Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 86–100 | Cite as

Toward a “theoretical toolbox” for sustainability research in marketing

  • Brian L. Connelly
  • David J. KetchenJr.
  • Stanley F. Slater


This paper provides a foundation for future marketing research on sustainability through the application of nine prominent organizational theories. Specifically, we consider the implications for sustainability offered by transaction cost economics, agency theory, institutional theory, population ecology, resource dependence theory, the resource-based view of the firm, upper echelons theory, social network theory, and signaling theory. We consider how each theory can help researchers to better understand the ways that firms engage in sustainable marketing and business practices, and we develop insights that emerge from simultaneous examination of complementary or competing theoretical perspectives.


Sustainability Organization theory 


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© Academy of Marketing Science 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian L. Connelly
    • 1
  • David J. KetchenJr.
    • 1
  • Stanley F. Slater
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Business, Department of ManagementAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA
  2. 2.College of Business, Department of MarketingColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

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