Sustainability and consumer behavior: Toward a cohered emergent theory
Existing research suggests that sustainable strategies of many corporate organizations are internally focused and aim to boost companies’ brand images, improve their competitive positions and to increase wealth for their shareholders. Such sustainable initiatives lack a genuine commitment to long-term green production, ecological integrity, human welfare and green buying behaviour. Yet, not many consumers have developed the mindset to buy green products even when companies strive hard to preserve sustainable standards through externally-focused initiatives to promote fair trade, ecological protection and social justice. While consumers’ demand for products can be analyzed and predicted through economic models, their green consumption behaviour is not always predictable and goes far beyond simple rational analysis. Some consumers even take sustainability matters less seriously due to complex and sometimes divisive sustainability discussions by world leaders. Models to address these sustainability issues are also limited. This chapter, therefore, uses the lens of cohered emergent theory to propose a corporate sustainability model that can promote pro-environmental practices and inspire firms to involve consumers actively in their sustainable development activities. It encourages consumers to become green buyers who consume goods and service responsibly and motivate firms to develop marketing campaigns that are eco-friendly and ethically acceptable to changing consumer behaviour. The chapter also motivates policymakers to introduce policies that can actively bring the ideas of corporate managers, the consuming public, and other environmental-friendly stakeholders together to develop adaptive production and consumption programmes that can promote economic benefits, eco-friendly environments and social justice.
Citation : Nyame-Asiamah, F. and Kawalek, P. (2021) Sustainability and consumer behavior: Toward a cohered emergent theory. In: Crowther, D. and Seifi, S. (Eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
ISBN : 9783030424657
Research Institute : Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI)
Peer Reviewed : Yes