Using an experiential business game to stimulate sustainable thinking in marketing education

Ganaël Bascoul, Julien Schmitt, Dina Rasolofoarison, Laura Chamberlain, Nick Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent years have seen a significant increase in the importance of environmental protection and sustainability to consumers, policy makers, and society in general. Reflecting this, most organizations are at least aware of this new agenda and wish to be seen as taking steps to improve behaviors in this regard. However, there appears to be a gap between this evolving agenda and the comparatively low level of knowledge that marketing managers actually have of the environmental impact of their own functional decisions. We suggest that this low knowledge level may be due, in part, to the marketplace focus of foundational marketing educational programs, and we attempt to show how broadening the horizons of marketing courses can help students (i.e., future managers) more deeply understand the environmental consequences of their actions. We demonstrate the use of a novel business game, based on the Life Cycle Assessment method, as the foundational cornerstone for the development of a broad understanding of the environmental impact of marketing decisions and actions for the entire life cycle of a product—from raw material extraction to ultimate disposal. The results of an empirical study show that this approach increases students’ appreciation for, and understanding of, these fundamental environmental sustainability concepts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-180
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Marketing Education
Issue number2
Early online date24 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • sustainability
  • marketing education
  • serious game
  • experiential learning


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