From Linear to Circular: A Meta-Theoretical Perspective on Transforming Marketing Systems

Date

2019-10-24

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

2602-1056

DOI

Volume Title

Publisher

Type

Conference

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

The need for sustainability challenges the established production and consumption model that continues to shape global marketing systems. As an alternative, the Circular Economy (CE) seeks to transform market structures, resources and material flows from linear to circular arrangements; this systemic shift will both conserve resources and minimise waste. Despite CE’s broad appeal and prevalent use as a ‘buzzword’, its uptake remains low. While CE draws on theories and approaches largely developed by environmental economists and industrial ecologists, scant theoretical attention has been paid to how marketing systems actually transition and transform. This lack of theorising therefore restrains society’s ability to shift towards a circular economy. To this end, this paper explores the application of Archer’s social realist theory, The Morphogenetic Approach, to better understand how these systemic shifts could be better realised. Using the global fashion system as its case study, this paper investigates different production and consumption stages from an integrative multilevel perspective - at micro, meso and macro scales - to better understand how marketing system actors and structures, and importantly their interactions, can be causally reconfigured to enable this much needed circular transition. Systemic implications for theory, policy and practice are deliberated.

Description

Keywords

circular fashion, circular economy, marketing systems, systems change, morphogenesis, critical realism

Citation

Thomas, N.J.R. (2019) From Linear to Circular: A Meta-Theoretical Perspective on Transforming Marketing Systems. 8th International Conference on Social Responsibility, Ethics and Sustainable Business (ICSR), University of Minho, Braga – Portugal, October 2019.

Rights

Research Institute

Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI)