Sustainable market orientation

Traditionally, market orientation (MO) focuses on microenvironment and the functional management of an organization. However, these organizations have widened their focus to include more roles, functions, and emphasis on the macro environment. [1] Firms have been concerned with the issue of long-run ecological, social and economic effects of their activities. Despite growth in the concept, there is still a need to reconceptualise the concept with a greater emphasis on external factors than a firm influence. [2]

Sustainable market orientation ( SMO ) combines the principles of MO with a macro marketing system management approach, a stakeholder approach to integrated corporate social responsibility and marketing strategy, and the use of sustainability management concept. SMO will serve to move corporate management beyond the micro economic and functional management. Mitchell et al. [2] believe an avenue for the reformulation of MO to create SMO in the synthesis of MO, macromarketing, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and sustainable development management concepts.


Unsustainable practices using traditional ideas have a number of consequences with detrimental effects to the external environment. Creative destruction is essential for sustained economic growth . This can be economically beneficial, in many instances it can have overarching negative impacts on the social and ecological environment . [3] Marshall Berman’s take on creative destruction identified that everything is built to be torn down. [4] This capitalistic approach is related to the idea tragedy of the commons . When firms and individuals only think about their own self-interestover exploitation of finite resources with long term consequences. [5]

Rise of sustainable marketing concepts

The issues raised in these traditional self-motivated approaches pave the way for a new wave of concepts and theory.

Ecological economics Promotes preserving natural capital with emphasis is sustainability and sustainable development. [6] The potential negative impacts of creative destruction and tragedy of the commons are central to what ecological economics addresses, specifically the earth’s carrying capacity . [7] Self-employed firms do not have a place in the modern corporate world.

In terms of marketing, green marketing , triple bottom line , sustainability marketing , sustainability brand , and CSR. This shift towards adopting sustainable practices is both a consumer and a driven company. [8] Governments are also looking for longer approaches towards the achievement of sustainability. [9] The Brundtland Commission or Our Common Future, which was published in 1987 from the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development.. It is crucially important to the conceptualization of SMO and is commonly seen as defining sustainable development. It has been the catalyst for the emergence of work on sustainability. It signaled the surfacing of issues regarding the international governance. [10]


SMO differentiates from other sustainable business strategies by focusing on the institutional marketing management aspects of the firm and Taking a more stakeholder based approach to corporate management. Through the use of sustainable management, the firm is able to:

  • Achieve objective and market competitiveness and profitability through the application of economically, socially, and environmentally responsible value systems;
  • Use marketing strategies that anticipate and meet customer needs through the effective integration of comprehensive environmental intelligence with operational and marketing systems; [2]
  • Generate positive, long-run outcomes in economic, social, and environmental terms that are acceptable for primary stakeholders who derive direct financial benefits from the firms and secondary stakeholders who indirect gain economic, social, and environmental benefits. [2]

Theoretical foundations

Theoretical foundations for SMO.

“Socio-ecological market orientation” is the first theory that has led to the conceptualization of SMO. [11] Social and ecological problems that arise from a free market approach by developing a social, political, economic and ecological framework. However, it has a focus on corporate environmental marketing management, as opposed to sustainability and compliance.

A second, academically popular, approach relates to green corporate marketing strategies and lifecycle ecological management of product and service management. [12] However, this approach, while recognizing the importance of incorporating environmentally responsible management to include social, economic and environmental management aspects are paramount to sustainable development. [2]

A third approach to sustainable marketing is using a macro marketing approach to sustainable corporate marketing. This criticizes the traditional micro and short term economic strategies and its lack of consideration for externalities and costs associated with environmental deterioration. What is Fundamental to this approach Is That company DESPITE restraints, sustainable marketing practices can Improve efficiency Within corporations and looks to trade off shopping entre and Environmental Concerns. [13]


Synthesis of market orientation and sustainability

Market orientation has several definitions; Narver and Slater [14] discuss MO in terms of culture and the fundamental characteristics of the organization. Kohli and Jaworski, [15] 1990 refer to the current and future customer needs organization. Key components of MO include market intelligence gathering and market development. [16]A market oriented business Knows That icts to maximize long-run performance it must build and Maintain long-running Mutually beneficial relationships and be effective in Creating sustainable competitive Their value for customers . [14]

It has been noted in the history of social, political and business stakeholders by corporate management. [16] Its current emphasis on internal corporate dynamics and the way to achieve efficiency and profitability. The combination of O & M emphasis on internal and external relations creates the concept of SMO. SMO enables companies to build on their advantages through a wide range of stakeholders. [2] The model of corporate SMO provides a more comprehensive, stakeholder-based approach to corporate management.


An early version of sustainable marketing has been proposed by van Dam and Apeldoorn [13] through the combination of ecological marketing, green marketing and sustainable marketing, resulting in the concept of ‘environmental marketing’. Furthermore, Kilbourne, McDonagh and Prothero [17] recognized the dilemma of corporate reliance on the dominant social paradigm and micromarketing . A new marketing paradigm in which macromarketing takes center stage with the emphasis on business embeddedness in social relationships. [2]It was said corporate marketing management should manage economic, social, cultural and environmental considerations. [2] [13] This is where macromarketing literature distinguishes MO from SMO. SMO combines the pursuit of economic benefits with the alignment of corporate social marketing and social norms [18] and offers a more comprehensive framework for sustainable marketing. [2] The framework is supported by social, environmental and economic responsibilities. [2]

Corporate social responsibility

As early as 1969, Lazer [19], a recital of the gap between profit motive and social responsibility . Orlitzky, Schmidt, and Rynes [20] found corporate social performance and corporate financial performance are interlinked. MO holds little commitment to corporations to meet the social and environmental expectations of society. The importance of the combination of corporate social responsibility and environmental responsibility is accounted for by the SMO model, providing a more holistic approach to corporate marketing management. [2]

Sustainable development

The paradigm MO guides corporate management with narrow ecological and environmental prescriptions. Sustainable development literature extends its parameters to the dominant social paradigm and economic performance. [2] [21] In the past conceptualizations of sustainable corporate management and sustainable marketing have focused on the micromanagement of ecological issues. This only recently has been developed past these views. [11] [13]SMO moves towards corporate marketing meeting expectations of the application of resources, environmental and social responsibility. [2]


If a firm applies to their corporate management strategy it offers a more socially and environmentally responsible business framework for profitable marketing activities. Firm that uses SMO are hypothesized to gain enhancement of both brand and firm reputation based on the ability to have both efficient and competitive products and services. [2] This is also complemented by societal and market recognition of the firm’s superior social and environmental management. The critical driver for these benefits is the integration of organizational intelligence, innovation and continuous learning. [2]

Looking beyond the market place, the SMO perspective will bring forth a greater understanding of societal issues and concerns. Also as SMO becomes a more integrated part of political development, it will highlight potential areas of business risk and areas where new business opportunities may lie. [13]

SMO is a new systematic approach to marketing management will Ensure That value to a diverse ranks of stakeholders by management Applying criteria That will add value and to Assessing Internationally Recognized indicators .


SMO firms will be evaluated at a company , local community , or regional level to the employment of a macromarketing systems approach.Firms can no longer simply focus on the micro or internal environment of their organizations.

When evaluating SMO both have the MO indicators and sustainable development indicators should be used as a starting point. [2] A firm must have capabilities in intelligence generation, organization coordination, customer orientation, competitor orientation, responsiveness and profit orientation in a range of internal (including employees, investors , customers, and business partners ) and external (including special interest) groups , local communities, government, regulators , and the media ). [22] Alignment of corporate marketing management to recognize sustainable managementSustainable consumption and brand management should also be considered when undertaking a firm commitment to SMO. [2]

Later developments

Hult and Tomas

Hult and Tomas have developed further the issue of sustainability, with views to market orientation. They emphasize that in order to be an organization to achieve market-based sustainability they must strategically align themselves with the needs of a market-oriented product and the interests of the multiple stakeholders ecological), and social dimensions. [23] There is also great emphasis on the importance of the Bruntland Report as the underlying backdrop for both academic and managerial work on sustainability.

Industry application


SMO is becoming more prevalent in the tourism industry with a shift from economic profitability towards sustainability and a sustainable tourism marketing model. [24] The emergence of this shift towards sustainability is part of the concept of sustainable development by the Brundtland Commission and the preservation of the environment for future use. [25] The sustainability approach, the consideration of social equity , environmental protection, and economic liveability. This paradigm shift traces the evolution of marketing approaches towards a societal perspective towards societal, causal, green, relationship marketing and the consideration of the triple bottom line.[24]Empirical research into the practical application of the SMO as a management model in the New Zealand tourism sector \ found alignment of the SMO model alignment in the strategy management of a government conservation agency and tourism SMEs. The researchers recommended replication research and evaluation in other sectors and countries. [26]


Alongside tourism, the forestry industry is adapting to the paradigm shift and moving towards the embodiment of the principles of sustainable forest management. This industry recognizes its responsibility to future generations and the environment. There are many other industries that could benefit from sustainable practices in the forestry industry. [27]

Agriculture =

Climate change is already affecting the agriculture sector. The net effect of climate change is likely to be negative, most will not. Adaptation play a significant role in reducing climate change (Easterling 1996). Producers can adapt by changing seeding, Dynamic fertilization and irrigation applications, and switching one crop to another according to climate change (Barklacich and Stewart 1995).


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