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Factors influencing green consumption

The moderating effect of market maturity

Written by U. Paramzina, A. Babazade

Paper category

Master Thesis


Business Administration>Marketing & Sales




Thesis: Factors affecting green consumption In the current paper prices, perceived consumer effectiveness, brand image, product availability, knowledge and quality have been identified as important variables that affect green consumption. The selected factor is the most interesting factor in the scientific community. It is taken from the article "Factors Affecting Green Purchasing Behavior and Future Research Directions" by Joshi and Rahman (2015), in which the author conducted 53 empirical articles on green consumption between 2000 Review and 2014. The author claims that the article proposes “key structures that can be regarded as independent variables in future research to investigate their impact on green purchases (dependent variables)” (Joshi and Rahman, 2015, p. 139). Price is considered an important economic factor, which determines the relationship between products and consumers to a large extent. According to economic theory, under other conditions being equal, price increases will lead to a decrease in demand for products (McConnell et al., 2009). As far as green buying behavior is concerned, the rule may still be effective. Connell (2010) believes that the price of environmentally friendly products is often higher than that of traditional products, which makes consumers unable to afford environmentally friendly products. According to the social dilemma theory, consumers' desire to maximize their personal interests conflicts with their support for society, and consumers face social dilemmas (Dawes 1980; Hardin 1968). Therefore, as the price of environmentally friendly products tends to be higher, purchasing green products has brought social difficulties to customers. Analyzing social dilemmas from the perspective of green consumption​​ Lynn and Oldenquist (1986), Osterhus (1997) reported that among other factors affecting green consumer behavior, economic costs have the greatest impact. It is worth mentioning that the economic costs associated with green consumption not only include the price paid for green products, but scholars believe that product prices are the main influencing factor. The theory holds that for consumers to make green consumption, the perceived ratio of benefits to costs related to green products must be higher than that of non-green products (Geller, 1992). Therefore, when green products are much more expensive than traditional products, higher prices are likely to have a negative impact on green purchasing decisions and hinder green consumption (Gleim et al., 2013). When prices seem to be high, consumers may consider factors other than prices to choose products, and therefore may make trade-offs; however, scholars have expressed reluctance to pay more for green products (D’Souza et al., 2007). Perceived consumer effectiveness is considered to be one of the most important factors affecting green consumption (Straughan and Roberts, 1999). There are different ways to define perceived consumer effectiveness. Earlier, it was conceptualized as “a measure of how effective individuals think they can reduce pollution” (Webster, 1975, p. 189). Kim (2011) claimed that PCE is an attitude measure that can directly predict consumers' environmental awareness behavior. Since then, Weiner and Doscher (1991) and Berger and Corbin (1992) pointed out in their research that the possibility of consumers performing ecologically conscious behavior depends on the level of their perceived effectiveness. This means that consumers with higher PCE levels may be more environmentally conscious than consumers with lower PCE levels. However, recent studies have extended this approach to PCE and have shown that attitudes and PCE may not be directly related. For example, a consumer may be concerned about environmental issues, but at the same time they are convinced that only the government and enterprises can have a positive impact on the results of environmental issues, so they ignore environmentally friendly consumption. Therefore, such consumers have a high degree of attention, but their PCE level is low (Hanss et al., 2016). On the contrary, others may be very concerned about sustainable development and firmly believe that with the efforts of businesses and governments, consumer actions may also help protect the environment. Therefore, these people have high attention and high PCE scores (Berger and Corbin, 1992). It should also be emphasized that PCE can be processed from general and specific dimensions (Hanss et al., 2016). The latter refers to specific behaviors, which may imply, for example, buying products sold by socially responsible companies or saving energy to help solve natural resource problems, while the former refers to general green behaviors of consumers (ibid.). Based on the above method, it needs to be emphasized that the term PCE combines the subjective estimation of a person's ability to influence a person and the individual's objective ability to have a positive impact on the environment. It plays an important role in explaining consumers' participation in sustainable development. Graham et al. (2013) claimed that there is a positive correlation between green product purchasing behavior and perceived consumer effectiveness. Therefore, green consumption is likely to be positively affected by consumers' perceived effectiveness. Read Less