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Using system dynamics modeling to evaluate a community-based social marketing framework: A computer simulation study

Brian Joseph Biroscak (Department of Emergency Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA)
Carol Bryant (Department of Community and Family Health, University of South Florida College of Public Health, Tampa, Florida, USA)
Mahmooda Khaliq (Department of Community and Family Health, University of South Florida College of Public Health, Tampa, Florida, USA)
Tali Schneider (Florida Prevention Research Center, University of South Florida College of Public Health, Tampa, Florida, USA)
Anthony Dominic Panzera (Office of Policy Support, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC, USA)
Anita Courtney (University of Kentucky College of Public Health, Lexington, Kentucky, USA)
Claudia Parvanta (Department of Community and Family Health, University of South Florida College of Public Health, Tampa, Florida, USA)
Peter Hovmand (Social System Design Lab, Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, USA)

Journal of Social Marketing

ISSN: 2042-6763

Article publication date: 17 December 2018

Issue publication date: 12 March 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Community coalitions are an important part of the public milieu and subject to similar external pressures as other publicly funded organizations – including changes in required strategic orientation. Many US government agencies that fund efforts such as community-based social marketing initiatives have shifted their funding agenda from program development to policy development. The Florida Prevention Research Center at the University of South Florida (Tampa, Florida, USA) created community-based prevention marketing (CBPM) for policy development framework to teach community coalitions how to apply social marketing to policy development. This paper aims to explicate the framework’s theory of change.

Design/methodology/approach

The research question was: “How does implementing the CBPM for Policy Development framework improve coalition performance over time?” The authors implemented a case study design, with the “case” being a normative community coalition. The study adhered to a well-developed series of steps for system dynamics modeling.

Findings

Results from computer model simulations show that gains in community coalition performance depend on a coalition’s initial culture and initial efficiency, and that only the most efficient coalitions’ performance might improve from implementing the CBPM framework.

Originality/value

Practical implications for CBPM’s developers and users are discussed, namely, the importance of managing the early expectations of academic-community partnerships seeking to shift their orientation from downstream (e.g. program development) to upstream social marketing strategies (e.g. policy change).

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This journal article is a product of a Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research Center supported by Cooperative Agreement Number U48-DP005024-04 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings and conclusions in this journal article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The authors would like to thank the membership of the Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, for help in both providing and interpreting evaluation data for the simulation study. The authors would also like to thank Professors Julie Baldwin, Anand Kumar and Robert Marshall for their critical review of previous versions of this manuscript.

Citation

Biroscak, B.J., Bryant, C., Khaliq, M., Schneider, T., Panzera, A.D., Courtney, A., Parvanta, C. and Hovmand, P. (2019), "Using system dynamics modeling to evaluate a community-based social marketing framework: A computer simulation study", Journal of Social Marketing, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 53-76. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSOCM-01-2018-0014

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited