A Rhetoric on Diversity and Marketing Theory: How Does Islam Fit?

A Rhetoric on Diversity and Marketing Theory: How Does Islam Fit?

Noha El-Bassiouny (The German University in Cairo, Egypt)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7357-1.ch093
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The purpose of this chapter is to present a highlight of how Islam, and thereby Islamic marketing as an emerging research domain, fits within mainstream marketing thought given the marginalization of some ethnic groups and the calls for diversity therein. The chapter argues that the Islamic paradigm can integrate within marketing theory in light of the critical marketing discourse, whilst creating a “theistic science” that links to Islamic civilization and builds a bridge to the future of this science.
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Marketing, Multiculturalism, And Society

In their article, Tadajewski and Saren (2008) noted the marginalization of certain marketing concepts especially critical perspectives in modern marketing thought which overlooks the historical basis on which marketing was developed. Burton (2002) as cited in Emslie et al. (2007: 168) notes that “in multicultural societies, ethnicity plays an important part within the marketing concept, but this has not attracted significant amounts of attention in either marketing theory or practice and tends to be dominated by research undertaken in the US.” From an inherent marketing theory perspective, however, Hunt (2002: 11) notes that “the scope of marketing is unquestionably broad” and has social obligations to society, students, marketing practice, and to the marketing academy “for upholding its mission of retailing, warehousing, and producing knowledge, its contract with society of objective knowledge for academic freedom, and its core values of reason, evidence, openness, and civility” (Hunt, 2002: 64).

When it comes to both marketing textbooks and marketing practice, however, the implementation of this comprehensive conceptualization that incorporates social responsibility and the values of openness and civility is quite lacking (Foxman and Easterling, 1999; Muléy, 2009), especially in terms of incorporating the perspectives of marginalized ethnic groups (El-Bassiouny, 2014; Emslie et al., 2007; Jamal, 2003). According to Burton (2002: 227), “as management educators, marketing researchers have a central role to play in the project of social change and transformation…” The incorporation of a broad-base theoretical perspective that factors in different ethnic groups, addresses values, and considers all stakeholders is important in marketing education. Based on the critical marketing discourse, it is the inevitable foreseen future for marketing thought. In Marketing 3.0, Kotler, Kartajaya, and Setiawan (2010: 6) note that marketing in the future is “values-driven” with an objective of “making the world a better place”. They also note that “supplying meaning is the future value proposition in marketing” (Kotler et al., 2010: 20). They highlight that “by adding society, the new definition (of marketing by the American Marketing Association1) recognizes that marketing has large-scale impacts beyond what happens in the private dealings of individuals and companies. It also shows that marketing is now ready to address the cultural implications of globalization” (Kotler et al., 2010: 17).

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