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Sanjay Patro, Ph D, Dean and Professor of Marketing, XLRI Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur India, Pranjal Pachpore, Doctoral Scholar XLRI Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur India

Integrating Socially Responsible Consumption in the Marketing Curriculum of Business Schools

Responsible consumption is goal 12 of the SDG’s 2030. Consumption practices are often created by marketers to promote products and services to target audiences. Many of these practices are not sustainable as they harm not only the ecological environment but also the social and cultural fabric of our lives. Most of the Business School students from Jesuit business schools either go into entrepreneurship or join corporates at senior levels where they have ample opportunities to further the agenda of responsible consumption. For responsible consumption to be practiced in the higher echelons of the corporate world the building blocks will be laid in the marketing course of the business school and the students would have to be sensitized for it. There are different paradigms stating that the curriculum is already geared towards sustainable practices or that more needed to be done for sensitizing the business school students towards responsible consumption. Apart from this experiments were conducted to find effective ways to sensitize the students regarding responsible consumption. To test these paradigms four groups of 60 participants each were identified (240 participants). It was ensured that all the student respondents had passed the basic marketing course. Most of the student respondents had The four groups were administered standardized and most widely used 5 point Likert scale on Sustainable Consumption Scale (SCS) and Environmental Attitude Scale (EAS). Group 1 was directly administered the test, group 2 was shown a small video before administering the test, group 3 was given a case before administering the test and in group 4 a discussion regarding responsible consumption took place before the test. The results give empirical evidence that the current curriculum has to integrate socially responsible consumption and that the current curriculum of marketing does not prioritize responsible consumption practices neither does it promote it. The results also compare and suggest the intervention techniques to be used in the marketing curriculum for bringing effectiveness and enforcing a positive attitude towards responsible consumption. It is summarized that to bring in a change in consumption practices and move towards responsible consumption the business leaders themselves need to change. Management education and particularly marketing education (from new product development to distribution) will have to ensure that business leaders of tomorrow are able to differentiate between the morality and ethics of products and services they offer to the consumers. We suggest that responsible consumption should not be taught as a specialized coursed but in the basic marketing management curriculum compulsory to all the students. The authors feel that we are just at a nascent stage and responsible consumption needs to be moved from the fringe of the marketing curriculum to one of its core tenets at-least in Jesuit business schools across the globe Future research may entail a comparison of the marketing curriculum of various Jesuit business schools and also other leading business schools to look at their delivery and outcomes from the perspective of socially responsible consumption.