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Sustainable consumption and growth: Examining complementary perspectives

Sustainable consumption and growth: Examining complementary perspectives By drawing attention to the finite rather than unlimited nature of physical resources, the purpose of this paper is to: examine the implications of the (near absolute) emphasis placed on firm growth on sustainable consumption; and discuss complementary perspectives spanning individual, firm and societal levels that allow for both firm growth and sustainable consumption.Design/methodology/approachThe authors integrate multidisciplinary insights from marketing, sociology, environmental sciences, management and economics, to understand the inherent tensions between unchecked firm growth, consumption and sustainability. Five propositions link production, consumption and marketing from a resource standpoint.FindingsA ceaseless economic growth paradigm and overconsumption causes an unwarranted depletion of resources and is at odds with sustainability. Firms can play an important role by guiding future marketing and production toward sustainable ends. Several alternate perspectives support the case that growth may coexist and align with sustainable consumption. Consequently the authors consolidate and reflect on seven approaches (voluntary simplicity, humane consumption, CSR 2.0, social marketing, marketing 3.0, anti-positional economy and degrowth) that hold promise for achieving sustainability via responsible growth and consumption.Originality/valueThe authors consider the complex triad of growth, consumption and sustainability that spans multiple levels. A focus on the pattern and nature of growth and consumption helps to identify its effects on sustainability. Specifically, two value chain activities – production and marketing may be leveraged as firm level initiatives to achieve sustainable goals. In addition, the authors present seven heterogeneous perspectives that complement firm attempts to achieve growth with sustainable consumption. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Management Decision Emerald Publishing

Sustainable consumption and growth: Examining complementary perspectives

Management Decision , Volume 59 (6): 21 – Jul 2, 2021

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0025-1747
DOI
10.1108/md-12-2016-0934
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

By drawing attention to the finite rather than unlimited nature of physical resources, the purpose of this paper is to: examine the implications of the (near absolute) emphasis placed on firm growth on sustainable consumption; and discuss complementary perspectives spanning individual, firm and societal levels that allow for both firm growth and sustainable consumption.Design/methodology/approachThe authors integrate multidisciplinary insights from marketing, sociology, environmental sciences, management and economics, to understand the inherent tensions between unchecked firm growth, consumption and sustainability. Five propositions link production, consumption and marketing from a resource standpoint.FindingsA ceaseless economic growth paradigm and overconsumption causes an unwarranted depletion of resources and is at odds with sustainability. Firms can play an important role by guiding future marketing and production toward sustainable ends. Several alternate perspectives support the case that growth may coexist and align with sustainable consumption. Consequently the authors consolidate and reflect on seven approaches (voluntary simplicity, humane consumption, CSR 2.0, social marketing, marketing 3.0, anti-positional economy and degrowth) that hold promise for achieving sustainability via responsible growth and consumption.Originality/valueThe authors consider the complex triad of growth, consumption and sustainability that spans multiple levels. A focus on the pattern and nature of growth and consumption helps to identify its effects on sustainability. Specifically, two value chain activities – production and marketing may be leveraged as firm level initiatives to achieve sustainable goals. In addition, the authors present seven heterogeneous perspectives that complement firm attempts to achieve growth with sustainable consumption. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Journal

Management DecisionEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 2, 2021

Keywords: Growth; Sustainable consumption; Multidisciplinary

References