Consumer perceptions of sustainability as a product attribute

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This dissertation examines the construct of sustainability, its role as a product attribute, and the influence of situational factors on sustainable product decisions. While past research in sustainable behaviours has largely focused on measuring and identifying individual difference variables that will influence behaviours, this dissertation examines marketing controlled situational variables, such as product, promotion and signals of credibility, which may encourage greater engagement with sustainable initiatives, thus expanding the traditional focus on individual differences. In three essays that employ three different methods, this research contributes to sustainability and marketing literatures as it elucidates consumer perceptions of sustainability, highlights the influence of situational factors, and examines the effectiveness of persuasion techniques in highly skeptical consumer domains. Collectively the results support the argument that a one­dimensional environmental operationalization of sustainability may be underestimating the importance of the other dimensions in consumer perceptions. Additionally, the research supports the argument for the consideration of marketing-controlled situational variables in the study of sustainable consumer behaviours. The role of confidence is presented as means of countering consumer skepticism in the domain of sustainable products, and the moderating influence of skepticism on the persuasive effects of credibility signals is demonstrated.
Bibliography: p. 117-143
Includes copy of ethics approval. Original copy with original Partial Copyright Licence.
Simpson, B. J. (2012). Consumer perceptions of sustainability as a product attribute (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/5006