joined the University of Wyoming faculty in Fall 2007 where he teaches doctoral, MBA, and undergraduate students. He previously taught at the University of Texas at Arlington. His research interests include marketing and society issues, research methods, as well as international marketing. He is an associate editor for the Journal of Macromarketing, and has served as Secretary/Treasurer of the Macromarketing Society. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Macromarketing Society, and the International Society for Quality of Life Studies (ISQOLS). His research has been published in such outlets as Journal of Macromarketing, Journal of Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising Research, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Journal of International Marketing, Journal of Business Research. Dr. Peterson was a Fulbright Scholar at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey in 2006.

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