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Port marketing as manifestation of sustainable marketing in a B2B context

Alexandre Lavissière (KEDGE Business School, CESIT, Marseilles, France)
Tibor Mandják (EM Normandie, Métis Laboratory, Le Havre, France)
Julian Hofmann (EM Normandie, Métis Laboratory, Le Havre, France)
Laurent Fedi (KEDGE Business School, CESIT, Marseilles, France)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 1 October 2019

Issue publication date: 18 March 2020




Previous literature dealing with sustainable marketing in a B2B context is mostly limited to spot measures on an environmental, economic or social layer. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to exemplify how seaports as powerful economic business networks can facilitate multi-layered sustainability.


The authors integrate multiple case studies to pursue an inductive research approach to derive general patterns based on empirical observations.


Operationalizing the concept of a port community enables the authors to show how seaports not only facilitate multi-layered sustainability but also mutually interact. Hence, port sustainability can be achieved through and by a port community.

Research limitations/implications

The conceptualization of the interplay between port community and multi-layered sustainability contributes to the business and industrial marketing literature in general and to the yet hitherto scarce port marketing literature in particular. Future research should go beyond this initial conceptualization by gathering further empirical research.

Practical implications

The study outlines how strengthening interactions among port management stakeholders (i.e. business and non-business actors such as port authorities and policymakers) might lead to higher economic success and societal welfare by pooling yet hitherto independent resources.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to define how the concept of a holistic port community can facilitate sustainability acted out on its three pillars and how both concepts interact.



Lavissière, A., Mandják, T., Hofmann, J. and Fedi, L. (2020), "Port marketing as manifestation of sustainable marketing in a B2B context", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 524-536.



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