Is sustainable marketing based on virtue ethics the answer to addressing socio-ecological challenges facing humankind?

Andrea Prothero, Pierre McDonagh

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


This commentary provides a review of Dyck and Manchanda’s work on the use of virtue ethics, through Sociological and Ecological Thought (SET) Oriented Marketing, in tackling socio-ecological challenges within society. While we concur with the focus of the paper on moving away from a central emphasis on profit maximization, we differ in how we believe this can be achieved. We critique the SET approach put forward from three key positions: (a) the SET approach and the application of virtue ethics; (b) the SET approach and the use of the marketing mix to operationalize it in practice; and, (c) the missing systemic and institutional barriers which we believe render SET problematic both theoretically and in practical terms. We conclude by suggesting that instead of utilising normative ethical theories to address socio-ecological challenges marketing researchers turn to other perspectives, such as ecofeminism.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAMS Review
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2021


  • Ecofeminism
  • Marketing 4Ps
  • Marketing mix paradigm
  • Sustainability
  • Virtue ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing

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