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Utilising stakeholder theory for social marketing process evaluation in a food waste context

Samuel Hodgkins (Department of Marketing, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia)
Sharyn Rundle-Thiele (Department of Marketing, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia)
Kathy Knox (Department of Marketing, Griffith University Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Nathan, Australia)
Jeawon Kim (Griffith University, Nathan, Australia)

Journal of Social Marketing

ISSN: 2042-6763

Article publication date: 13 August 2019

Issue publication date: 20 August 2019




Calls for theoretically informed interventions and a more reflexive stance are apparent in social marketing. Moving from a “prove” to “improve” mentality requires evaluations that learn from experience gained to identify improvements to inform future programme success. This paper considers the value of inclusion of stakeholders in process evaluation.


Two participant groups (n = 90, n = 182) and one key stakeholder group (n = 22) were surveyed in person, over the phone and online. Open-ended qualitative responses were analysed for recurring themes.


Key stakeholders contribute unique and valuable insight into programme implementation and engagement, expanding evaluation beyond participant feedback. Most notably, the process evaluation illuminated the engagement insight of programme volunteers, mid-level expansion opportunities offered by participating chefs and the perceived value of involvement across all stakeholder groups.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited by a lack of systematic stakeholder identification and to a single context, namely food waste.

Practical implications

This paper affirms the importance of process evaluation and application of stakeholder theory to social marketing. These contributions suggest a widened focus for the widely accepted NSMC benchmark criteria which centre attention on the end users targeted for change. Stakeholders should be included in process evaluations given they contribute important and unique partnership insights.


This paper extends stakeholder theory use in social marketing providing showcasing potential for this approach to deliver a more reflexive stance.



Hodgkins, S., Rundle-Thiele, S., Knox, K. and Kim, J. (2019), "Utilising stakeholder theory for social marketing process evaluation in a food waste context", Journal of Social Marketing, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 270-287.



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