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SAGE Publication

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Journal of Macromarketing

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This paper posits that Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on environmental climate change, Laudato si’ (“Praise be to you, my Lord”), or LS for short, provides a compelling and multi-faceted framework for co-creating a just and sustainable environment. LS includes considerable commentary about how markets and marketing impact the physical and social environment. Additionally, the document provides religion-inspired ethical norms for market conditions, actions, and performance that reflect both (a) the social teachings of the Catholic Church as they have evolved over the past 125 years and, as we will explain, (b) a foundational predicate of macromarketing scholarship – that is, a recognition of market systems as the primary mechanism for effectively and efficiently provisioning goods and services in contemporary society. The intent of this paper is also to harmonize two perspectives of business purpose regarding ecological issues (i.e., ethical efficacy vs. economic efficiency), commonly seen as conflicting and mutually exclusive. Absent that harmonization, those perspectives appear to force a choice between “social values and norms” and “economic incentives and circumstances” – a dichotomy that is neither optimal nor practical. Rather, we recognize that key themes in Laudato si’(LS) - environmental stewardship, concern for social justice, and a “common good” orientation that supersedes economic advantage - also correspond to issues addressed by macromarketing scholars since that sub-discipline emerged. LS is foremost a powerful “Call to Action” for those who care about protecting the ecological environment. However, LS is intentionally vague about specific solutions. It defers to analysts, academics, and policy experts to provide those. This paper outlines how macromarketing researchers are powerfully positioned to suggest the specific market and policy adjustments called for in LS.


Accepted version. Journal of Macromarketing, Vol. 41, No. 1 (March 1, 2021): 75-87. DOI. © 2021 SAGE Publications. Used with permission.

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