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Exploring the wicked problem of athlete and consumer vulnerability in sport

Westberg, Kate, Stavros, Constantino, Smith, Aaron C. T., Newton, Joshua, Lindsay, Sophie, Kelly, Sarah, Beus, Shenae and Adair, Daryl 2017, Exploring the wicked problem of athlete and consumer vulnerability in sport, Journal of social marketing, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 94-112, doi: 10.1108/JSOCM-07-2016-0035.

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Title Exploring the wicked problem of athlete and consumer vulnerability in sport
Author(s) Westberg, Kate
Stavros, Constantino
Smith, Aaron C. T.
Newton, Joshua
Lindsay, Sophie
Kelly, Sarah
Beus, Shenae
Adair, Daryl
Journal name Journal of social marketing
Volume number 7
Issue number 1
Start page 94
End page 112
Total pages 19
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing
Place of publication Bingley, Eng.
Publication date 2017
ISSN 2042-6763
2042-6771
Keyword(s) Social marketing
Wicked problems
Stakeholder theory
Systems theory
Sport
Value cocreation
Summary Purpose: This paper aims to extend the literature on wicked problems in consumer research by exploring athlete and consumer vulnerability in sport and the potential role that social marketing can play in addressing this problem. Design/methodology/approach: This paper conceptualises the wicked problem of athlete and consumer vulnerability in sport, proposing a multi-theoretical approach to social marketing, incorporating insights from stakeholder theory, systems theory and cocreation to tackle this complex problem. Findings: Sport provides a rich context for exploring a social marketing approach to a wicked problem, as it operates in a complex ecosystem with multiple stakeholders with differing, and sometimes conflicting, objectives. It is proposed that consumers, particularly those that are highly identified fans, are key stakeholders that have both facilitated the problematic nature of the sport system and been rendered vulnerable as a result. Further, a form of consumer vulnerability also extends to athletes as the evolution of the sport system has led them to engage in harmful consumption behaviours. Social marketing, with its strategic and multi-faceted focus on facilitating social good, is an apt approach to tackle behavioural change at multiple levels within the sport system. Practical implications: Sport managers, public health practitioners and policymakers are given insight into the key drivers of a growing wicked problem as well as the potential for social marketing to mitigate harm. Originality/value: This paper is the first to identify and explicate a wicked problem in sport. More generally it extends insight into wicked problems in consumer research by examining a case whereby the consumer is both complicit in, and made vulnerable by, the creation of a wicked problem. This paper is the first to explore the use of social marketing in managing wicked problems in sport.
Language eng
DOI 10.1108/JSOCM-07-2016-0035
Field of Research 150503 Marketing Management (incl Strategy and Customer Relations)
Socio Economic Objective 910403 Marketing
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, Emerald Publishing Limited
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30091362

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Department of Marketing
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