February 12, 2013, by ICCSR

Should we be using carrots rather than sticks?

You’ve probably heard about flashmobs, but have you heard about carrotmobs? I came across this article in the Financial Times last week (FT 31st Jan, Activists trade stick for carrotmob by Amy Tsang), which raised some interesting questions. A carrotmob is described as a group of consumers coming together to buy a company’s product in order to persuade it to become more sustainable – using the proverbial carrot rather than stick:

It reminded me of the fact innovation and entrepreneurship are not just privy to the private sector, but may be changing the game for social movements and activists groups as well. Interesting to note that the group of people who came up with the idea back in 2008 felt they had to set up a central organisation to coordinate carrot mobs around the world (you can read about their history on https://carrotmob.org) – compared to say the Occupy Movement, which seems to be using much more decentralised organisation methods. The other big difference is of course their willingness to work with, rather than against, business, including a partnership with Unilever. So, does this mean the end of consumer boycotts….?

By Dr Rieneke Slager, Lecturer in Strategy and Sustainability at Nottingham University Business School.

Image byKanu Hawaii, reproduced under Creative Commons License CC-BY-2.0  Source:http://www.flickr.com/photos/kanuhawaii/6501136559/sizes/l/

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