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Behavior and Marketing for Sustainability

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 53885

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas, Lithuania
Interests: behavioral changes; sustainable consumption; sustainability; marketing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Indus University, Karachi, Pakistan
Interests: behavioral changes; marketing; sustainable development; sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to invite you to contribute to SI “Behavior and Marketing for Sustainability” providing an arena for discussion on important topics like the application of behavioral theories such as the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), agency theory (AT), persuasive theory (PT), stimulus-response theory (SR), and theory of social power (TSP) for linking customer behavior with marketing efforts to achieve sustainable consumption targets, improve public health and environment.

The scope of this Special Issue covers the analysis of the main drivers of behavioral changes and the application of advanced marketing tools to promote sustainable consumption. The main focus of this Special Issue is the demonstration of the possibilities of application of SEM-based multivariate techniques for exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, and conditional process modeling to explore the direct and indirect relationships between exogenous, moderating, and endogenous variables. The main purpose of SI is to collect novel empirical and theoretical studies providing new insights into the application of behavioral theories for developing an efficient marketing strategy to promote sustainable consumption and sustainable lifestyles.

This Special Issue is in line with the current research in the area of sustainable consumption linked to behavioural science and the development of effective strategies and interventions aiming at reducing demand for unhealthy products and products that contribute most to GHG emissions, mainly targeting non-conscious processes and increasing public acceptability for policy changes to enable these interventions by targeting conscious processes.

References:

  1. Theresa M. Towards environmentally sustainable human behaviour: targeting non-conscious and conscious processes for effective and acceptable policies. Marteau Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2017 Jun 13; 375(2095): 20160371.
  2. Lorraine Whitmarsh, Stuart Capstick, Nicholas Nash, Who is reducing their material consumption and why? A cross-cultural analysis of dematerialization behaviours. Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2017 Jun 13; 375(2095): 20160376.
  3. Thøgersen J. 2014. Unsustainable consumption: basic causes and implications for policy.  Psychol. 19, 84–95. (10.1027/1016-9040/a000176)
  4. Ölander F, Thøgersen J. 2014. Informing versus nudging in environmental policy.  Consumer Pol. 37, 341–356. (10.1007/s10603-014-9256-2)
  5. Steg L, Lindenberg S, Keizer K. 2016. Intrinsic motivation, norms and environmental behaviour: the dynamics of overarching goals. Int. Rev. Environ. Resour. Econ. 9, 179–207. (10.1561/101.00000077)
  6. Lee, H.J. and Yun, Z.S. (2015) ‘Consumers’ perceptions of organic food attributes and cognitive and affective attitudes as determinants of their purchase intentions toward organic food?’ Food Quality and Preference,  39 No. 1, pp.259–267. 
  7. Ebeling F, Lotz S. 2015. Domestic uptake of green energy promoted by opt-out tariffs.  Clim. Change 5, 868–871. (10.1038/nclimate2681)
  8. Campbell-Arvai V. 2015. Food-related environmental beliefs and behaviours among university undergraduates: a mixed-methods study.  J. Sustainability Higher Educ. 16, 279–295. (10.1108/IJSHE-06-2013-0071)
  9. Grunert KG, Hieke S, Wills J. 2014. Sustainability labels on food products: consumer motivation, understanding and use. Food Policy 44, 177–189. (10.1016/j.foodpol.2013.12.001)
  10. Kurz T, Gardner B, Verplanken B, Abraham C. 2015. Habitual behaviors or patterns of practice? Explaining and changing repetitive climate-relevant actions. Wiley Interdisciplinary Rev. Clim. Change 6, 113–128. (10.1002/wcc.327)

Dr. Dalia Štreimikienė
Dr. Rizwan Raheem Ahmed
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • behavioral theories
  • marketing strategies, social marketing
  • behavioral changes
  • sustainable consumption
  • sustainable lifestyles
  • energy savings in households

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 7586 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of China’s Labeling and Incentive Programs for Household Energy Conservation and Policy Implications
by Zhuangai Li and Xia Cao
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1923; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041923 - 10 Feb 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2709
Abstract
With incomplete information about the potential benefits and costs of energy-using durables, households may be unwilling to invest in products that are more energy-efficient but also more expensive in purchase decisions. To deal with this problem, labeling policy has been developed to guide [...] Read more.
With incomplete information about the potential benefits and costs of energy-using durables, households may be unwilling to invest in products that are more energy-efficient but also more expensive in purchase decisions. To deal with this problem, labeling policy has been developed to guide customers’ energy consumption decisions by providing understandable information to evaluate the energy efficiency of products. Over the last 20 years, China has implemented a series of mandatory and voluntary energy labeling and incentive policies to reduce energy use and improve the energy efficiency of durable goods in dwellings. This study has employed empirical survey data from the Chinese General Social Survey to study the implementation effectiveness of these policies and explore demographic factors behind consumer investments in energy-saving durables by using the logistic regression model. Statistical results show that energy efficiency labeling, incentive programs, education levels, and regional differences of customers appear to be strong predictors for investing in energy-efficient air conditioners and washing machines. House size is a decisive factor in driving consumers to choose energy-saving air conditioners. In light of the above results, the study suggests improved policy for motivating consumers to purchase energy-efficient appliances in dwellings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behavior and Marketing for Sustainability)
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17 pages, 1402 KiB  
Article
The Marketization of Rural Collective Construction Land in Northeastern China: The Mechanism Exploration
by Hongbin Liu and Yuepeng Zhou
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010276 - 30 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2017
Abstract
The transfer of rural collective construction land into the market (RCCL marketization) is an important starting point for breaking the urban–rural dual system, realizing the sustainable use of land resources and promoting the integrated development of urban and rural areas in China. This [...] Read more.
The transfer of rural collective construction land into the market (RCCL marketization) is an important starting point for breaking the urban–rural dual system, realizing the sustainable use of land resources and promoting the integrated development of urban and rural areas in China. This study aims to explore the decision-making of rural households in the marketization of rural collective construction land (RCCL) by constructing a two-stage (cognition-decision) theoretical framework. Based on the household survey data collected from the pilot areas in the three northeastern provinces in China, the structural equation modelling (SEM) has been applied. The main findings are as follows: (1) the four types of exogenous latent variables, including information dissemination, management of collective economic organizations (CEOs), family characteristics, and household head characteristics, are intermediary by household cognition, which then positively affect households’ behavior and decision-making. (2) among the factors affecting household cognition, the management of CEOs exhibits the most significant impact, followed by information dissemination, family characteristics, and household head characteristics. (3) the measurable variables, including participation rights, whether there are collective operating assets, education level, and whether members have social insurance, have significant effects on the four exogenous latent variables. (4) the understanding of income distribution policy has the greatest positive impact on household cognition, while risk perception has the opposite effect, indicating an obvious “risk aversion” tendency for rural households. The findings imply that the government should improve the existing RCCL market entry system from the aspects of strengthening collective economic organization construction, land value-added income sharing mechanism, and clarifying rural land property rights, so as to reduce farmers’ decision-making risks and enhance value perception. Overall, the research presented here contributes to investigating the theoretical mechanism of household decision-making and providing empirical evidence on how to improve the marketization of rural collective construction land in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behavior and Marketing for Sustainability)
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25 pages, 915 KiB  
Article
Adoption of Energy-Efficient Home Appliances: Extending the Theory of Planned Behavior
by Muhammad Yaseen Bhutto, Xiaohui Liu, Yasir Ali Soomro, Myriam Ertz and Yasser Baeshen
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010250 - 29 Dec 2020
Cited by 60 | Viewed by 7454
Abstract
This research applies an extended theory of planned behavior (TPB) to empirically investigate consumers’ intentions in Pakistan to purchase energy-efficient appliances (EEAs). Most developing countries face energy crises. As a result, many countries consider EEAs to be part of the solution to energy-related [...] Read more.
This research applies an extended theory of planned behavior (TPB) to empirically investigate consumers’ intentions in Pakistan to purchase energy-efficient appliances (EEAs). Most developing countries face energy crises. As a result, many countries consider EEAs to be part of the solution to energy-related problems and teach sustainable consumption behavior to consumers. Previous studies have neglected developing countries in this context, yet developing markets have great potential for EEA adoption. To understand EEA adoption, we incorporated such variables as warm glow benefits, utilitarian environmental benefits, normative beliefs, and moral obligations as antecedents to TPB variables. The moderating effect of eco-literacy between attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control (PBC), and purchase intention toward EEAs are also examined. Data was gathered through a survey questionnaire from 673 Pakistani consumers to empirically test the proposed hypotheses. The results reveal that utilitarian environmental benefits and warm glow benefits significantly influence attitudes toward EEAs. The findings also show a positive effect of normative beliefs on subjective norms. The interaction effect of eco-literacy positively influences the relationship between attitude and purchase intention, with similar results for subjective norms and purchase intention. However, no significant moderating effect of eco-literacy is found between PBC and purchase intention. Furthermore, we performed multi-group analysis to explore significant group differences by utilizing socio-demographic variables such as gender, age, education, and income. The results show significant group differences, with females’ purchasing behavior, younger consumers, and educated consumers being more readily influenced. Finally, insights for policymakers, suggestions and future directions are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behavior and Marketing for Sustainability)
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22 pages, 1272 KiB  
Article
Cognitive, Affective and Conative Domains of Sustainable Consumption: Scale Development and Validation Using Confirmatory Composite Analysis
by Farzana Quoquab and Jihad Mohammad
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7784; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187784 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 8503
Abstract
This study aims to conceptualise, develop, purify and validate a multiple-item scale to measure a sustainable consumption (SC) construct from the perspective of developing countries, particularly Malaysia. Interview, a focus group and survey methods were used to collect qualitative and quantitative data from [...] Read more.
This study aims to conceptualise, develop, purify and validate a multiple-item scale to measure a sustainable consumption (SC) construct from the perspective of developing countries, particularly Malaysia. Interview, a focus group and survey methods were used to collect qualitative and quantitative data from respondents. Content Analysis, Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and Confirmatory Composite Analysis (CCA) using Partial Least Square (PLS) were used to explore and predict the data. The EFA output generated three dimensions with 21 items. The dimensions are cognitive SC, affective SC and a conative SC that reflects the notion of sustainable consumption. The result of the CCA confirmed the EFA result. Based on the reliability and validity check results, it is apparent that the scale demonstrates good psychometric properties. This is a pioneer study that developed a new scale to measure sustainable consumption behaviour in a non-Western context. In addition, this study conceptualised sustainable consumption behaviour as a multi-dimensional attitudinal construct determined by the cognitive, affective and conative aspects of the mind. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behavior and Marketing for Sustainability)
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18 pages, 399 KiB  
Article
Systematic Literature Review on Behavioral Barriers of Climate Change Mitigation in Households
by Gintare Stankuniene, Dalia Streimikiene and Grigorios L. Kyriakopoulos
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7369; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187369 - 08 Sep 2020
Cited by 45 | Viewed by 7175
Abstract
Achieving climate change mitigation goals requires the mobilization of all levels of society. The potential for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from households has not yet been fully realized. Given the complex climate change situation around the world, the importance of behavioral economic [...] Read more.
Achieving climate change mitigation goals requires the mobilization of all levels of society. The potential for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from households has not yet been fully realized. Given the complex climate change situation around the world, the importance of behavioral economic insights is already understood. Changing household behavior in mitigating climate change is seen as an inexpensive and rapid intervention measure. In this paper, we review barriers of changing household behavior and systematize policies and measures that could help to overcome these barriers. A systematic literature review provided in this paper allows to define future research pathways and could be important for policy-makers to develop measures to help households contribute to climate change mitigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behavior and Marketing for Sustainability)
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24 pages, 686 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Consumption Behavior at Home and in the Workplace: Avenues for Innovative Solutions
by Jūratė Banytė, Laura Šalčiuvienė, Aistė Dovalienė, Žaneta Piligrimienė and Włodzimierz Sroka
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6564; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166564 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 6038
Abstract
Companies which offer innovative solutions to aid the achievement of sustainable consumption behavior of individuals in home environment gain a competitive advantage. The study aims to uncover the relationship between the engagement in sustainable consumption and sustainable consumption behavior of individuals at home [...] Read more.
Companies which offer innovative solutions to aid the achievement of sustainable consumption behavior of individuals in home environment gain a competitive advantage. The study aims to uncover the relationship between the engagement in sustainable consumption and sustainable consumption behavior of individuals at home and in the workplace environments enabling companies to provide innovative solutions to advance sustainability management. This research holds that sustainable consumption behavior is a process and the focus of this study is use behavior. An online survey was employed to collect data from 407 respondents in the United Kingdom. Consumers working in both private and public sectors were surveyed. Data analysis suggests that one dimension of engagement in sustainable consumption, namely, Enthusiasm and Attention, mostly influences sustainable consumption behavior at home and in the workplace. Further, females feature higher sustainable consumption behavior at home and in the workplace most of the time in comparison to males. Also, there are age differences apropos sustainable consumption behavior at home and in the workplace. Social Learning Theory and Collaborative Consumption Theory are used to raise hypotheses and explain findings. The findings lead to practical implications for companies regarding engagement and sustainable consumption behavior in both environments in terms of incentives, green product and service innovation that may be offered to individuals to enhance sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behavior and Marketing for Sustainability)
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17 pages, 577 KiB  
Article
Linking Leaders’ Voluntary Workplace Green Behavior and Team Green Innovation: The Mediation Role of Team Green Efficacy
by Wenjing Cai, Chun Yang, Bart A. G. Bossink and Jingtao Fu
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3404; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083404 - 22 Apr 2020
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 3867
Abstract
Given the increasing significance of green innovation, scholars have identified environment-oriented leader behavior as a key antecedent of green innovation in firms. However, despite the fact that previous studies highlight all kinds of benefits of environment-oriented leaders’ voluntary workplace green behavior (VWGB) in [...] Read more.
Given the increasing significance of green innovation, scholars have identified environment-oriented leader behavior as a key antecedent of green innovation in firms. However, despite the fact that previous studies highlight all kinds of benefits of environment-oriented leaders’ voluntary workplace green behavior (VWGB) in and for firms, little is known about how these leaders’ VWGB could affect a firm team’s green product innovation as well as their process innovation. To narrow this research gap, this study theorizes and tests the effect of leaders’ VWGB on their team’s green innovation, as well as the mediation effect of team green efficacy belief on this relationship. Using a time-lagged research design, we collected data from 497 employees and 80 leaders in Chinese manufacturing firms. The results show that leaders’ VWGB directly affects both their team’s green product and process innovation, and facilitates the development of team green efficacy, which in turn stimulates team green innovation. This present study extends the multilevel phenomena by reinforcing the importance of leaders’ VWGB and team green efficacy on team-level green innovation, and provides practical implications on developing leadership for environmentally sustainable innovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behavior and Marketing for Sustainability)
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25 pages, 2039 KiB  
Article
Social and Behavioral Theories and Physician’s Prescription Behavior
by Rizwan Raheem Ahmed, Dalia Streimikiene, Josef Abrhám, Justas Streimikis and Jolita Vveinhardt
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3379; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083379 - 21 Apr 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 5563
Abstract
The efficacy, safety, and cost of medication are the major concerns for a patient; thus, this research addresses factors that influence the physician’s prescription behavior. The objective of the undertaken study is the empirical testing of a novel conceptual model that was newly [...] Read more.
The efficacy, safety, and cost of medication are the major concerns for a patient; thus, this research addresses factors that influence the physician’s prescription behavior. The objective of the undertaken study is the empirical testing of a novel conceptual model that was newly developed by the previous literature, which is based on behavioral and social theories. The considered model explains the association between marketing efforts, pharmacist factors, patient characteristics, and the physician’s decision to prescribe a drug. This unique model also includes the influence of cost and benefit ratio, drug characteristics, physician’s persistence, and trustworthiness as moderating variables. This model is useful for analyzing the prospects of marketing. We have collected 984 physicians’ responses from the urban centers of Pakistan through a structured questionnaire. We have used Structural equation modelling (SEM) based multivariate techniques such as exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, and conditional process modelling to explore the direct and indirect relationship amongst the exogenous, moderating, and endogenous variables. The findings of the study demonstrated that marketing efforts, patient’s characteristics, and pharmacist factors have a positive and significant influence on the physician’s decision to prescribe medicines. The moderation analysis exhibited the significant effect of drug characteristics, cost–benefit ratio, physician’s persistence, and trustworthiness in a relationship between exogenous and endogenous variables. The results of the undertaken study are helpful for the marketers of the pharmaceutical industry to save wasteful marketing expenditures for the product portfolios, and measured variables may help to make meaningful marketing strategies for the physician’s prescription that provide optimum Returns on Investment (ROI) of their investments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behavior and Marketing for Sustainability)
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19 pages, 724 KiB  
Article
Effects of Sustainable Brand Equity and Marketing Innovation on Market Performance in Hospitality Industry: Mediating Effects of Sustainable Competitive Advantage
by Ijaz Hussain, Shaohong Mu, Muhammad Mohiuddin, Rizwan Qaiser Danish and Shrafat Ali Sair
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2939; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072939 - 07 Apr 2020
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 9471
Abstract
This study examines the effects of sustainable marketing assets, such as brand equity and marketing innovation, on market performance in the presence of sustainable competitive advantage as a mediator in the hospitality industry. Data were collected from hotel/restaurant customers (N = 360) on [...] Read more.
This study examines the effects of sustainable marketing assets, such as brand equity and marketing innovation, on market performance in the presence of sustainable competitive advantage as a mediator in the hospitality industry. Data were collected from hotel/restaurant customers (N = 360) on a Likert scale from 1= strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree and analysis was conducted using the structural equation modeling (SEM) technique. The objective of this study is to understand the relationship among brand equity, marketing innovation, sustainable competitive advantage, and market performance in the hotel/restaurant industry. The results show that sustainable marketing assets have positive and significant effects on market performance. This study also demonstrates that sustainable competitive advantage fully mediates the relationship between brand equity and market performance while partially mediating the relationship between marketing innovation and market performance. The findings of this research can contribute to formulating effective marketing strategies for attracting customers, emphasizing sustainable issues in the hospitality sector, such as hotels/restaurants. This research adds practical value to the literature on brand equity, marketing innovation, sustainable competitive advantage, and market performance in the service industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behavior and Marketing for Sustainability)
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