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The relationship of internal, social and external determinants towards the green purchase intention of German Generation Y for fast moving consumer goods

Written by S. Bouwmann, I. Schnieder

Paper category

Master Thesis


Business Administration>General




Master Thesis: Generation Y Since this study investigated the factors that affect the green purchase intention of Generation Y in the target group, it is necessary to clarify the concept of Generation Y and determine the overall characteristics of this generation and the characteristics of green consumers. The concept of “generation” can be dealt with from different angles from the perspective of family, demographics, history or sociology (Urbain, Gonzales & Gall-Ely, 2013; Foster, 2013), which makes it difficult for scholars to determine one A unified definition, explained by Foster (2013). However, according to Urbain et al., in marketing research, the term "generation" is mainly studied from a sociological perspective. (2013) and Kotler, Armstrong, Wong, and Saunders (2008), which is why this view serves as the basis for the understanding of “generations” in this research paper. Mannheim added (quoted from Benkendorff, Moscardo, and Pendergast, 2011) that the sociological approach is that people born within a certain time span share similar experiences with certain social and historical events that occur during the formation of their lives. (Mangelsdorf, 2015). According to Ingelhart (quoted from Egri & Ralston, 2004), a generation of people has thus formed a social subculture with its own values. Parment (2011) supports this view, adding that their shared experience has also shaped The behavior of this generation. 2.1.1 Features Regarding Generation Y—also known as Millennials or Echo Waves (Din et al., 2016)—there is no established range of birth years in academic literature (Mangelsdorf, 2015). Scholars describe birth years such as 1980-1990 (Parment, 2009), 1977-1994 (Sullivan & Heitmeyer, 2008) or 1981-1995 (Bund, 2014). For this study, Mangelsdorf (2015) determined the birth year range from 1980 to 1995, because this period refers to the background of Generation Y in Germany. According to this range, there are currently approximately 17.2 million Germans, equivalent to 21% of the total population of Germany (Federal Statistics Office, 2015). During their growth stage, the German Y generation experienced global warming, environmental pollution and fanatical threats of terrorism. Mangelsdorf (2015) explained and further concluded that such incidents led to an attitude that is unknown in the future. You can fully enjoy your current life and hope to improve the world at the same time. Bund (2014), Hurrellmann and Albrecht (2014) and Urbain et al. (2013) shared this view by naming the 9/11 terrorist attacks as a formative event, but further emphasized that globalization and technological innovation have also shaped this generation. 2.4 Internal and social determinants of green purchase intentions For the purpose of this article, the researchers applied the theory of planned behavior (TPB) because of its high frequency of application in similar social science fields (such as advertising) (Delafrooz & Zanjankhah, 2015; Chu, Chen & Sung, 2016) and its applicability of proof of consumers' intentions, attitudes and purchasing behaviors towards green products (Anvar & Venter, 2014; Paul, Modi & Patel, 2016; Mohd Suki, 2016; Kanchanapibul et al., 2014; Synodinos, 2014; Din et al., 2016; Liobikienė et al., 2017. In addition, Ajzen (2002), Pavlou and Fygenson (2006) and Sniehotta, Presseau and Araújo-Soares (2014) claimed that Theory is the most influential framework for studying human behavior and intentions. According to Ajzen (2002), TPB is an extension of Ajzen and Fishbein’s Theory of Inferential Behavior (TRA) and describes a theoretical cal method rooted in explaining human society The field of psychology of behavior. Therefore, TPB means that human behavior is derived from behavioral intentions. Therefore, behavioral intentions, subjective/social norms, and perceived behavior control are three independent variables that shape behavioral intentions. Synodinos (2014) explains. Therefore, these Combined, behavioral intentions are produced, and the latter is assumed to be the immediate cause of actual behavior (Ajzen, 2002). As Vermeir and Verbeke (2008) explain, attitudes toward behavior describe an individual’s unfavorable or favorable The way to judge and evaluate the degree of one's own behavior, while social or subjective norms describe the perceived social forces (external pressure from the individual). Refer to the group and/or peers) to perform a certain behavior (Ajzen, 2002). Liobikiene et al. (2016) agreed and further added that subjective norms describe the degree of an individual's moral responsibility to society and future generations. Synodinos (2014) explained that, on the other hand, perceived behavioral control indicates how easy or difficult a person thinks to perform a behavior. Therefore, Ajzen (2002) pointed out more specifically that given that individuals have a sufficient level of actual control over their individual behavior, people may execute their intentions when opportunities arise. In short, TPB helps researchers investigate the influence of internal determinants and the influence of people's social environment on green purchase intentions. However, TPB has received some criticisms in the academic literature (Ramayah et al., 2010; Carrington, Neville & Whitwell, 2010; Sniehotta et al., 2014; Chen & Hung, 2016), mainly referring to the “intention-behavior gap” (Carrington et al. al., 2010). Read Less