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Fostering responsible communities: a community social marketing approach to sustainable living

Carrigan, Marylyn; Moraes, Caroline and Leek, Sheena (2011). Fostering responsible communities: a community social marketing approach to sustainable living. Journal of Business Ethics, 100(3) pp. 515–534.

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Just as socially irresponsible organizational behavior leaves a punitive legacy on society, socially responsible organizations can foster curative change. This paper examines whether small organizations can foster societal change toward more sustainable modes of living. We contend that consumption is deeply intertwined with social relations and norms, thus making individual behavioral change toward sustainability a matter of facilitating change in individual behavior, as well as in social norms and relations between organizations and consumers. We argue that it is in this facilitation process that small firms can play a major role, by adopting upstream and downstream approaches to diffuse behavioral change. By synthesizing four key strands of literature - small businesses and corporate social responsibility, ethical consumption, community social marketing and the diffusion of innovation - and using the exemplar case of Modbury, the iconic 'plastic bag free' town, we demonstrate how responsible small firms can influence communities, and the individuals therein, to encourage environmentally sustainable practice to diffuse and support change in society.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2010 Springer-Verlag
ISSN: 1573-0697
Keywords: community; CSR; small business; social marketing; sustainability
Academic Unit/Department: Open University Business School
Item ID: 25695
Depositing User: Marylyn Carrigan
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2010 13:11
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2012 14:31
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