The latest special Issue of Journal of Social Marketing is dedicated to a critique of social marketing’s approaches to address social change agendas. The articles published in this issue provoke us to explore the role and power of social marketing in addressing complex social problems and the multiplicity of stakeholders. Hoek (2017) provides a timely reflection on the role that corporations can play in public health and some of the dilemmas of corporate involvement in pursuing social good. Polonsky (2017) joins this conversation with a commentary on the power of corporations to drive social change. Wymer (2017) presents a theoretical model for developing social marketing strategies and tactics that account for industry involvement. Thompson and colleagues (2017) contribute an empirical study on the macro-level influences on implementation of alcohol management strategies in sports clubs.

The issue also dedicates space to work investigating novel theoretical approaches in social marketing. French et al (2017) expand the theoretical discussions and understanding of value co-creation in social marketing at the meso level by examining the role of for-profits. Using the Iceland’s financial crisis case, Duffy et al (2017) reflect on how social mechanism theory can help social marketers and policy makers overcome complexity and achieve social transformation. Domegan and colleagues (2017) bring another perspective on complexity with a paper examining the potential contribution of non-linear causal modelling knowledge to understanding wicked problems in social marketing.


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