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Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6478-6496;

Social Business, Business as if People Mattered: Variations on a Theme by Schumacher (1973)

Department of Marketing, University of Strathclyde, 130 Rottenrow, Glasgow G4 0GE, UK
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 9 March 2015 / Revised: 1 May 2015 / Accepted: 14 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Full-Text   |   PDF [687 KB, uploaded 26 May 2015]


Economic growth is promoted as the solution to enhance the standard of living of the third of the world’s population living below the poverty line. Such growth, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is unsustainable and predicated on increased production/consumption without sufficient consideration of what is consumed by whom. In essence this is because GDP is a mechanistic measure of quantity that ignores individual human welfare or quality-of-life. To rectify this, affluent consumers need to learn that materialism and selfish self-interest are unsustainable, whereas enlightened self-interest, as assumed by Adam Smith when promoting capitalism and free markets, will benefit everyone. “Social Business” and marketing are proposed as practices that will facilitate this transformation. View Full-Text
Keywords: economic growth; sustainability; self-interest; capitalism and “social business” economic growth; sustainability; self-interest; capitalism and “social business”
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Baker, M. Social Business, Business as if People Mattered: Variations on a Theme by Schumacher (1973). Sustainability 2015, 7, 6478-6496.

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