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The treadmill of Production

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Come up with an example and describe the Treadmill of Production.

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Treadmill of Production

The term was coined by US sociologist Allan Schnaiberg. One of his interests of study is environmental sociology and his concept of 'treadmill of production' (ToP) arose from this. What it is is a theoretical model. It is an ambitious effort for some because in it, he tried to explain the expansion of environmental issues and problems in the modern times. Prof. Richard York of the University of Oregon (2006) explains:

"According to the ToP model, advances in technology, primarily induced by owners of the means of production seeking to increase profits, drive the expansion of production and consumption synergistically. This process leads to a cycle of production necessitating more production, because all sectors of society (the state, organized labor, and private capital) depend on continued economic growth to solve problems, such as unemployment generated by mechanization, which are created by growth itself. ToP theorists argue that environmental problems cannot be solved in such a system, since growth puts ever-increasing demands on the environment by ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides insight, information and guidance on the concept of 'treadmill of production' by sociologist Allan Schnaiberg. The discussion also provides examples. References are listed for further exploration of the topic. A word version is also attached.

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Develop a Research Proposal

In 1994, Eric Thornton founded Harley Health, Inc. (HHI) taking personal treadmills to an affordable level with professional gym-quality appeal. The mechanical technology in production has made the product more cost-efficient, but the equipment is still priced too high. Eric wants to figure out ways to pass the savings to the consumer.

HHI has two primary sales channels: marketing directly to the consumer and marketing through resellers. Due to its high price, Eric has only enjoyed limited success. Eric wants to recreate his 5-year strategy to take advantage of an expanding market.

As HHI's marketing manager, you have questions about current market size, growth potential, buying habits, distribution channels, and competition. You need to quickly sort fact from opinion, determine how to clearly define the market(s) for health and exercise equipment, and determine where these markets are heading so you can supply Eric with the information he needs to generate his revised strategy.

Clearly, Eric wants the company to grow, but how can this be accomplished? What are the possible alternative approaches, and which is best? What growth can be anticipated? What are the threats to growth? Remember that the ultimate decisions concerning how to grow constitute strategic planning. Your job at this point is to provide accurate and timely information to support that strategic planning process. To provide the answers you have to begin asking questions, gathering data, and developing information.


Deliverable Length: 8-15 slides with 150-200 words per slide notes for script

Details: Eric is very happy with your work and has asked you to go ahead and develop a marketing research proposal to determine if the company should pursue development of products for the consumer market. At this point you are not concerned with specific product features, just the feasibility of creating a position for HHI in the consumer exercise equipment market. Consider how much of the recently developed information will be applicable to this project, and what new information will be required.

Be sure to include how you will measure market demand to place HHI in a competitive advantage.

Objective: Develop a marketing research proposal.
Measure market demand and segment the market to achieve competitive advantage.
Analyze markets and describe buying behavior.

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