Call for Papers - Special Issue on Sustainable marketing and performance management. Contributions to theories, methods, and practices

Sustainable economic development poses major challenges for marketing (Peattie, 2001). The cause of sustainable marketing is furthered by promoting economic growth (Hunt, 2011).

Sustainable marketing can be achieved through the contribution of three existing marketing sub-disciplines: green marketing, social marketing, and critical marketing (Gordon et al., 2011). Sustainable marketing incorporates ethical, environmental and social issues, with a specific sensitivity to the needs of future generations (Lim, 2016; Lučić, 2020).

However, referring marketing strategies and tactics to sustainability means dealing with a wide range of financial and non-financial performance indicators to assess the effectiveness, as well as the efficiency and the adequateness of the work done (McDonagh; Prothero, 2014). The application of evaluation and measurement, both adopting and applying qualitative and quantitative approaches, have proven to play a central role in the recent development of sustainable marketing studies at international level. For all corporate disciplines it is seen as essential to be accountable and without measurement it is impossible to be accountable. However, as we enter another worldwide period of economic volatility investing in evaluation and measurement can be threatened when firms are required to cut costs

Methods and practices can orient decision-making processes in order to overcome the dilemmas between micro-marketing objectives and macromarketing goals (van Dam  and Apeldoorn, 1996), avoiding corporate social irresponsibility (Tench et al., 2012).

Evaluation and measurement (E&M) have traditionally played a critical role in research and practice of the sustainability fields, also given the increasing number of requests addressed to companies by stakeholders to obtain more data and enhanced quality (Searcy, 2012). Moreover, there is an increasing pressure to standardize information disclosed by corporations, above all for publicly listed companies (i.e. NRE in France) or for specific industrial sectors (i.e. EU energy producers). Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards have the potential to promote the diffused adoption of sustainability and accountability practices.

The aim of this special issue is to show if existing performance indicators could be useful to capture the whole value encapsulated into sustainable marketing activities and how the contribution of sustainable marketing to organizational performance could be assessed and disclosed.

This special issue will be structured around an agnostic research approach, since quantitative, qualitative, financial, theoretical and big data contributions are all welcomed. Works reflecting how insights can be extrapolated from data and social media are also appreciated.

The special issue will accept papers addressing a wide spectrum of topics following but not restricted to:

  • evaluation processes and frameworks to assess social and environmental performance of marketing activities;
  • conceptual issues around measurement in sustainable marketing research (i.e. formative research);
  • reflections on controversies on the appropriateness of models that are currently used (case studies are welcomed);
  • performance metrics for improvement and optimization of sustainable marketing activities;
  • alignment of sustainable marketing metrics with business goals;
  • measurement methods for evaluating stakeholder relationships and engagement related to sustainable marketing issues;
  • evaluation and measurement practices across different industries, countries and cultures;
  • quantitative and qualitative research that increases the knowledge about the performance impact of sustainable marketing using different instruments of assessment (questionnaires, interviews, new technologies, etc.);
  • the role of new technologies in measurement process of sustainable marketing; 
  • using digital and social media analytics to inform measurement processes of sustainable marketing; 
  • process and tools for communicating sustainable marketing results;
  • measurement of results and reporting practices for sustainable marketing and corporate/brand reputation management activities.

For further information on this call, please contact the guest editors:

Alfonso Siano, University of Salerno, Italy (

Stefania Romenti, IULM University, Italy (

Ralph Tench, Leeds Business School, Leeds Beckett University, UK (

Paper submission/selection

When submitting a paper, authors need to mention that the paper should be considered for this special issue. To do this, authors are kindly asked to select the special issue: “S.I. SUSTAINABLE MARKETING AND PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT”.

All the papers need to strictly adhere to the specific guidelines of the journal (see:

Deadline for submissions: 30th April 2021


García-Rosell J.C and Moisander J. (2007), Ethical dimensions of sustainable marketing: A consumer policy perspective, ACR European Advances, pp.210-215.

Gordon R.,  Carrigan M., and Hastings G. (2011), “A framework for sustainable marketing”, Marketing Theory, 11 (2), pp. 143-163.

Hunt S.D. (2011), “Sustainable marketing, equity, and economic growth: a resource-advantage, economic freedom approach”, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 39 (1), pp. 7-20.

Lilia L., Romenti S., Rodriguez B., Murtarelli G., and Carroll C. (2017), “Exploring Corporations’ Dialogue About CSR in the Digital Era”, Journal of Business Ethics, 146(1), pp. 39-58.

Lim W.M. (2016), “A blueprint for sustainability marketing: Defining its conceptual boundaries for progress”, Marketing Theory, 16 (2), pp.232-249.

Lučić A. (2020), “Measuring Sustainable Marketing Orientation-Scale Development Process”, Sustainability, 12(5), p. 1734.

McDonagh P. and Prothero A. (2014), “Sustainability marketing research: Past, present and future”, Journal of Marketing Management, 30 (11), pp. 1186-1219.

Peattie K. (2001), “Towards Sustainability: The Third Age of Green Marketing”, The Marketing Review, 2 (2), pp. 129-146.

Romenti S., Murtarelli G., Miglietta A., and Gregory A. (2019), “Investigating the role of contextual factors in effectively executing communication evaluation and measurement”, Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 228-245.

Searcy C. (2012), “Corporate sustainability performance measurement systems: A review and research agenda”, Journal of Business Ethics, 107(3), pp. 239-253.

Siano A., Conte F., Amabile S., Vollero A., and Piciocchi, P. (2016), “Communicating Sustainability: An Operational Model for Evaluating Corporate Websites”, Sustainability, 8 (9), pp. 950-966.

Tench R., Sun W., and Jones B. (2012), Corporate Social Irresponsibility: A Challenging Concept. Critical Studies on Corporate Responsibility, Governance and Sustainability, Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.

Tench R., Zerfass A., Vercic D., Verhoeven P., and Moreno A. (2015), European Communication Monitor 2015: Creating Communication Value through listening, messaging and measurement. Results of a survey in 41 countries, Brussels: EACD/Euprera, Helios Media.

van Dam Y.K. and Apeldoorn P.A.C. (1996), “Sustainable Marketing”, Journal of Macromarketing, 16(2), pp. 45-56.