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A requisitely holistic approach to marketing in terms of social well-being
Damijan Prosenak
Slovenska Bistrica, Slovenia, and


ˇ Matjaz Mulej and Boris Snoj
Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia
Purpose – The paper aims to answer the following questions. Is marketing requisitely holistic? Marketing serves managers, governors, owners and employees as well as customers, suppliers and other stakeholders with its activities in order to help company increase well-being of stakeholders. What about the broader society’s well-being and future? What will follow, once the innovative-society phase of socio-economic development creates affluence, which diminishes human ambition to work in order to have? Social responsibility might be the next step in achieving success. Design/methodology/approach – There are new forms of marketing (e.g. societal marketing; relationship marketing; cause-related marketing; and green marketing) that could help humans accomplishing this task, to some extent. Marketing will have to detect, elaborate and disseminate new data, along with using them for its action; the paper does not tackle the latter, but marketing taking into account the social responsibility of the company in order to help companies. Findings – Companies will namely need more/requisitely holistic bases to develop innovative products, acceptable with social responsibility. Experience says that ethnographers, anthropologists, and other social scientists are becoming necessary in the “open innovation” model and the extremely demanding market of the affluent and nearly affluent society. So is a more systemic/holistic thinking and action of companies, including their marketing. Originality/value – The paper suggests how marketing must adapt to meet new challenges. Keywords Cybernetics, Innovation, Marketing, Social responsibility Paper type Conceptual paper

Kybernetes Vol. 37 No. 9/10, 2008 pp. 1508-1529 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0368-492X DOI 10.1108/03684920810907832

1. The selected problem and viewpoint of consideration Changes in companies’ environment, due to globalization and increasing human aspirations for sustainable development, result in new challenges for their owners, managers and co-workers. Beside dangers of global competition there are also emerging numerous new opportunities. If companies want to take advantage of them, they must innovate constantly in accordance with changes in their environments, and/or cause changes, while considering the principles of morally acceptable operating, sustainable development and care for the well-being of society, to which they belong. This might be the lesson from the 2007 Nobel Award for peace: more/requisite holism is required for humans to live in peace and for humankind to survive. Are companies ready for that, are they successfully exploiting new opportunities, and are they, regarding ever increasing influence of societal and environmental problems on companies, requisitely holistically planning and implementing their business’ strategies? On the other hand, in the current dialogue customers’ choice is

equated with human freedom, which hardly includes (requisite) holism. This suggests two questions: (1) Is customer choice, a cornerstone of the marketing philosophy, not a device merely for justifying marketers’ manipulation with customers? (2) Could choice as a freedom be equated with human well-being? However, marketing can play a very important role in the provision of the opportunities for well-being, especially with its new forms including: . societal marketing (Kotler, 1972; Robin and Reidenbach, 1987; Smith, 1990, 1995; Smith and Quelch, 1993; Laczniak, 1993; Laczniak and Murphy, 1993; Abratt and Sacks, 1988; Prothero, 1990; Crane, 2000; Crane and Desmond, 2002; Chattananon et al., 2007); . ¨ relationship marketing (Sheth and Parvatiyar, 1995; Gronroos, 1994, 2000, 2004; Hunt et al., 2006; Mitussis et al., 2006; Sheth, 2002; Palmer, 2000; Harker and Egan, 2006; Gummesson, 1997, 2002; Veloutsou et al., 2002; Day, 2003; Kavali et al., 1999; Grundlach and Murphy, 1993; Morgan and Hunt, 1994; Murphy et al., 2007); . green marketing (King, 1985; Vandermerwe and Oliff, 1990; Menon and Menon, 1997; Peattie, 1995, 1999; van Dam and Apeldoorn, 1996; Peattie and Crane, 2005); and . cause-related marketing (Varadarajan and Menon, 1988; Shimp et al., 1991; Webb and Mohr, 1998; Polonsky and Wood, 2001; Ellen et al., 2000; Lafferty et al., 2004; Bergami and Bagozzi, 2000; Bhattacharya and Sen, 2003; Gupta and Pirsch, 2006). In these forms, marketing has somehow already acted as a bridge over the gap that has emerged between people’s growing concern for their own and consequently (if we leave abuse of others aside) society’s well-being and their[1] habit of maintaining the “western materialistic consumer lifestyle.” In the paper we would like to discuss, how marketing could further contribute to realization of the requisite holism of business decision making, including social responsibility, in order to contribute more than so far to the social well-being. 2. Research methodology: requisite holism by Dialectical Systems Theory We are using for this research Mulej’s Dialectical Systems Theory (DST) (Mulej, 1974a,b, ˇ 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979; Mulej et al., 1992, 2000, 2008; Mulej and Zenko, n.d., 2004). DST is found peculiar among systems theories in Encyclopaedia (Francois, 2004, p. 169). DST is ¸ not aimed at describing a feature called a system, from a (tacitly) selected author’s single viewpoint. DST rather tries to attain what Bertalanffy, the Father of Systems Theory, has claimed by stating that he had created his “General Systems Teaching,” which is un-precisely translated into English as “General Systems Theory”: to fight “the current over-specialization” (Bertalanffy, 1968, 1979, p. VII). This means:
ONE MUST TEACH PEOPLE TO ATTAIN/INCREASE THEIR HOLISM AS A WORLDVIEW AND AS METHODOLOGY OF THINKING, DECISION MAKING, AND ACTION; it is not enough to offer a theory as an unconcerned – “objective” – insight into a part of reality and tools for people to apply for what ever activities and reasons.

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Five decades later literature shows (Francois, 2004; journals such as Cybernetics and ¸ Systems, Kybernetes, Systems Practice and Action Research, Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Systemica, Systems Science, etc. conferences, even the ones on systems theory), that very few authors follow this Bertalanffy’s instruction. But it must have emerged from the terrible experience of the twentieth century and earlier: more or less all difficulties of humankind have always been caused by a lack of holism of human thinking, decision making, and action, including the world wars (and other many wars), the big depression of 1930s, the current climate change crisis, etc. The most frequent cause of the lack of holism in human monitoring, observation, thinking, decision making and action is over-specialization, which makes specialists deep in a small fragment of humankind’s knowledge, and unable to see their own limits and resulting interdependences with specialists who differ from them, as well as with other components of nature (Barabba, 2004; Lester and Piore, 2004). The interdisciplinary co-operation with a trans-disciplinary basis supports the requisite holism and innovation better (see the next paragraph). This can be based on the notion of the “dialectical system” (DS) and related DST. The notion DS (Mulej, 1974a, b) is based on the definition, that dialectics is a science on ˇ interdependence and resulting dynamics (Britovsek et al., 1960). DS reflects: . Interdependence of viewpoints, with which humans consider the same reality, but focusing on different parts of the entire whole of existing attributes; thus, these different viewpoints are complementary to each other and are better applied in synergy. . The total holism would include all viewpoints and all synergies. This is the only real holism, but it reaches beyond the human natural capacity. . The over-specialization tends to limit humans to one single viewpoint (or aspect or perspective or standpoint, etc.), which leads to fictitious holism (Figure 1) (Mulej, 2007a, b). On this basis, DST is composed as a DS of instructions opposing one-sidedness and routine-loving way of work and life: (1) Ten guidelines for humans working on formation of objectives of, e.g. work to overcome their over-specialization and to attain innovation by requisite holism before objectives are defined. (2) Ten guidelines for humans working on implementation of objectives to overcome their over-specialization and to attain innovation by requisite holism in the later phases of the same process.

Figure 1. The selected level of holism and reaslism of consideration of the selected topic between the fictitious, requisite, and total holism and reaslism

Fictitious holism /realism (inside a single viewpoint)

Requisite holism /realism (a dialectical system of essential viewpoints)

Total = real holism /realism (a system of all viewpoints)

(3) Awareness of the law of entropy as the permanent natural tendency of everything to be destroyed by changing into or creating of something else; this tendency demands requisite holism and innovation. (4) Awareness of the law of hierarchy of succession/process, rather than super-ordination in a rigid structure of obeying; this law requires the biggest attention to be paid to the earliest phases: they include formation of the subjective starting points (i.e. knowledge and values of humans involved) of the entire process; the subjective as well as objective (i.e. outer) starting points (needs and possibilities) are tackled by DST’s components (1)-(3). (5) Awareness of the DS as the best level of holism, which is expressed in the Mulej and Kajzer (1998) “law of requisite holism” (Figure 1). Authors must take responsibility for their definition, which level of holism is requisite in their thinking, decision making, and action. (6) The applied methodology USOMID (In Slovenian acronym: creative co-operation of many for innovation at work) making (1)-(5) applicable in practice with no formalized use of systems theory’s language (Mulej, 1982; Mulej et al., 1992, and later; with beneficial applications in many thousand cases in academia and “the real world”). Innovation is a complex process that requires systems thinking in DST style more than one can see it in practice (see: references above; they include data that less than 5 percent of companies’ innovation projects succeed; thus, about one of 1,000 ideas becomes innovation, i.e. yields new benefit for its users and therefore for its owners). But innovation is also aggressive to people, after millennia of their survival with the culture of routine and related established habits. The contemporary markets are providing quite some pressure toward innovation, hence toward requisite holism, especially with its modern requirement for companies to be “sustainable enterprises” (Knez-Riedl and ˇ ´ ´ Mulej, 2001; Ecimovic et al., 2002; Potocan and Mulej, 2007a, b) (Figure 2).

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Decade 194519601970198019902000-

Market & Social Requirements Coveringof post-war conditions of scarcity, rebuilding, etc. Suitable price (as judged by customers) Suitable price X quality (as judged by customers) Suitable price X quality X range (as judged by customers) Suitable price X quality X range X uniqueness (as judged by customers) Suitable price X quality X range X uniqueness X contribution to sustainable development (as judged by customers)

Enterprise’s Ways To Meet Requirements Supply anything; supply does not yet exceed demand Internal efficiency, i.e. cost management Efficiency X technical & commercial quality management Efficiency X technical & commercial quality X flexibility management Efficiency X technical & commercial quality X flexibility X innovativeness management Efficiency X technical & commercial quality X flexibility X innovativeness X sustainable development

Figure 2. From a supplying to a sustainable enterprise – and a new definition of the Notes: X denotes interdependence. No attribute is avoidable any longer for a longer-term success/requisite concrete contents of holism. The original table (Bolwijn and Kumpe, 1990) did not contain X, but +. The sign + denotes no requisite holism of interdependencies and resulting synergies; elements are only summed up in a set, not a system. enterprises’ behavior
Summation only is an oversimplification. The original did not contain the decades of 1950 and 2000 either

Type of Enterprise Supplying Enterprise Efficient Enterprise Quality Enterprise Flexible Enterprise Innovative Enterprise Sustainable Enterprise

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On this basis empirical research was also conducted, which we will address briefly in paragraph 4. And we will add: marketing includes provision of information, i.e. marketing teaches, either for systemic thinking, or against it. The latter case tackles/causes contemporary difficulties. 3. Requisite holism, sustainable enterprise, humankind’s future and marketing The law of requisite holism is presented in the shortest possible version in Figure 1. The requisite holism is growing broader and more complex concerning the DS of preconditions for competitiveness that has been growing more complex over the recent decades; this is shown in Figure 2 as the development toward the sustainable ˇ enterprise (Potocan and Mulej, 2007a, b). Once the business life has become so complex and so full of oversights, that less than 5 percent of companies’ innovation projects succeed (Nussbaum et al., 2005; Nussbaum, 2006), and the consequences in terms of climate change tend to diminish the world-wide GDP for 5 or even 20 percent (Stein, 2007; Ecimovic et al., 2002, 2007), marketing also belongs to professions that must reconsider their role and scope as information providers to companies’ managements and to (potential) customers – toward requisite holism. 4. The innovation and market orientation is not necessarily enough for requisitely holistic successfulness Market orientation is one of the key organizational resources in creating sustainable competitive advantage. Owing to the discordant findings that emerged with respect to the direct effect of market orientation on firm’s performance, a growing number of researchers have recognized that it is imperative to develop broader models to deepen our understanding of the mechanisms that lead the more market-oriented firms to better performance (Han et al., 1998; Agarwal et al., 2003; Luo et al., 2005; Baker and Sinkula, 2005). These models might contribute to requisite holism. So might do research examining the relationships between market orientation and innovation that is growing (Atuahene-Gima, 1996; Han et al., 1998; Jaworski and Kohli, 1993; Narver and Slater, 1990). According to Deshpande and Farley (2004), the most important expression of market orientation is successful innovation, which leads to greater organizational success. Firms with strong market orientations are more likely to identify and respond to new product opportunities than firms with weaker market orientations (Baker and Sinkula, 2005; Hooley et al., 2005), and are more likely to be the first to the market with new generations of existing products and services (Day, 1994). Snoj et al.’s (2004) representative research of all companies with over 20 employees in Slovenia has proved: the strength of the companies’ market orientation was a significant and positive predictor of their innovation resources. However, the empirical ˇ research (Prosenak, 2005; Jurse et al., 2007), which was carried out in 2005 on Prosenak’s pattern of Slovenian companies, shows that for a greater business success a more/requisitely holistic approach to innovation and its better connection with market-orientation is needed. Oversights cause failures. One’s essential guideline should be to create for one’s customers the biggest possible value, which should also be, perceived from customers’ viewpoint, higher than the value offered by one’s competitors. Meeting both conditions is easier for companies


focusing more on creation of a new value for (potential) customers and less on competing with others for a part of the existing market. Therefore, a requisitely holistic knowledge about social, business, and natural environments (not only market), constant learning, and innovating are needed and must make a part of ˇ values/culture/ethics/norms (Potocan and Mulej, 2007a, b). Companies must be market-oriented and innovative, or with other words – they should effectively and efficiently, therefore requisitely holistically, connect creativity and (market) knowledge with value creation for their supply to be big, but smaller than demand for it and to yield benefit to both their customers and themselves. But: there are other humans, too, making society at large; are they considered? For the last 15 years or so the notion of value has been put forward as a critical variable in marketing. Customers should get the value from the actions and activities of marketing. The current research into customer value shows a clear trend away from exchange value in which value is embedded in the product (goods, ideas, services, information, or any type of solution), which is delivered to customers. The trend goes in favor of the customer when using product and when interacting with suppliers on long-term basis in co-creation with them. Suppliers do not deliver value to customers; they support customer’s value creation in value generating processes of these ¨ customers (Gronroos, 2006). And this is the very essence of relationship marketing as the process of planning, developing and nurturing a relationship climate that promotes dialogue between the company and its customers in order to imbue an understanding, confidence and respect of each others’ capabilities and concerns when enacting their role in the market place and the society (Kavali et al., 1999). As to the target groups, relationship marketing is engaged in valued relationships not only with customers, but also with suppliers, employees, owners, referral parties and influence parties (Morgan and Hunt, 1994; Kavali et al., 1999). Therefore, relationship marketing builds on the grounds of principles of equity, benevolence, reliability, responsibility, commitment, diligence and trust that guide managers to morally justifiable operations (Grundlach and Murphy, 1993; Morgan and Hunt, 1994; Kavali et al., 1999). This might be a step toward a kind of requisite holism. Yet, still the question emerges: are the above statements enough, regarding the ever increasing influence of societal and environmental problems on companies, being both humans’ tools to satisfy their needs and social bodies, and of humans and their ˇ ˇ ˇ organizations over environment (Potocan, 2003; Potocan et al., 2004; Tavcar, 2006, 2007)? Should not we ask ourselves: what are the real objectives of business activities in a society living on innovation with an open innovation model (Chesbrough, 2003; Chesbrough et al., 2006) and based on sustainable enterprises, in order for humanity to survive (Stein, 2007)? Is the current humans’ consideration of their influence on society and natural environment (and vice versa) requisitely holistic? What is the role of humans’ creativity? Do humans use creativity well enough for the benefit of society (made of humans in many various synergies) as well? We should also take into account problems, which are emerging in economically most advanced societies, i.e. affluence-phase problem (Porter, 1990): affluence causes a lack of motivation for creative work in order to have more, once one has everything, and negatively influences their economic success (as one sees in public economic data in 2008). All societies of the contemporary world and their companies can avoid these and several other social and environmental problems, if they define their objectives and

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business strategies requisitely holistically in terms of the long-term benefit, based on social responsibility (Hrast and Zavasnik, 2007; Hrast et al., 2006, 2007). At the same time, they can also create new business opportunities by better understanding changes in society and requisitely holistic and hence beneficial employment of the creative potential of their citizens. Well-being may result. 5. The concept of well-being as a key to definition of the basic goals of society What is the role of business activities and how do they influence our lives? To answer this question we must ask ourselves: what are the basic goals of the human society? Lately, psychologists, sociologists and also some economists have indicated that the essential goal of humans’ activities should be a (requisitely holistic) personal and social well-being (you do not buy things or take vacations to have them, but to enjoy them, right?). According to Stutz (2006), satisfaction with one’s own standard of living, health, achievements, personal relationships, feeling of security and affiliation to society (or in short – welfare, contentment and freedom) are needed. Therefore, the following factors should be provided: material basis good enough for good life, good health, good social relations, security and freedom of choice and action (Stutz, 2006, p. 11). Hornung (2006, pp. 334-7) states that the essential goal of humans is happiness. For good well-being the following needs should be met: material needs, informational and, at the level of individuals, psychological needs, security needs, needs for freedom and action, needs for adaptability, needs for efficiency, and needs for responsibility. Sustainable Development Research Network (SDRN, 2006, p. 2) presented in its study, that we should distinguish between objective and subjective well-being. The objective well-being represents material and social circumstances, which influence an individual’s personal objective well-being; it consists of the following dimensions (McAllister, 2005, p. 9): material, physical, social, and emotional well-being, development and activity. The subjective well-being stems from individual’s perception of the objective well-being (Arthaud-Day et al., 2005; McAllister, 2005). Perception depends on individual’s subjective starting points (knowledge, emotions, ˇ mentality and values (Mulej, 1979, 2000a, b, p. 88; Mulej and Zenko, 2004, p. 65)). Therefore, a high objective well-being does not necessarily simultaneously mean a high subjective well-being. We could also mention relative well-being, which depends on one’s comparison with people playing important roles in one’s life (Revkin, 2005; ScienceDaily, 2006). Diener and Seligman (2004, p. 25) presented the following partial formula for high well-being: living in a democratic and stable society that provides material resources to meet needs; having supportive friends and family, rewarding and engaging work and an adequate income; being reasonably healthy and having treatment available in case of mental (better: medical) problems; having important goals related to one’s values, and a philosophy or religion that provides guidance, purpose and meaning to one’s life. Considering all above stated guidelines, we could conclude about the basic goals of society:
Humans should strive for a requisitely holistic quality of life (objective and subjective well-being) and human solidarity (based on ethics of interdependence), simultaneously


considering ecological sensitivity of natural environment, its constraints, and the laws of nature, too.

This goal demands reconciliation of one’s economic with one’s ecological, psychological, and sociological viewpoints of thinking, decision making, and acting as an essential part of humans’ values. A requisitely holistic socially responsible action should therefore be reflected with a three-fold positive influence: (1) increasing social and personal objective well-being; (2) prevention of negative and strengthening of positive influence on natural and social environment; and (3) positive influence on humans’ subjective starting points, to achieve requisite holism of their thinking and acting and thus strengthening their subjective well-being. Connection between socially responsible actions and influence on subjective starting points that consist of human knowledge and values, according to DST, is very important: knowledge and values influence one’s perception of objective well-being and consequently one’s willingness for (creative) action and therefore (non-)creation of social objective well-being. The latter is becoming an important problem, above all in economically most developed societies. What is the reason for this? Porter models evolution of bases of competitiveness shows the current way to a dead alley – the affluence (Brglez, 1999, pp. 22-3; Mulej and Prosenak, 2007) (Figure 3). Comments on resulting culture are ours. Especially, the phase of affluence, which is the most desired phase in practice and economic theory, has so far proved to generate huge problems: it causes complacency rather than ambition to create, because one has everything one needs. This kills the ambition to work in order to have. From economic viewpoint, it would therefore be necessary to enter the third, innovation, phase as soon as possible and to stay there as long as possible. But: is such consideration requisitely holistic regarding the problems mentioned above, and from the viewpoint of realization of the basic goals of society? One goes necessarily from the innovation phase to the affluence phase. This causes problems. The first problem, as we see it, is that constraints of natural environment and principles of human solidarity are overseen. The second problem tackles one’s perception of one’s well-being. We must ask ourselves: why does the ambition to achieve more and live better diminish in the affluence phase (from materialistic viewpoints)? Diener and Seligman and SDRN established that one’s
PHASE 1. Natural factors 2. Investment in modern technology 3. Innovation based onlocal knowledge 4. Affluence BASIS FOR COMPETITIVENESS Natural resources and cheap labor, providing for a rather poor life for millennia Foreign investment into the area’s economic development; hardly/poor competitiveness in international markets Nation or region lives on its own progress and attains a better and better standard of living of its people by international competitiveness People have finally become rich, which makes them happy in material well-being as a blind alley RESULTING CULTURE Scarcity and solidarity, collectivism, tradition rather than innovation Growing differences, local competition, individualism, ambition to have more, be rich Growing differences and standard of living, global competition, ethic of interdependence, social responsibility, ambition to create Complacency, no more ambition, empty life, consumerism; what is well-being, then?

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Figure 3. Porter’s phases of evolution of competitiveness, and related culture

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satisfaction with one’s life is increasing with growth of GDP, but only to a certain level of GDP. Afterward the connection disappears (Diener and Seligman, 2004, p. 6; SDRN, 2006, p. 12). It seems that the influence of some other impacts on perception of the objective well-being (other dimensions of well-being), then, becomes stronger and thus more important. This statement once again proves the importance of influence on one’s subjective starting points and consequently on one’s perception of objective well-being and hence on motivation for (creative) work; we stressed it in DST. Sheldon (2001) namely noticed that there is a stronger positive connection between well-being and orientation toward the inner values than the orientation toward the outer values (i.e. material and social status, image, etc.). Besides, that, orientation toward the inner values contributes to greater motivation for realization of one’s personal goals as well ˇˇ ˇˇ (Udovicic, 2004; Udovicic and Mulej, 2006). It seems that a longer staying in the third phase is not a requisitely holistic solution. Humankind should therefore make transition into a new, fifth phase, based on creativity and innovativeness, but on creativity and innovativeness with “a clear cause” – to help our shared society attain basic goals, simultaneously considering ubiquitous interconnectedness and inter-dependence, which includes constraints of the social/natural environment (Figure 4). In this way, humans, maybe, could unite aspirations for long-term survival of humankind, including their own families (and other living beings on the Earth) with aspirations for success of humans’ tools such as companies. Marketing should support such a future, possibly by an innovation of marketing toward the requisite holism. 6. The role of business activities and above all marketing in society facing affluence Findings, presented in the previous sections, offer some thoughts about the role of business activities in human society facing affluence. Businesses should contribute to fulfillment of the basic goals of society by the following means: . increase of objective well-being by creation of products, which would contribute to satisfaction of material and informational needs, and needs for security, freedom and action, adaptability, efficiency and responsibility; . positive (or the smallest possible negative) influence on social and natural environments; and . positive influence on humans’ subjective starting points (inside and outside the company). We call positive the influence, which strengthens long-term objective well-being, ethics of interdependence, and consideration of the law of requisite holism. As we have already mentioned, the human and natural influences on humans’ subjective starting points are very important, because they influence humans’ perception of objective well-being, and simultaneously humans’ willingness for

Figure 4. The newly suggested fifth phase of evolution of basis of competitiveness

5. Requisitely holistic creation and social responsibility

Material wealth suffices; effort aimed at spiritual wealth, healthy natural and social environment as requisitely holistic well-being

Ethic of interdependence and social responsibility, ambition to create, to diminish social differences to those caused by creation, including innovation versus lack of it, by requisite holism of human activities

(creative) (co-)operation. They consequently strengthen the social objective well-being. Influence on subjective starting points also, indirectly, as the basis of human decisions, impacts the degree and mode of consumption of goods. This is important from viewpoints of scarcity of some resources and of the environmental protection for humankind to survive. Namely, if a company uses its marketing tools (to achieve its business goals[2]) in a manner, that creates artificial needs and consequently artificial means (products, services, ideas, . . .) to satisfy what ever (induced) needs and accordingly influences consumers’ subjective starting points, it actually makes, from society’s and nature’s viewpoint, (at least) three-fold harm (James, 2007): (1) it needlessly uses scarce resources; (2) it increases possibility of environmental pollution; and (3) it creates inner tension within individuals, who want to satisfy such artificially created needs (to keep up the Joneses). The artificial needs and ways of their satisfaction result in a growing stress and diminished motivation for creative work[3]. Instead of this, marketing tools should be used for discovering of existent and prediction of future real needs (in order to increase objective well-being) and for active inclusion of the interested individuals in the process of value creation (Prahalad and Ramaswamy, 2004; Prosenak, 2005). In this way we could reduce the production of the less and unnecessary products and consequently reduce the use of scarce resources[4]. Such approach to business action would have a positive influence on creation of the objective well-being, as the real needs would be better met, and simultaneously a positive influence on perception of created objective well-being (i.e. subjective well-being) of the consumers and employees would be achieved. The latter would also contribute to increase of motivation for creative work[5] and consequently to possible business success of companies and happiness of people. Profit would kill profit less than it does now by its one-sidedness, or not at all. How can we make this kind of requisite holism happen? Humans must receive a chance to engage in (co-)creative (co-)operation, including their leisure time, but in a way making benefit to the society at large (i.e. other people, not power-holders alone) as well. Individuals and companies should increase their collective intelligence, i.e. their capability to collectively invent the future and reach it in complex context (Noubel and Baylin, 2004). Therefore, a better contact between companies and users of their products must be enabled, and it should include the phase of future needs detection and designing their potential solutions. Users know best what they wish from a product. Hence, they must be involved rather actively in the invention-innovation process for the biggest possible benefit for customers and society at large to be attained along with the smallest possible destructive impact over the environment. The open innovation concept implies their role much better than the closed innovation concept does (Chesbrough, 2003; Chesbrough et al., 2006; von Hippel, 2005; Huston and Sakkab, 2006; IBM, 2006; Tapscott and Williams, 2006). Marketing should adapt to this concept as well. The dominant model of marketing up to now has been still based on the notion of customer sovereignty: the role of the marketing process is technical rather than moral in nature; its purpose is to create and translate demand into production and profit. However, there has been plea for marketing to provide in addition to the basic elements of the marketing concept – customer

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satisfaction and profitability a third element – “society’s wellbeing.” The societal marketing concept calls on marketers to meet the needs of the target audience in ways that enhance the well-being of customers and society as a whole while fulfilling the objectives of the organization (Bednall and Kanuk, 1997; Kotler, 2000; in: Chattananon et al., 2007, p. 232). Thus, societal marketing concept calls upon marketers to build social and ethical considerations into their marketing practices (Kotler, 2000; in: Chattananon et al., 2007, p. 230). Also due to the fact that the concern about ethics in marketing is closely related to the issue of social responsibility (Kavali et al., 1999), the notion of societal marketing has hardly found its way into common business language. Considerations of (un)ethical marketing have been primarily concerned with evaluations of specific marketing activities such as targeting, advertising and pricing, asymmetry of information disposal, differentiation of customers by value, power differences, etc. as opposed to wider macro questions of morality and legitimacy of marketing itself (Crane, 2000; in: Crane and Desmond, 2002, p. 551; Kavali et al., 1999). Although there is only limited empirical evidence attempting specifically to locate corporate practices directly within the discourse of societal marketing, there are burgeoning literatures on green marketing, cause related marketing, and ethical marketing (Crane and Desmond, 2002, p. 563). Actually, marketers could contribute to the successful management of social responsibility by expanding their focus beyond customers to include other stakeholders and by bundling together various social responsibility initiatives. Following this venue the importance of societal marketing programs gradually increases (Marsden, 2000; Vidaver-Cohen and Altman, 2000; McAlister and Ferrell, 2002; Hoeffler and Keller, 2002; Roy and Graeff, 2003; in: Chattananon et al., 2007, p. 230). Among the reasons for this trend, apart from other broader societal benefits, the use of societal marketing has been shown to create competitive advantage for company to build brand awareness and credibility, enhancing corporate image stimulating customer’s purchase intention by creating an emotional bond with customers (Chattananon et al., 2007). Of course, there are many problems involved with the adoption of societal marketing. One among them is the fact that the societal marketing concept insists on the role of the individual moral agent, which veils the social context and in particular the imbalance in size and power relations between individuals and corporations. Another problem is that managers are mainly called upon to adopt “socially responsible” behavior for the same reasons as they are called to adopt the “classical” marketing concept, i.e. profitability, which is the measure of “self-interest.” The adoption of societal marketing must, thus, equally result in adoption of moral behavior on the part of the company, which can clearly see, that to act in the interests of others is to act in its own interest: it helps in the longer term, at least, the socially responsible actor, too. Such thinking leads closer to requisite holism (Hrast et al., 2006, 2007). Therefore, more requisitely holistic and sincere communication between companies, (potential) users of their products and all other members of society affected by the effects of the procurement, production, selling and other business functions dealing with products, is needed for requisite holism in marketing relations. Content of the communication must be requisitely holistic in order to strengthen the awareness of ubiquitous interdependence and therefore contribute to more holistic and less artificial/fictitious solutions of problems.

Interested individuals need open access to relevant information needed for cooperation in the open innovation process. A platform enabling global connections and (co-)creative (co-)operation in collaborative interest-based networks is needed as well (Prosenak and Mulej, 2007). In addition, the content of marketing-information acquirement changes in the open innovation model from the information about the given and potential market to more or requisitely holistic insight in the customers[6]. For example, Intel engages less many engineers and more ethnographers and anthropologists as well as other social scientists in order to develop a deep understanding of how people live and work. This insight helps them develop their technology and products in the right direction. They are especially interested in people living abroad rather than in their home country – trans-nationals and cosmopolitans (Chesbrough, 2003). Nussbaum et al. (2005) suggest two steps to be applied: (1) “Change the game”: to stop considering technological innovation only and concentrate on business model, partners networking, supportive processes and collaboration, basic processes (exposing culture ant talents rather than technology only), efficient equipment, integrating of products/services in systems, services, sales channels, trade mark, experience of customers. (2) Detecting attributes of the market in which you compete with innovations such as: . “Which attributes did you oversee and did not invest in them, but they matter?” . “In which of the given ten types of innovation you might differ from competitors?” (Mulej, 2007a). Anthropologists, ethnologists, and similar social scientists can help others innovate the marketing process. They can improve understanding of the fact that a supplier does not sell a product, but an experience of benefit (Prahalad and Ramaswamy, 2004; Prosenak, 2005, pp. 143-4). Hence, one must consider attributes of the experience, including the event, its context, personal engagement in it, and the personally ascribed importance of it. These insights may reach beyond the usual marketing and R&D methods. They are crucial for personalization of the experience and creation of the desired experience of every individual (potential) customer. The experience of personalization is realizable on the basis of individual’s cooperation. Therefore, companies should create proper environment for experience personalization, which is a part of experience network of multiple firms (suppliers included) and consumer communities (Prahalad and Ramaswamy, 2004, p. 85). In addition, the role of marketing under the “open innovation” concept and co-creation should not be limited to only detecting and forecasting of (potential) needs by better understanding the business environment. It should rather include search for the most innovative suppliers and customers, who are striving at adapting the given supply to their (long-term) needs. Such persons/firms should be actively included in the invention-innovation process. They can be crucial co-creators of new supplies as well as crucial opinion leaders that make the diffusion of novelties easier, more holistic and more socially responsible, thus making it more successful. It must be stressed that under the open innovation and the 5th phase, marketing, as a teaching or informing tool, must support transparency of enterprise working. This may

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include both strong and weak points. Openness creates trust, which in turn creates ˇ co-operation and co-creation (Rozman and Kovac, 2006). Weak points are increasingly difficult to hide, today: social networking, yellow press, blogging, competitors, etc. tend to discover and publicize much more than ever before. Thus, social responsibility is supporting requisite holism and becoming a precondition of survival, rather than an act of charity, modesty, environmental care, sharing a company’s profit, “doing good to do well,”, etc. The law of requisite holism of perception, thinking, decision making, and action on one hand, and social responsibility (of everybody, not companies only) go hand in hand. They are more easily implemented, if information provided by marketing is not selected, judged, and applied on the basis of the out-dated mental models, i.e. subjective starting points, causing a one-sided response rather than a requisitely holistic one. One should better listen to all with no prejudices. This is an essential condition for one’s requisitely holistic action, which would consequently strengthen the awareness/ethics of interdependence and therefore contribute to requisite holism of individuals’ subjective starting points. 7. Some conclusions Economics and traditional marketing data no longer inform enough to provide for requisite holism, once the innovative society, open innovation model, and affluence change the market. Social responsibility and hence requisitely holistic perception, thinking, decision making, and action are unavoidable for success. Marketing must adapt its methods and insights to meet new challenges. This is crucial and hard to make; it would provide for innovation of marketing (Snoj and Milfelner, 2007; Hrast et al., 2006, 2007). Whilst the moral terrain of consumption is certainly complex, it provides an essential ethical and behavioral frame for evaluating marketing theory and practice in the framework of requisite holism. Work in the way of exploring aspects of morality, citizenship, social relations and happiness in relation to consumption might thus be very usefully brought to bear on attempts to articulate the social and moral implications of marketing (Sulkunen et al., 1997; Crocker and Linden, 1998; Borgmann, 2000; in: Crane and Desmond, 2002, pp. 564-5). With the growth of corporate size and power, the increasing hollowing-out of the state, and a lack of consumer sovereignty and power, new models of governance and accountability for marketers need to be developed (Smith, 1990; Sirgy and Su, 2000; in: Crane and Desmond, 2002, p. 565). Also the descriptive marketing theory and descriptive ethics in particular, that examine everyday moral experiences and moral rules-in-use must intensify their efforts to provide a significant stream of research into and illumination of the marketing decision making and marketing work (Crane and Desmond, 2002, p. 565). As Saren and Tzokas (1998; in: Kavali et al., 1999) remarked, it is of paramount importance to encourage a dialogue, which goes much further than simple two-way communications, as we already have mentioned above. It is through this dialogue that mutual understanding, confidence and respect can be cultivated and the capabilities and the concerns of each party fully articulated and taken into account. This requisitely holistic approach provides for a strategic perspective that allows for the enactment of the participants’ roles as they take place in the broad arena of the market and society as a whole. Perhaps, the answer to making more substantive progress towards requisite holism does not lie with marketers at all, since the market’s current flaws make marketing

incapable of delivering individuals’, company’s and society’s well-being at the same time. The market must operate within a society in which well-being is more than adopted as public policy goal, but not yet actively pursued through policy implementation in terms of taxation, education, industrial policy, public spending and investment. The longer we take to address the issue, and to make progress towards more societal marketing, the greater the disruption and effort will be. The sooner substantive progress is made, the more likely the story will reach happy ending – by attaining requisite holism of perception, thinking, decision making, and action including social responsibility: let us not be too selfish for the briefed very selfish reasons.
Notes 1. The habit of maintaining the “western materialistic consumer lifestyle” is largely a consequence of contemporary goals of society and especially profit motive. Profit motive is the natural consequence of satisfying ego types of basic human needs. It is using marketing as one of its servants proposing more consumption, more possession in materialistic sense of things, etc. as the right way to happiness. 2. Artificial needs do contribute to growth of GDP, but the latter is not and cannot be the only valid measure of success of a society. GDP is limited to a narrow system of viewpoints and therefore cannot reflect the requisitely holistic well-being of humans as individuals and humankind. Many speak of the triple bottom line: economic, social, and environmental ˇ ˇˇ aspects, some add ethics, too (Tavcar and Mulej, 2003). Besides, Bozicnik (2007) detected data that the growth of GDP in the recent decades is very close to none, if environmental damage to be repaired is added. Stein (2007) warns strongly of the related future to be expected. 3. Csikszentmihalyi (1996, p. 23) states: “Creativity does not happen inside people’s heads, but in the interaction between a person’s thoughts and a socio-cultural context.” If the influence of the latter is unfavourable, the conditions for creative work are unfavourable as well. 4. Rothenberg (2004) presents an affirmative case showing how can one (on the basis of good understanding of customers’ needs and creativity of employees) innovatively, i.e. beneficially, change the way of doing business. The meaning of innovation and market orientation for sustainable development is also considered by Holliday and Pepper (2001), Jackson (2005) and Seyfang (2004). Tacitly, they speak for more/requisite holism of human decisions/actions. 5. Florida (2004) states that motivation for creative work depends on 3T: (1) tolerance attracts; (2) talents; and (3) technology, which is needed for realization of creative talents’ ideas. Tolerance depends on one’s mental models, created on the basis of one’s subjective starting points. The latter are formed in the course of life by the influence of environment (parents, education, media – marketing and politics, etc.). Therefore, it makes sense that the discussion about the 3T in the 27th PODIM conference (Rebernik et al., 2007) has added a 4th T: time for adopting the 3T in a region, country or company. 6. Let us leave aside for now the role of marketing in promotion of co-operation of companies and research organizations such as universities and institutes (Mulej, 2007a). References Abratt, R. and Sacks, D. (1988), “The marketing challenge: towards being profitable and socially responsible”, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 7, pp. 497-507. Agarwal, S., Errmilli, M.K. and Dev, C.S. (2003), “Market orientation and performance in service firms: role of innovation”, Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 68-82.

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Further reading Gloor, P.A. (2006), Swarm Creativity. Competitive Advantage through Collaborative Innovation Networks, Oxford University Press Inc., Oxford. Hajiran, H. (2006), “Toward a quality of life theory: net domestic product of happiness”, Social Indicators Research, Vol. 75, pp. 31-43. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007), Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Summary for Policemakers, Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, available at: www. Knez-Riedl, J., Mulej, M. and Dyck, R.G. (2006), “Corporate social responsibility from the viewpoint of systems thinking”, Kybernetes, Vol. 35 Nos 3/4, pp. 441-60. Knowledge@Wharton (2006), “‘Smart growth’: innovating to meet the needs of the market without feeding the beast of complexity”, Wharton University of Pennsylvania, available at: pdf Mulej, M. (1982-1986), Usposabljanje za ustvarjalnost. Metodologija USOMID, Ekonomski center, ´ Maribor (in edition 1985 also: RU V. Vlahovic, Subotica), all editions reworked. ˇ Mulej, M. and Kokol, A. (2007), Dodatno studijsko gradivo: Management inovacij v proizvodnji na osnovi sodelovanja marketinga, raziskav in razvoja, Ekonomsko-poslovna fakulteta, Univerza v Mariboru, Maribor. ˇ ˇ Mulej, M., Fatur, P., Knez-Riedl, J., Kokolo, A., Mulj, N., Potocan, V., Prosenak, D., Skafar, B. and ˇ ˇ Zenko, Z. (2008), Invencijsko-inovacijski management z uporabo dialekticne teorije sistemov ˇ ˇ (podlaga za uresnicitev ciljev Evropske unije glede inoviranja), Institut za inovacije in tehnologijo Korona plus, d.o.o., Ljubljana. ˇ Potocan, V. and Mulej, M. (2003), “On requisitely holistic understanding of sustainable development from business viewpoints”, Systemic Practice and Action Research, Vol. 16 No. 6, pp. 421-36. Schumacher, E.F. (1989), Small is Beautiful – Reprint, Harper & Row Publishers, Inc., New York, NY. Corresponding author Damijan Prosenak can be contacted at:

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