Aims and Scope
The Journal of Sustainable Marketing (JSM) is a double-blind, peer-reviewed journal that serves global academic, managerial, and public policy communities by publishing and promoting cutting-edge research on issues that are critical to increasing adoption of environmentally and socially sustainable production, distribution, consumption, and post-consumption marketing practices by consumers, corporations, and governments around the world.
Types of Research Published
JSM strives to publish innovative basic and applied research, conceptual papers, case studies, and commentaries that advance theory and provide meaningful managerial guidance in the three major components of sustainable marketing’s triple bottom line: environmental practices, social equity, and economic considerations.
The first area focuses on ways that companies, non-profit organizations, governments, and individual consumers can engage in marketplace exchanges that increase future generations’ ability to enjoy lifestyles with similar or greater opportunities. Focal points of interest include developing/testing marketing theory and practices that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve environmental resources, and decrease other pollution sources such as plastic waste. Objectively documented case studies of companies or organizations that have successfully implemented innovative environmental programs are also welcome. Encouraging increased adoption of the four R framework (reduce, reuse, recycle, repair) in tandem with circular supply chains reflect potentially fruitful areas of investigation that are concerned with the interface of marketing theory/practice and environmental sustainability.
JSM’s second area of interest, social equity, is concerned with ways that companies, non-profit organizations, governments, and consumers can protect and enhance internal and external stakeholder well-being. Expanding theory and best practices underlying successful fair trade practices of corporations as well as initiatives to enhance diversity and inclusiveness of stakeholder co-creation represent examples of the types of desirable research, conceptual papers, and case studies sought by JSM at the intersection of marketing theory/practice and social sustainability.
The third focal point is economic. Companies that do not make a profit in the private sector and non-profit/government entities that do not cover their costs are likely to encounter serious constraints and ultimately, their ability to continue. JSM recognizes that the environmental and social justice components of the triple bottom line cannot achieve meaningful success if the return on those activities is not positive or at least break-even over the long run. Thus, a major challenge facing researchers involves developing environmentally and socially sustainable marketing theories and applications that are economically viable. An example of research in this area could involve testing alternative messaging tactics designed to increase consumer support for green premiums that often accompany sustainable goods and service choices, e.g., opting-in when offered a choice by a utility between more expensive green electricity versus electricity generated using carbon-based fuels.
In addition to recognizing the importance of diffusing quality work that addresses triple bottom line issues, JSM notes that scholars are increasingly concerned about the limited replication tradition within the social sciences. This limitation increases managerial hesitancy to adopt practice implications based on empirical findings in marketing papers. Nonetheless, today’s climate, pollution, and social equity challenges require that published sustainable marketing practice implications are both reliable and valid. Hence, JSM welcomes submission of well-designed and rigorously executed replications of previously published papers that address sustainable marketing issues. Such research seems particularly well-suited to doctoral students who can work with their supervisors to carry-out replications of impactful sustainable marketing studies that have not been validated.
Hence, JSM affords academics and professionals opportunities to exchange the latest developments and advances in knowledge and innovative practice of sustainable marketing. The journal encompasses the full range of theoretical, applied, methodological, and substantive topics in sustainable marketing. As a global publication, JSM welcomes submissions from around the world. Contributions can include multiple disciplinary perspectives as long as these perspectives enhance theory and practice within sustainable marketing.
JSM is interested in topics such as (but not limited to):
- Sustainable product innovation and development.
- Sustainable marketing issues in developing and emerging markets.
- Design of effective marketing communications for sustainable goods and services.
- The role of the marketing function in moving organizations toward sustainable environmental and social practices.
- Corporate social responsibility reporting as a marketing communication tool.
- Fair trade practices that benefit supply chain stakeholders and the brand.
- Building and managing circular supply chains that are economically viable.
- Encouragement of marketplace choices by consumers that are environmentally and/or socially sustainable.
- Development and application of consumer segmentation models that differentiate consumers in terms of sustainable purchase behaviors.
- Cross-cultural differences and similarities in consumers’ beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors regarding sustainable consumption.
- Countering competitors that greenwash.
- The role of sustainable marketing in building brand equity and long-term economic success.
- Social marketing theory development and application within the sustainable marketing space.
- Identification and/or testing of approaches to narrowing the consumer intention-behavior gap for sustainable goods and services.
- Discovery of effective approaches to increasing consumer willingness to pay a “green premium” when needed to profitably market sustainable product options.
- Effective use of social media to promote sustainable consumption.
- Development of sustainable consumption options in product contexts that are outside of the traditional scope of many academic marketing studies, e.g., housing, entertainment, and hospital services.
- Case studies of companies, NGOs, and government organizations that have developed and successfully implemented innovative sustainable marketing programs and interventions in one or more countries.
- Commentaries about particularly interesting, cutting-edge topics/issues in the field of sustainable marketing.
Examples of Research Not Published in JSM
- Conceptual or empirical research that emphasizes general marketing or management issues that are not set within the context of sustainable environmental, social, and/or economic marketing as described earlier.
- Method-focused papers that emphasize the development of new analytical techniques, i.e., articles with a primary focus on mathematics, econometrics, and/or statistics as opposed application of a given method/model within the sustainable marketing context.
- Research that emphasizes contributions within related social and/or physical science disciplines that are not directly relevant to the development of sustainable marketing theory and practice.
- Cross-sectional or experimental research with very limited generalizability, e.g., a single study that tests alternative consumer nudging tactics in a marketing communications context using a small student sample.
- In-depth qualitative work can provide sufficient insights to warrant publication, but such work should seek to extend existing theory and/or practice by concluding with potential research hypotheses/model for subsequent investigation using larger samples and quantitative methods.
- Submissions that do not include sufficient insights into real-world sustainable marketing concepts, challenges, and potential directions forward.