As the global economy expands into the far corners of the
developing world, unfortunately the term “business ethics” is often thought to
I am happy to report, however, that in recent years, the Mendoza
College of Business at the University of Notre Dame has become known throughout
the world for its leadership in business ethics and this is due, in no small
part, to the work of scholars in the Marketing Department. I am honored to
celebrate the work of these scholars in the 2014 volume Marketing and the Common Good, edited by Pat Murphy, former chair
of the Department, and John Sherry, current chair.
To give you an
idea of how well this work has been received, let me quote from two of the
dozens of favorable advance reviews:
Marketing is widely
demonized as being synonymous with egocentric materialism, a shallow consumer
culture, broken promises, intrusiveness and other ills. The collection of essays now published by two
of the most eminent marketing scholars and business ethics researchers, John F.
Sherry, Jr. and Patrick E. Murphy, provides a welcome antidote to these
prejudices. The contributions
demonstrate that the field of marketing has substantially more intellectual
gravitas than is commonly assumed.
Illustrating the interconnectedness of marketing to ethics, moral
economy and public policy, this book is a must read for anyone who is
interested in societal aspects of marketing and in the fundamental question of
how we all want to live together. Bodo Schlegelmilch, Professor of
International Marketing and Management, and Dean, Executive Academy, Vienna
University of Economics and Business, Austria.
The Fighting Irish
beat their scholarly swords into societal ploughshares with a collection that
is catholic in scope and Catholic in spirit.
Ecumenical and enlightening, Marketing
and the Common Good is a Notre Dame antidote to the B-school diseases of
devil-take-the-hindmost and sin-to-win.
This book is better than brilliant, it’s uncommonly good! Stephen Brown, Professor of Marketing
Research, University of Ulster, UK.
Why I believe this volume makes an outstanding contribution
to the field is that under the leadership of Pat Murphy and ethics professors, Marketing
is asking normative questions not
simply descriptive questions. What are markets for? What is the common
For example, the question moves
beyond, “Do Americans believe that all who so desire should be able to carry
fire arms?” the descriptive question, to the normative question: “Should anyone
who so desires be able to carry fire arms?” And, if not, why not? Rather than
simply providing a descriptive characterization of people’s beliefs, this
volume lays the groundwork for developing reasonable normative claims. Other
issues such as kidney transplants, child obesity, and sustainability are
considered as well.
The book is asking for a marketing reformation, working with
other societal institutions, to realize the common good with reference to some
key principles such as human dignity, the preferential option for the poor,
solidarity and stewardship. In this vision, the marketer is not merely a
provisioner of society but a social architect and a behavioral engineer. Indeed
this is a challenge but it is the sort of challenge that has been the hallmark
of the University of Notre Dame and it is embodied well in the work of Pat
Murphy and John Sherry.From remarks delivered during a Nanovic Institute Forum on recent books by Nanovic Institute Faculty Fellows.