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Unit information: Sustainability and Social Impact in Marketing in 2018/19

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Unit name Sustainability and Social Impact in Marketing
Unit code EFIMM0056
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Spotswood
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit aims to encourage students to recognise that the marketing function extends far beyond its original commercial roots. Students are directed to analyse the impact of marketing activity across a range of stakeholders and critically appraise both the positive and negative impacts that it might have. Students will be invited to interrogate the concept of ‘sustainability’ and assess what it means within a range of organisational contexts. They will also consider the range of techniques used in social marketing and behaviour campaigns and explore methods of implementation as well as measurements of achievement.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

LO 1: Develop a critical understanding of the multidimensional constructs of sustainability and social impact

LO 2: Integrate the principles of commercial marketing into building the concept of sustainability marketing that corresponds holistically to the needs of an organisation, its stakeholders and society at large.

LO 3: Critically appraise the applicability and limitations of various types of marketing activity across a range of stakeholders and propose strategies by which negative impacts might be minimised.

LO 4: Propose measures by which the outcome of social marketing and behaviour change campaigns might be measured

Teaching details

This unit is delivered using a problem-based, flipped learning approach. Students will explore the subject area through analysis of a range of case studies in the field of social marketing, sustainability and behaviour change. It requires students to research the subject area and work individually or in teams to formulate and present a response. The flipped learning style adopted by this unit requires students to engage with a range of sources prior to taught sessions. These include, but are not limited to, short videos outlining threshold concepts, contextual video content (Youtube, TED talks), academic papers, case study material, market reports and news reports. These resources will be delivered through Blackboard and will be supported by existing reading list software.

The unit structure offers 30 contact hours. The remaining 170 learning hours will be spent in independent study and in the preparation of assessment.

Assessment Details

3 Hour Open Book Exam (100%)

Summative assessment on this unit is through a 3-hour open book case study exam. (100%).

Students will be given a case study in advance of the examination and will be asked to prepare it. They will be able to annotate the case study document by hand with any notes they believe appropriate. They will then take the case study document into the exam where they will be required to answer questions on the case as well as the theory associated with it. This one piece of summative assessment will assess all ILO’s stated above.

Formative assessment/feedback will be informally delivered in this unit. Students will be prepared for the case study exam by working on a series of shorter case studies as they progress through the unit. They will have the chance to present aspects of cases and discuss ways of analysing cases in taught sessions and receive written or verbal feedback on their performance as appropriate.

Reading and References


Core Text for this Unit

Belz, F. M., & Peattie, K. J. (2012). Sustainability marketing: A global perspective. Wiley.

Recommended Reading

Martin, D. M., & Schouten, J. (2011). Sustainable marketing (p. 264). Pearson Prentice Hall.

Eagle, L., Dahl, S., Hill, S., Bird, S., Spotswood, F. & Tapp, A. 2013, Social marketing, Pearson, Harlow, England.

Hastings, G.(. & Domegan, C. 2014, Social marketing: from tunes to symphonies, 2nd edn, Routledge, New York;London;.

Spotswood, F. 2016, Beyond behaviour change: key issues, interdisciplinary approaches and future directions, Policy Press, Bristol.


Journal of Management

Journal of Marketing

Business Ethics Quarterly

Journal of Cleaner Production

Journal of Environmental Management

Journal of Business Ethics

Journal of Social Marketing

Business and Society

Journal of Business Research

Journal of Consumer Research

Journal of Consumer Behaviour

Journal of Sustainable Tourism


All broadsheet newspapers