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Sustainability of marketing systems: systeming interpretation of hybrid car manufacturer and consumer communications

The purpose of this qualitative macromarketing investigation is to explore the issue of the sustainability of marketing systems. Drawing on complex systems thinking, an alternative logic of marketing systems and a methodological basis for interpreting communicated meanings are developed. The alternative logic of marketing systems recognises the unity of a difference between a marketing system and its environment. This insight has become a cornerstone for synthesising the systeming methodology. Systeming comprises the philosophy, the model, and the method of interpreting communication-as-self-observation of marketing system agents. Data, communication by hybrid car manufacturers and consumers, were collected from netnographic sources such as corporate websites, reports posted online, weblogs, and consumer forums. The interpretation of these data was accomplished using systeming procedures, e.g. communication analysis, distinction identification, re-entry description, and logical level tracking. The systeming analysis of the hybrid car marketer and consumer communications illustrates that meaning-creation in the system is underpinned by purposeful human behaviour in reducing complexity of marketplace experience into a meaningful pattern, sustainability. Both manufacturers and consumers claim to become sustainable in reference to being unsustainable by creating self-referential differences, operating in different interaction contexts, and expanding meaning paradoxes. The interpretation shows that interactive meaning-creation in the system is inherently contradictory. Manufacturers expand (give a logical form to) contradictions through introducing hierarchical meaning structures, temporality, new functions, and communicative transvection. Consumers deal with the contradictions through enriching co-creation experiences and learning the proper continuation of specific hybrid car driving practices. The significant insight gained from this investigation is that the hybrid car marketing system is not a passive entity; it is the locus of purposefully expanding meanings. Two modes of sustainability with regard to the hybrid car marketing system can be distinguished: the content of communication that denotes enacted meanings of sustainability and the form of communication that indicates how sustainable these sustainability enactments are. The content/form distinction implies that the sustainability of the hybrid car marketing system is a matter of interactive meaning-creation between system agents. The sustainable development process, in at least a mobility domain, is driven by purposeful social interaction rather than static product attributes. This investigation is innovative because it a) offers a conceptualisation of a marketing system as a meaning flow; b) synthesises and compiles a methodology and method for interpreting communication in a marketing system; c) reveals systemic insights into the hybrid car marketing system; d) characterises the sustainability dimension of the hybrid car marketing system; e) explains a conceptual ground for reconciling the marketing system and society; f) provides a general macromarketing perspective to scrutinise recent conceptual developments in the marketing discipline; g) unifies marketing systems thinking with recent advancements in the marketing discipline, such as the service-dominant logic, and consumer culture theory; and, also, h) provides recommendations for a number of micro-managerial situations from a holistic perspective.
Type of thesis
Kadirov, D. (2008). Sustainability of marketing systems: systeming interpretation of hybrid car manufacturer and consumer communications (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2546
The University of Waikato
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