Monthly Archives: January 2020

Call for chapters: “Advancing the Circular Economy for a Sustainable Future”

Abstract submission deadline: 30th June 2020
Full chapters due: 31st December 2020

The Brundtland Report (WCED, 1987) defined sustainable development as; “development that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (p. 43). Its underlying assumption is that the world’s physical resources are not finite; therefore, they have to be managed responsibly to sustain future generations (Camilleri, 2018a; Camilleri, 2014). Subsequently, the United Nations (UN) Conference on Environment and Development has put forward Agenda 21 that dedicated a chapter that was focused on unsustainable patterns of production and consumption. This document recommended that the UN’s member states ought to intensify their efforts to reduce the use of scarce resources during production processes, whilst minimising the environmental impacts from the generation of waste and pollution (Camilleri, 2018a; Camilleri, 2014; Agenda 21, 1992).

In 2002, the UN Report of the World Summit on Sustainable Development also made reference to unsustainable patterns of production and consumption. The UN’s member states were urged to manage their natural resources in a sustainable manner and with lower negative environmental impacts; by promoting the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems, whilst reducing waste (WSSD, 2002, p. 13). Moreover, in another resolution, entitled; “The future we want,” the General Assembly at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development has reaffirmed its commitment to implementing green economy policies in the context of sustainable development. The heads of state and government or their representatives have agreed to continue promoting the integrated and sustainable management of ecosystems, whilst facilitating their conservation, regeneration, and restoration of resources (UNCSD, 2012). Furthermore, during the UN’s General Assembly Resolution of September 25 2015 entitled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” the world leaders have agreed to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals that replaced the previous millennium development goals that were established in the year 2000. Specifically, the Sustainable Development Goal 12 of the 2030 agenda, namely, “Sustainable Consumption and Production” explained that there is an opportunity for business and industry to reap economic gains through resource and energy efficiencies. It also raised awareness on the use of sustainable infrastructures and urged the UN member states to address air, water, and soil pollution to minimise their environmental impact (UNDP, 2015). Moreover, the Paris Climate Agreement (COP 21) and Resolutions 1/5 and 2/7 on chemicals and waste, and 2/8 on sustainable production and consumption, as adopted by the first and second sessions of the United Nations Environment Assembly (that was held in Nairobi, Kenya, on the June 27, 2014 and the May 27, 2016), are also considered as important policy instruments for many stakeholders, as they have paved the way for the transition towards the CE strategy.

These intergovernmental policy recommendations on sustainable consumption and production have led to increased regulatory pressures on business and industry towards controlled operations management and environmentally responsible practices.

Relevant theoretical underpinnings reported that the circular economy reduces the reliance on resource extraction and raw materials (Camilleri, 2018b; Camilleri, 2017; Cooper, 1999). Therefore, it restores any damage in resource acquisition by ensuring that little waste is generated throughout the production process and during the products’ life. Liu, Li, Zuo, Zhang, and Wang (2009) explained that the circular economy aims at minimising the generation of waste, as it involves environmental conservation. Similarly, Su, Heshmati, Geng, and Yu (2013) contended that the circular economy strategy involves efficiency‐oriented control systems at all stages of production, distribution, and consumption of materials. They made reference to energy efficiency and water conservation, land management, and soil protection, among other issues. Hence, the circular economy model can lead to resource and energy efficiencies as well as economic development.

In this light, the publisher is calling for theoretical and empirical contributions that are focused on the sustainable production and consumption of resources, materials and products. Therefore, the readers of this publication will be in a better position to understand the operations and strategies in manufacturing industries as well as in closed loop and product-service systems (Camilleri, 2018a). This special issue will include but is not limited to the following topics:

  • Alternative consumption patterns;
  • Assessment and Reporting;
  • Biomass;
  • Clean production;
  • Circular economy;
  • Circular economy business models;
  • Circular economy product designs;
  • Climate change;
  • Climate change policy and adaptation;
  • Closed loop systems;
  • Corporate social responsibility;
  • Corporate sustainability,
  • Eco-efficiency;
  • Eco-industrial parks;
  • Ecological management and natural capital;
  • Education for sustainability;
  • Emissions reduction;
  • Energy efficiency;
  • Energy policy;
  • Energy use and consumption;
  • Environmental assessment;
  • Environmental behavior;
  • Environmental economics;
  • Environmental management;
  • Environmental policy;
  • Environmental protection;
  • Environmental sustainability;
  • Extended producer responsibility;
  • Footprints and other assessment types;
  • Green/sustainable engineering;
  • Green/sustainable supply chains;
  • Industrial, agricultural and supply chains;
  • Industrial ecology;
  • Life cycle assessment;
  • Pollution reduction;
  • Product-service systems;
  • Recycling Resources;
  • Regional sustainability;
  • Renewable energy;
  • Renewable resource;
  • Resource and energy use;
  • Resource Efficiency;
  • Sustainable consumption;
  • Sustainable production;
  • Sustainable tourism;
  • Urban and regional sustainability;
  • Water conservation;
  • Waste management;
  • Waste minimization;

 

Submission Procedure

Academics and researchers are invited to submit a 300-word abstract before the 30th June 2020. Submissions should be sent to Mark.A.Camilleri@um.edu.mt. Authors will be notified about the editorial decision during July 2020. The accepted chapters should be submitted before the 31st December 2020. The length of the chapters should be around 7,000 words (including references, figures and tables). The references should be presented in APA style (Version 6). All submitted chapters will be critically reviewed on a double-blind review basis. All authors will be requested to serve as reviewers for this book. They will receive a notification of acceptance, rejection or suggested modifications –before the 25th February 2021.

 

Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for the publication of the book chapters. All abstracts / proposals should be submitted via the editor’s email.

 

Editor

Prof.  Dr. Mark Anthony Camilleri (Ph.D. Edinburgh)

Department of Corporate Communication,

Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences,

University of Malta, MALTA.

Email: mark.a.camilleri@um.edu.mt

 

Publisher

Following the double-blind peer review process, the full chapters will be submitted to Emerald for final review. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit https://www.emerald.com/insight/. This prospective publication will be released in 2021.

 

References

Agenda 21.1992. United Nations Conference on Environment & Development. Rio de Janerio, Brazil, 3 to 14 June 1992. United Nations Sustainable Development. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/Agenda21.pdf.

Camilleri, M. (2014). Advancing the sustainable tourism agenda through strategic CSR perspectives. Tourism Planning & Development11(1), 42-56.

Camilleri, M. A. (2017). Closing the Loop of the Circular Economy for Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility. In Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Environmental Management (pp. 175-190). Springer, Cham.

Camilleri, M. A. (2018a). The circular economy’s closed loop and product service systems for sustainable development: A review and appraisal. Sustainable Development27(3), 530-536.

Camilleri, M. A. (2018b). Closing the loop for resource efficiency, sustainable consumption and production: A critical review of the circular economy. International Journal of Sustainable Development.21(1-4), 1-17.

Cooper, T. (1999). Creating an economic infrastructure for sustainable product design. Journal of Sustainable Product Design8, 7– 17.

Liu, Q., Li, H. M., Zuo, X. L., Zhang, F. F., & Wang, L. (2009). A survey and analysis on public awareness and performance for promoting circular economy in China: A case study from Tianjin. Journal of Cleaner Production, 17, 265– 270. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2008.06.003

Su, B., Heshmati, A., Geng, Y., & Yu, X. (2013). A review of the circular economy in China: Moving from rhetoric to implementation. Journal of Cleaner Production42, 215– 227. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.11.020

UNCSD (2012). Future we want—Outcome document. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 27 July 2012. United Nations General Assembly. http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/66/288&Lang=E.

UNDP (2015). Transforming our world. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015 http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/migration/generalassembly/docs/globalcompact/A_RES_70_1_E.pdf.

WCED (1987). Our common future. In World commission on environment and development. Oxford, U.K: Oxford University press.

WSSD (2002). United Nations report of the world summit on sustainable development. Johannesburg, South Africa, 26 August‐ 4 September 2002. http://www.un‐documents.net/aconf199‐20.pdf.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Circular Economy, Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility, Stakeholder Engagement, Sustainability, sustainable development

Market Research – Whose job is it?

untitledWho should carry out the research is a very valid question. Do the marketing managers have the right skills and competences to do it themselves? Are they assigning an agency to do this job for them? These are basic considerations to take into account when addressing the captioned question.

Can the businesses dedicate sufficient time and resources to carry out the research themselves? The quality of the data to be collected during fieldwork may be threatened if the sponsor is identified as the surveyor. Marketing managers are expected to act in an assertive and vocal manner. They can sometimes encounter difficulties in adopting a neutral role, particularly when they are researching the market. However, it is important for managers to engage with customers. The research fieldwork would surely increase their understanding of the market in which they operate. It would also give them a better idea of what to expect from other researchers. It may be possible for the marketing managers to get involved in the fieldwork during the pilot stage of the questionnaire.

This will give them a greater appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of the questionnaire. Most businesses that are serious about customer-centric marketing will have dedicated market research departments; with at least some skilled and experienced members of staff, who would be capable of gathering and analysing data. For instance, airlines use their own staff to carry out day-to-day market research, including an ongoing flight survey analysis. However, airlines may occasionally recruit external  research consultants. External researchers will work in a more objective manner than internal researchers. They will also bring fresh ideas with them.

When external research is commissioned, the role of the airlines’ managers is to define the research problem. They are expected to specify to the researchers their objectives, and to clarify on the information required. It is crucial that they act on the research results after they have been carefully analysed and processed.

Preparing a Brief
The business that is commissioning research should consider a list of specialised agencies which may be appropriate for them. They should choose a reputable research organisation according to its capabilities and expertise. Once a research organisation is chosen, the business should provide a brief to the research organisation, which should include; the business and research objectives; suggestions on how market and consumer data can be collected; the type of research being envisioned (by clearly indicating what are the businesses expectations from this project); question areas to be covered during the research; a realistic time table; and a budget:

research brief

Some may argue that, by revealing to the agency that a large amount of money is available, there is a danger that they will find ways to spend the budgeted figures. It is advisable that the commissioning business will ask for quotes from several research agencies before committing itself with one of them.

The Research Agency’s Proposal
After the agency has been briefed, the agencies should then return a proposal to the business, by an agreed date. The proposal could include the following elements:

a) Statement of objectives: A statement of objectives should clearly reflect the list of objectives that were presented to them, in the brief;

b) Description of how the research will be done: This includes a description of the various research methods that will be used for data collection. They should give details on the sampling method. A breakdown of questionnaire content should be included, as should details on all the data analytical processes to be undertaken. That is, the coding of data and the statistical analysis of quantitative findings. Alternatively, they could explain how qualitative data will be analysed, et cetera. The agency should justify its decision for adopting specific methodologies;

c) Reporting: The proposal should highlight how the research findings will be presented. The proposal should give details on the presentation and tabulation of results.

d) Costs: The agency should also present a clear breakdown of the individual costs for the research project.

Implementation of the Research Plan
Once the management has defined the problem, delineated their research objectives and decided on what information they require, they should proceed to the next stage of the research process. They are expected to design the survey questionnaire and / or prepare a brief for their field interviews.

When the questionnaires have been constructed and tested, it’s time for them to start gathering the data. This entails engaging with a sample of respondents, and examining other research options. This process should be closely monitored (by the marketing manager or the research agency, as appropriate) to ensure that the collected data is valid, reliable and trustworthy.

This stage is the most expensive part of the data collection process, and the agency or the organisations’ management should continuously monitor how the research is being is carried out.

The members of staff who are gathering data have be objective whilst collecting their data, throughout the research fieldwork.

Data Analysis
Having collected the data, marketers must then interpret their findings. Interpretation is easier if the data analytical methods are carefully planned in the research process. The results of the collected data may be a large pile of completed survey questionnaires (if the researchers have used printed questionnaires). Alternatively, the researchers could have annotated their qualitative data in the form of transcripts. The way how the gathered data is analysed and presented is an influential factor of how valuable the research will be. Many research agencies are increasingly using computer software packages to statistically analyse their quantitative findings.

The researchers will draw their own conclusions in writing and may also use data tables. The statistical analyses usually focus on the results, and on what deviates from the variable being measured. These findings will be analysed and interpreted by the researchers, and presented to the respective marketing managers. It is important that they will be in a position to understand the main findings and the research implications.

Preparation and Presentation of a Research Report
The following section provides a useful guideline of what should be featured in a research report. The report will communicate the research findings and the implications of study to the decision makers. Key elements in the report are presented here:

1) Title Page (this area lists the title, client, research agency, date, et cetera);

2) List of Contents;

3) Preface;

4) Summary of the Findings or Conclusions (the summary of the main findings may be accompanied by recommendations);

Points 1-4 provide a concise report of the nature and outcome of the research programme.

5) Previous Related Research (This section indicates how previous knowledge may have a bearing on the research at hand);

6) Research Method (Procedures that are used to collect information; How was the research conducted? – How was the research carried out? – Who were the research participants? – What were the research techniques that were used in the analysis? – The characteristics and size of samples should also be recorded;

7) Results (It is important to provide clear, simple and a logical presentation of the research findings. The results are usually presented through paragraphs, tables and graphs);

8) Conclusions;

9) Appendices.

Points 5-9 provide the detailed evidence from which conclusions, implications and recommendation are derived.

Generally, a report seldom provides answers to all of the research questions under investigation. Thus, the research limitations will have to be pointed out in the report, along with reasonable explanations of the potential weaknesses of the research methodologies, sampling frames and analytical techniques that were employed in the study. Moreover, the research report will only be valuable to the commissioning business it the marketing managers would make a good use of its key findings and recommendations.

 


This is a excerpt from one of my latest chapters.

How to Cite: Camilleri, M. A. (2018). Understanding customer needs and wants. In Travel marketing, tourism economics and the airline product (pp. 29-50). Springer, Cham. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-49849-2_2

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Market Research, Marketing