Developing marketing students' social consciousness: Experience at Brighton Business School

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In this paper, the authors share and discuss their experience of how the marketing subject team of lecturers at Brighton Business School brings social concerns at the heart of their teaching, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level, in an attempt to develop students’ social consciousness and train social and environmental leaders of the future with a big- picture vision of the systems they will have to work within. There is a need for marketers who can drive change at organisations by coming up with new product or service ideas supported by business models that also help to address societal needs (Doyle, 2008). Addressing grand societal challenges demands a new kind of innovation, changing existing social paradigms, innovations that must create new social networks and capacities that evolve into new social structures and systems (Benneworth & Cunha, 2015). This corresponds to a shift in society’s expectations of business, forcing marketing educators to retool curriculum content (Borin & Metcalf, 2010). All the more since marketing has often been perceived as part of the problem rather than the solution to societal problems such as pollution, overconsumption, the depletion of natural resources, unhealthy lifestyles, and human rights abuses (Rowntree & Koernig, 2014). If developing learners’ capacities for social innovation has become part of universities’ objectives, and if particular courses have been designed in business schools to develop students as agents of change (Nicholls et al., 2013; Hesselbarth & Schaltegger, 2014), the biggest part of core marketing modules taught in business schools throughout America and Europe still consist nowadays of strategic marketing, principles of marketing, marketing research, and marketing communications (Küster & Vila, 2006). The field of nonprofit or social service marketing is more rarely included (Harrigan & Hulbert, 2011). How can marketing lecturers focus on the areas of “people” and “planet” that appear to be lacking in their subject as most commonly taught? This communication is divided into five sections. First, the authors briefly review what social consciousness consists of and why it is of importance to marketing learners. The authors then report, as marketing faculty members at Brighton Business School, their own experience of how they tried and developed marketing students’ social consciousness in their modules and courses. First author describes how she, as marketing lecturer, embedded social matters into traditional modules of strategic marketing and international marketing at Masters’ level. Second and third author explain, as MSc in marketing and BSc business with marketing course leaders, how ethics, CSR, sustainability, social marketing and other social matters were integrated within their courses, both at postgraduate and undergraduate level. The final section contains discussion and conclusions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication24th Annual Edineb International Conference
Place of PublicationUtrecht
PublisherEducational Innovation in Economics and Business
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017
Event24th Annual Edineb International Conference - Hogeschool Utrecht, The Netherlands, 31 May-2 June 2017
Duration: 1 Jun 2017 → …


Conference24th Annual Edineb International Conference
Period1/06/17 → …


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