Faculty Insights

Spring 2014


Marketing and the Common Good can be looked at in two ways: 1) a collection of essays that presents a broad scope of interests on the topic of marketing’s impact on society, from ethical challenges of marketing to China, to gun sales, to advertising to children; 2) the collective thought leadership of an entire marketing department faculty on a topic central to the mission of Mendoza—business as a force for good. Co-editor and Marketing Professor Patrick E. Murphy says the idea for the book grew out of the 2011 Notre Dame Forum: The Global Marketplace and the Common Good, where about half of the 19 articles were presented. From there, a department-wide book seemed not only like a natural progression, but a great opportunity to explore marketing’s larger societal role.


A new book by Rev. Oliver F. Williams, C.S.C, presents the case for business not only as a significant force in raising living standards, but actually bringing about world peace. Williams is an associate professor of management and the director of the College’s Center for Ethics and Religious Values in Business. His book, Corporate Social Responsibility: The Role of Business in Sustainable Development (Routledge, November 2013) is a comprehensive exploration of the themes surrounding what has become known popularly as CSR, a reference to corporations’ efforts to address societal and environmental needs as part of their core operations. The book argues that a wide-ranging understanding of the purpose of business is necessary to create value for a community of stakeholders, which in turn can generate a sustainable future.


Steve Jobs’ true genius wasn’t just that he understood the potential of the personal computer, says Brett T. Robinson, visiting marketing professor. It was his “visionary use of media to explain technology to a hungry culture” that eventually developed Apple into something more akin to a religion than a tech company. In Appletopia, Robinson reconstructs Jobs’ imagination for digital innovation in transcendent terms, revealing Jobs’ uncanny ability to integrate philosophical and religious thought with technological genius, laying the groundwork for Apple’s ubiquity today.


Resurgence: The Four Stages of Market-Focused Reinvention argues that companies facing downswings in growth aren’t necessarily doomed; in fact, the situation might present opportunities to reinvent themselves. John Sherry, Raymond W. & Kenneth G. Herrick Professor of Marketing and Department Chair, and co-authors Gregory S. Carpenter and Gary F. Gebhardt, examined seven case studies of successful growth companies facing challenges of changing markets, new competitors or shifts in customer demand. Each subsequently initiated a wholesale change effort with varying results. Based on these studies, the authors identify a four-phased path of market-focused reinvention that can serve as a practical guide for business leaders seeking to bring a company back to life.