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Journal of Marketing Management

For a Special Issue on

The ‘Home’ – working revolution: towards a sustainable marketing future

Manuscript deadline
16 October 2023

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Marylyn Carrigan, Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University, UK
[email protected]

Claudia E Henninger, Department of Materials, University of Manchester, UK
[email protected]

Carmela Bosangit, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University UK
[email protected]

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The ‘Home’ – working revolution: towards a sustainable marketing future

As homeworking becomes increasingly embedded in society (Felstead & Reuschke, 2021), we need a progressive research agenda to investigate how homeworking has developed in terms of challenges and opportunities, and what the future of homeworking looks like for marketing and consumer theory, policy, and practice. To ensure we attract an inclusive and creative spectrum of submissions for this special issue, we take a broad definition of ‘homeworking.’ We consider homeworking to be an activity that takes place in the home, for which you receive payment or other value (social, environmental, technological) exchange.

With the past few years of global flux, we have seen an increase in ‘home’ working, not only in the sense of producing and consuming locally (Davies et al., 2020; Gordon-Wilson, 2022) but also in the literal meaning of working from home (Moretti et al., 2020). COVID-19 restrictions proved a catalyst for the growth in home-based, online sustainable businesses marketing everything from fruit and vegetables to craft beer (Kessari et al., 2020; Mac an Bhaird et al., 2019). According to Baruch and Nicholson (1997) homeworking in the past has been restricted to certain professions (e.g., those that are associated with crafts), which has seen various social sustainability implications; working from home can imply working long hours, involving multiple members (including children) in the work, which can violate labour laws, and/or working in unsafe conditions (Basso et al., 2022). Yet homeworking, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic is evolving, as homeworking was made possible for more products, services and professions, and individuals have created entrepreneurial ventures that allow them to work flexible hours within the comfort of their homes and own schedules. Acknowledging that some homeworking emerged from necessity due to pandemic closures and lost incomes, homeworking offers marketing opportunities and pathways for new and existing skills and pastimes (Bell et al., 2018). It also presents potential downshifting and simplifier opportunities (Schor, 1998; Suddaby, 2019), and new creative possibilities (Bridgens, 2018; Wilson, 2016), as well as savings and responses to austerity. But we must also recognise that homeworking poses potential negatives (e.g., isolation, unsustainable habits and widening gender inequality) (Delaney et al., 2018; Oakman et al., 2020).

Homebased and community-level circularity is thriving (Hu et al., 2019; Ritch, 2019). Sustainability has stirred debate since the 1980s, with the Brundtland Commissions outlining its imperative of meeting current and future generations’ needs. Since then, the debate has moved, focusing increasingly on circularity and ensuring regenerative systems (Lloveras et al., 2022). Regenerative systems seek to consciously design products/services that can be re-looped and thus, stay within use for longer. When it comes to clothing, organisations such as ACS Clothing’s Circular Fashion hub and retailer Selfridges commitment to a business model embedding refill, repair, resale, and rental are taking circularity mainstream. ‘Slow threads’ activities rooted in traditional home-based behaviours and skills such as swapping, mending, upcycling and buying second hand are gaining traction alongside sharing and renting. Post COVID-19 the ‘Made in’ movement has re-emerged, by developing more localised (global) business models, such as Fibreshed, dedicated to grow raw materials for local fashion production, or greenhouses that distribute locally grown food nationally.

The special issue seeks inclusive discussions and debates surrounding homeworking, shared perspectives and experiences, and exploration of possible similarities and/or differences across different sectors and communities.

List of sample themes

We welcome conceptual, methodological, and empirical contributions (qualitative or quantitative) grounded in a range of perspectives that offer insights into the central theme of this Special Issue. These might include, but are not limited to the following topics:

  • Does homeworking drive alternative business models? The transformative potential of homeworking for different sectors.
  • The sustainability of homeworking from consumer, employee, and marketer perspectives? What are the opportunities and challenges?
  • Is home working greener? Exploring debates around less travel, higher energy use; decreasing use of greener office space; greater rural production and consumption with more unsustainable transport and supply chains.
  • Has home working encouraged more sustainable everyday consumption (e.g. less food waste more home cooking, recycling, water and energy use)?
  • The relationship between technology, digital marketing innovation and home working?
  • What co-creative role do consumers play in homeworking? Consumer attitudes, responses and expectations for home-based products and services.
  • Can homeworking contribute to more inclusive, fair and equitable marketplaces? Does homeworking improve well-being?
  • Motivations, barriers, risks, and opportunities for homeworking considering circular approaches.
  • What is the future of homeworking? How will homeworking impact future marketing and consumer behaviour?
  • To what extent can co-homing, ‘work from pub’ packages, and shared home work space support marketers?
  • How do local supply chains enable home working? Does home working support or favour local supply chains?
  • Is there a dark side to home working? Structural forces and practices that delimit home working. Does home working support or exploit marketing employees?
  • To what extent can home based slow threads activities such as swapping, mending, and upcycling foster sustainable marketing and consumption?
  • What are the marketing implications of homeworking within an ever-changing environment, coined by uncertainties (e.g., austerity; climate change)?

Submission Instructions

Authors should submit manuscripts of between 8,000–10,000 words (excluding tables, references, captions, footnotes and endnotes). All submissions must strictly follow the guidelines for the Journal of Marketing Management. Manuscripts should be submitted online using the Journal of Marketing Management ScholarOne Manuscripts site. New users should first create an account. Once a user is logged onto the site submissions should be made via the Author Centre. Authors should prepare and upload two versions of their manuscript. One should be a complete text, while in the second all document information identifying the author should be removed from the files to allow them to be sent anonymously to referees. When uploading files authors will then be able to define the non-anonymous version as “Complete paper with author details”, and the anonymous version as “Main document minus author information”. To submit your manuscript to the Special Issue choose “Special Issue Article” from the Manuscript Type list when you come to submit your paper. Also, when you come to the ‘Details and Comments’ page, answer ‘yes’ to the question ‘Is this manuscript a candidate for a special issue’ and select the Special Issue Title of Home Working Revolution in the text field provided.

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