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Overview of the assignment:
You are required to write an individual assignment of no more than 2,000 words (excluding the list of references or bibliography, but including supporting material in appendices) which will be in the format of a Proposal to carry out Research in order to address a marketing issue which is currently causing concern to businesses, marketing practitioners, and policy-making in the UK, and which has an impact on sustainability.
Green marketing is an area that has attracted increased attention in recent years. While much is known about habits of consumers and company practices which encompass various ‘green’ and environmental issues, knowledge of green consumption patterns, or green company and marketing schemes and needs in the context of Exeter and Devon is far from sufficient and is only now emerging. There is therefore no clear understanding of what is happening locally, how consumers and companies are behaving, what else needs to be done (if anything), and what all this means for companies, consumers, the environment, and the local, regional and national economies.
In order to answer the above questions, empirical research needs to be planned and carried out. You have been tasked, as part of this individual assignment, to write up a proposal for carrying out the empirical research on some aspect of green marketing in Exeter and/or Devon.
In your individual assignment, you should build upon theories in marketing and consumer behaviour (e.g. those on green marketing) and explain what new research could be carried out and how it should be carried out, so that marketing practitioners, policy-makers and/or consumers can be advised and solutions to this issue could be provided.
This assignment is your chance to explain how a marketing and consumer behaviour practitioner wishing to research this issue should go about conducting the research (i.e. what type of research should be carried out, how, why such choices – you feel – are appropriate).
Students are allowed to exceed the word count limit by 10%.
In order to assist you in starting working on the assignment, below are some academic articles on issues which are related to the specific topic. You need to read the relevant literature before planning and writing up your Research Proposal. While the articles listed below may provide the foundation for your thinking, you will need to source, review, and integrate additional academic studies, practitioner and policy reports in your Proposal.
Some academic studies on green marketing:
Ku, H., Kuo, C., Wu, C., Wu, C. (2012). Communicating green marketing appeals effectively. Journal of Advertising, 41: 41-50.
McEachern, M., Carrigan, M. (2012). Revisiting contemporary issues in green/ethical marketing. Journal of Marketing Management,28: 189-94.
Rettie, R., Burchell, K., Barnham, C. (2014). Social normalisation: using marketing to make green normal. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 13: 9-17.
Smith, K., Brower, T. (2012). Longitudinal study of green marketing strategies that influence millennials. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 20: 535-51.
Brindley, C., Oxborrow, L. (2014). Aligning the sustainable supply chain to green marketing needs. Industrial Marketing Management, 43: 45–55.
Ko, E., Hwang, Y., Kim, E. (2013). Green marketing’ functions in building corporate image in the retail setting. Journal of Business Research, 66: 1709-15.
Kadirov, D., Varey, R. (2013). Neo-structuralist analysis of greenmarketing discourse.Consumption, Markets & Culture, 16: 266-89.
Prothero, A. (1990). Green consumerism and the societal marketing concept. Journal of MarketingManagement,6: 87-103.
Format of the assignment:
There are three main components (sections) to the assignment:
Section 1). Introduction & Overview of the Issue
In this section you will be expected to explain the importance and implications of the topic you have chosen to research (the specific aspect of green marketing consumption or company practices in Exeter and/ or Devon), and should summarise some of the literature on this topic, based on your reading academic theories and business reports on green marketing. You should not simply describe such research, but analyse and integrate theories together to help you understand your topic. In this section, you also need to clearly state the research questions, objectives and (if applicable) the hypotheses that will form the basis for and guide you through your empirical research. This section is not only the Introduction but also the basis for the research that you are planning to carry out.
Section 2). Methodology
BEM3010 is a module on methodology. Therefore, the methodology section will be the biggest and most important among the sections in your assignment. In it, you will need to discuss HOW you wish to answer the research questions, objectives (or hypotheses, if applicable) discussed in Section 1.
You should identify and justify your research design(s) and/or research strategy(ies).
Next, you will need to discuss (and justify once again) the different methods you wish to employ for collecting and analysing data.
Information about the sample being used and why you feel this is a good sample should also be included.
You should also produce and discuss your instrument for data collection (interview guide or sample questionnaire) and cover the analysis techniques that may be useful.
Research problems, complications, and ethical issues should also be identified, discussed, and solutions to those – provided.
The key to this section is an appreciation for how you wish to go about your research and why you feel the approach that you have chosen is the best approach.
Section 3). Conclusion
A short section concluding your assignment is also to be added towards the end. In this section, you can reiterate the importance of your planned research – i.e. Why is this research needed? How will it add to our knowledge? Will it inform marketing practice and/or consumer behaviour (and how)? Are such research and its findings likely to be significant; would they affect practice or policy in this area? In this section you will also need to reflect on the impact of such practices and your planned research on sustainability issues.
While being critical to your overall argument, it is commonly expected that the first and last parts of the assignment (Sections 1 and 3) will be shorter than the more substantive section of the assignment (Section 2).
It is up to you how you organise the separate sections of your assignments and whether you add visual, supporting material such as tables, figures, photographs. Please bear in mind that such supporting material is also included in the word count limit.
You may decide to clearly mark (or not) each section with sub-headings. Irrespective of the approach that you take, you will be expected to cover all of the issues / aspects / ingredients of the assignment, as explained above, in this section of the coursework brief.
Please remember that this assignment is a Research Proposal, i.e. it asks you to only plan a hypothetical piece of research.
You are not expected to collect any data for this assignment i.e. you are not expected to actually carry out the empirical research that you will be describing in this assignment. All you need to do is state what you wish to do in terms of carrying out additional research on the chosen topic and why your choices are appropriate.
The assignment will be assessed according to standard criteria used in the Business School, namely:
2. Use of recommended and other material.
3. Argument and logical analysis.
6. Style and presentation.