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Is Sustainability Marketing alive? A critical exploration of Marketing courses in Swedish higher education institutions: The case of Uppsala University
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In a world that is changing rapidly due to the social and environmental consequences of the unsustainable economic growth, societal and economic transformations from unsustainable visions and practices are inevitable. While there is a need to develop alternative approaches to production and consumption, changing these systems is not feasible without changing the mainstream marketing ideas and its practices where the main incentive is “how to sell more”.

The initial phase of the research process supports conceptual clarity and the evolution of marketing thought towards sustainability marketing. It identifies the presence of sustainability marketing in the existing marketing curriculum through qualitative content analysis using grounded theory and quasi-statistical approaches, that facilitates the search for sustainability in marketing curriculum based on UNESCO’s indicative learning objectives for promoting Education for Sustainable Development. The thesis draws on relevant literature in the marketing field, utilizing the content analysis of various syllabi and mandatory literature of Uppsala University’s marketing courses, as well as employing semi-structured interviews with five lecturers of Uppsala University’s Marketing faculty and eight marketing students from across Sweden. The institutional setup of the case of Uppsala University is found to be problematic when considering its commitments towards sustainable development and its Action Plan for Sustainable Development 2019–2021. The study established the strong influence of dominant social paradigm in the curriculum development of marketing courses, which was evident through the content analysis and portrayals of the respondents’ perspectives of the marketing faculty. Further, it was found that the societal understanding of marketing dictates what can be taught in marketing education, which consequently circumscribes what can be researched in marketing. In addition, the concept of sustainability marketing was found to be nonexistent in mandatory literature of the courses, and was poorly covered throughout the secondary literature. Similarly, most of the mandatory literature of the marketing courses of Uppsala University do not follow UNESCO’s (2017) indicative learning objectives for promoting ESD, and hence do not promote learning for sustainable development. The results of this thesis suggest that we still have a long way to go to bring Education for Sustainable Development into marketing education, as current mainstream marketing practices and its rationale with dominant social paradigm prevalence maintains, supports and exacerbates the global unsustainable consumption and production patterns.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 68
Series
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 2019/27
Keywords [en]
Sustainable Development, Sustainability Marketing, Sustainable Marketing, Education for Sustainable Development
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-386460OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-386460DiVA, id: diva2:1327621
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
Presentation
2019-05-21, Hambergsalen, Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-06-20 Created: 2019-06-19 Last updated: 2019-06-20Bibliographically approved

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