The Art of War in manufacturing consumer consent

Y.T. McIntyre‐Bhatty (Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK)
D. Parker (Newport School of Art, Media and Design, University of Wales, Newport, UK and School of Mass Communication, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China)

Chinese Management Studies

ISSN: 1750-614X

Publication date: 22 November 2011



The purpose of this paper is to use principles from Tzu's The Art of War to develop a conceptual framework for the exploration of brand persuasion and the manufacturing of consumer consent and consumption.


The conceptual framework is based upon formal theoretical links between Tzu's concept of engagement and the political economic aspects of Herman and Chomsky with regard to manufacturing consent and consumption engineering via use of the mass media.


Within the framework the consumer is simultaneously the enemy, the manipulated target for consumption engineering and the protected people in the sales “war”. The business culture and ethical considerations of such a position are examined and hence the paper offers a novel insight into how theoretical concepts link political, social and commercial paradigms in order to gain an insight into market interventions, consumption engineering and marketing leverage.


The paper contributes to the body of knowledge examining the relationship between Chinese and Western theoretical concepts whilst providing insight for executives seeking to leverage marketing strategy.



McIntyre‐Bhatty, Y. and Parker, D. (2011), "The Art of War in manufacturing consumer consent", Chinese Management Studies, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 450-459.

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