Markets and Morality: Tracing the History and Evolution of Ethical and Sustainable Marketing Practices

14 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2015

Date Written: September 24, 2015

Abstract

The paper traces the history of marketing from the days of Adam Smith and Milton Friedman who thought that trade and public good was “fundamentally subversive”, to the present day, when effective marketing is expected to incorporate a strong sense of ethics, values and responsibility. The paper reviews the theoretical framework by dislodging the idea of marketing as solely motivated by market incentives which is psychologically manipulative to a comprehensive science of behaviour in which an index of values can settle moral, political and philosophical questions arising out of business. The evolution of marketing practices from the earlier production concept to the recent holistic concept clearly shows the changing focus of marketing from selling and profiteering to ethical production and conscious consumption. A detailed analysis of the rising customer expectation, evolving goals of shareholders and employees, tighter legislation and media scrutiny have fundamentally transformed marketing practices in developing investor interest.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility; Ethical marketing; Green marketing; Holistic marketing; History of marketing

JEL Classification: M31, N00, Z18

Suggested Citation

Kuriakose, Francis, Markets and Morality: Tracing the History and Evolution of Ethical and Sustainable Marketing Practices (September 24, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2664977 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2664977

Francis Kuriakose (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062
Netherlands

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