Title: Sustainable marketing: implications of an emerging producer/consumer societal contract

Authors: Steven H. Dahlquist; Crina Tarasi

Addresses: Department of Marketing and Hospitality Services Administration, College of Business Administration, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859, USA ' Department of Marketing and Hospitality Services Administration, College of Business Administration, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859, USA

Abstract: This article offers an explication of the evolving relationship between producers and consumers in the context of sustainable marketing; wherein an evolution toward a 'neutral impact' production and consumption paradigm necessitates that producers and consumers share a mutual responsibility for the products they produce/consume. This shared responsibility may be regarded as an implicit societal contract spanning the lifetime of products (i.e., design, consumption, and disposition). Such a contract suggests an expansion of mutual expectations between producers and consumers, and potentially substantial behavioural and economic implications for each party. The article explores the implications of this societal contract applying agency theory, in which the producer and consumer exchange roles as principal and agent in fulfilling the contract. In addition the authors provide a number of propositions (regarding behaviour and market mechanisms employed by producers and consumers in this emerging market environment) and suggestions for future empirical analysis of this relationship.

Keywords: agency theory; sustainable marketing; sustainability; consumer relationships; societal contract; emerging markets.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSS.2015.071316

International Journal of Society Systems Science, 2015 Vol.7 No.3, pp.222 - 237

Available online: 20 Aug 2015 *

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