Approved by Faculty Senate.

University Studies Specified Outcomes
Contemporary Citizenship

Marketing 100 – Marketing and Society

a. use critical thinking to analyze contemporary issues

Students are asked to critically consider basic principles of marketing systems and the social "dilemmas" that confront society as a result of actions taken by organizations that operate within market-driven economies. These dilemmas are comprised of the dual nature of a system that delivers benefits to the individual through competitive marketing actions that can collectively function to reduce social benefit and render individual harm, as well as improve a society’s standard of living. Through various exercises in critical thinking students are compelled to consider a more holistic perspective of marketing and logically follow the consequential nature of decision-making regarding product design, promotional strategies, pricing policies and selected systems of distribution.

b. demonstrate effective oral and/or written communication of ideas, informed opinions, and/or values

Effective oral and written communication is essential to a businessperson who wishes to defend their personal value system and persuade colleagues concerning ethical marketing actions. This course advances these skills by requiring students to write at least one "issue" paper that addresses a social dilemma that results from some form of marketing activity. This paper requires students to identify the relevant facts of a real-world case and defend a position. In addition, students are also required to compile research on an approved topic that engages a social issue. An oral summary of this research, complete with supporting material, comprises a significant amount of the student’s grade in the course.

c. identify, find and use tools of information science related to contemporary issues

The research projects in this course require students to engage information at several levels. First, students make use of contemporary media such as newspapers, news periodicals and television. These are the sources of current events that are relevant to the issues discussed in class and represent the key point of reference for an issue paper that is required of each student. The second source of information is obtained through a more formal research process that is required for a team research project. For this project, students may choose to either collect primary data through qualitative research methods (e.g., interviews, content analysis) or summarize a search of secondary data using electronic library (e.g., census data) and Internet tools (e.g., web sites for consumer groups).

d. demonstrate the ability to work effectively independently and/or in collaborative problem solving groups.

Students must work independently to develop competency in course material that is presented in lecture and through readings, as well as demonstrate their competency through exams. Further, individual initiative is required for students to identify a social issue topic and write an issue paper that addresses that topic. Regarding collaborative work, students are required to work in teams of two or three to complete a research project and present their findings in an oral presentation at the end of the term.

e. identify principles and applications of personal, civic, and/or economic responsibility; understand personal responsibility for lifestyle choices.

Great emphasis is placed on the conflicts that will face students in the multiplicity of roles that will be confronted with as business professionals. Acting as citizens, they represent society; as individuals they are responsible for themselves and their families; as corporate decision-makers they are answerable to employees and stockholders; and as marketers they will have a direct impact on consumers. These are the dilemmas that comprise the substance of this course and students are required to engage these various perspectives in course materials, class discussions, research projects and written assignments.


Marketing 100 – Marketing and Society cont’d

f. participate actively (e.g., class discussion, volunteerism, etc.) in issues significant to citizenship in contemporary society.

Participation is the point of this class. At a minimal level, students are graded on class participation. This not only includes being actively involved on a day to day basis but also involves a class debate over a social-marketing issue in which students are required to represent opposing views of a marketing action that has potential for negative consequences on society. Finally, real-world participation is formally encouraged as one class period at the end of the term is devoted to identifying non-traditional opportunities for marketing students in non-commercial sectors of society (e.g., Peace Corp, Green Peace, public information campaigns, etc.)



Marketing and Society



Office: Somsen 101A Office Hours:

Phone: 457-5506 (time, day)

Course Description:

* A University Studies Course in Contemporary Citizenship. The primary objective of this course is to acquaint you with marketing’s responsibility as a business function that spans organizational boundaries in order to serve consumers and organizations by advancing organizational goals while sustaining and improving social well being for consumers. We will focus on the dual responsibility and conflicts that organizational decision-makers have in representing corporate interests while maintaining an ethical integrity that conforms to society’s expectations.


Required Texts:

Marketing; by Assael, Dryden Press.

Ethical Decision-Making in Marketing; by Chonko, Sage Publications.

Optional Texts (selected readings on reserve in the library):

The Consumer Society; ed. Goodwin, Ackerman, Kiron, Island Press.

Consuming Desires; ed. Rosenblatt, Island Press.

Ethics in Marketing; by Smith & Quelch, Irwin Publishing.

Section I - Introduction to Marketing

Reading assignments in Marketing; by Assael, Dryden Press.

Topics: Introduction to Marketing - Chapter 1

Segmentation - Chapter 2

New Products & Product Line Management - Chapters 3 & 4

Distribution & Legal Restraints - Chapter 6

Promotion & Advertising - Chapter 8 & 9

Pricing - Chapter 10

Additional Selected Readings (see below)

Exam I – (Date)

Section II – Ethical Decision Making & Social Responsibility

Reading assignments in Ethical Decision-Making in Marketing; by Chonko.

Topics: Introduction to Ethics & Marketing - Chapter 1

Conflict in Decision-Making - Chapter 2

Ethics & Marketing Research – Chapter 6

Ethics & Product Decisions – Chapter 7

Ethics & Pricing – Chapter 8

Ethics & Advertising – Chapter 9

Ethics & Selling – Chapter 10

Film: The Ad and the Ego

Additional Selected Readings (see below)

Exam II – (Date)

Additional Selected Readings (examples)

The Consumer Society; ed. Goodwin, Ackerman, Kiron, Island Press.

(Work, Consumption, and the Joyless Consumer by Raymond Benton, Jr.)

Consuming Desires; ed. Rosenblatt, Island Press.

(One World of Consumers by William Greider)

Ethics in Marketing; by Smith & Quelch, Irwin Publishing.

(Children as Consumers: The Ethics of Children’s Television)



Each of the following is a learning-outcome goal on which you will be graded. These criteria are listed along with the means by which your performance in each of these areas will be assessed.

bulletThink critically in analyzing the issues presented throughout the course

1st Exams 2nd Research Projects 3rd Issue Paper 4th Class Participation

bulletDemonstrate effective oral/written communication of your ideas and informed opinions

1st Research Projects 2nd Issue Paper 3rd Class Participation

bulletIdentify, find and use tools of information related to your research

1st Research Projects 2nd Issue Paper

bulletDemonstrate an ability to work effectively as an individual and in a group context

1st Research Projects 2nd Issue Paper

bulletIdentify principles and applications of personal & civic responsibility and understand issues relevant to choosing a responsible lifestyle

1st Research Projects 2nd Issue Paper 3rd Class Participation

bulletIdentify opportunities to actively participate in issues relevant to this course

1st Research Projects 2nd Issue Paper 3rd Class Participation


Two exams consisting of multiple-choice questions will make up 50% of your grade. Each exam will be weighted equally.


Research Projects

You will work in teams of two and conduct a research project on an approved topic (see below) having to do with consumers, social issues in marketing or ethical decision making in marketing. You will present the results of this project during the last week of the term. This project will count toward 30% of your final grade.

There are two different approaches to research from which to choose. Details on these approaches will be provided in class.

Secondary Research involves:

    1. a review of some of the information compiled on this subject by others
    2. a summary of this information
    3. a personal interpretation and commentary on this information
    4. suggestions for future research

Qualitative Research involves:

    1. conducting interviews or a content analysis pertinent to the topic
    2. summarizing this information
    3. identifying patterns or themes
    4. suggestions for future research


Grading cont’d

Issue Paper

Working individually, you must write one "issue" paper during the course of the term that will make up 10% of your grade. This paper requires that you:

    1. identify a topic on ethical decision making and/or the impact of marketing on society (see below)
    2. identify an current article from a newsworthy source (e.g., Wall Street Journal, Business Week) that deals with or involves that topic
    3. write a two-page paper that summarizes the article and explicates the social or ethical issue

Class Participation

10% of your grade will depend upon your participation in class discussion and in particular your preparedness for team debate on an assigned case study concerning marketing & social issues.


Optional Final Exam (Date)

You may take a final cumulative exam covering all course material to replace an earlier exam score. There is no risk in taking this exam. That is, if you score lower than your other exams on the optional exam it will be disregarded. HOWEVER, if you missed an earlier exam the final optional exam will be used as a make-up exam (it will no longer be optional).

2 Exams 50%

Team Research 30%

Issue Paper 10%

Participation 10%



Approved Topic List (others w/ instructor approval)

Market research



Exclusionary segmentation


Persuasion & manipulation of perceptions

Persuasion & manipulation of social values

Deceptive Advertising

Advertising to vulnerable populations


Price fixing

Price gouging

Price discrimination


Anti-competitive actions


Unsafe products

Product proliferation



Marketing Department Policies:

In complying with Winona State University’s Academic Integrity Policy, the Marketing Department requires that students represent themselves and their work honestly. Violations of this policy, which include cheating, fabrication of information, multiple submissions and plagiarism, shall be sanctioned by the individual faculty member through the lowering of the student’s grade and/or failing them in the course. Serious or second violations may carry the additional sanction of dismissal from the Marketing Program. This policy is enforced in accordance with "due process" as set forth in the University Catalogue.

Marketing courses designated as "laptop required courses" require all enrolled students to either 1) lease a WSU laptop or, 2) provide their own laptop, meeting WSU’s minimum specifications and pay WSU’s technical support fee (see WSU’s Technical Support Center for laptop specifications and fees -

If a course is taken prior to the successful completion (C or better grade) of prerequisite courses, then successful completion of an additional marketing course will be required for graduation.