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Re‐examining green purchase behaviour and the green consumer profile: new evidences

Gary Akehurst (Department of Management, University of Winchester, Winchester, UK)
Carolina Afonso (Department of Management, Technical University of Lisbon, ISEG, Lisbon, Portugal)
Helena Martins Gonçalves (Department of Management, Technical University of Lisbon, ISEG, Lisbon, Portugal)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 25 May 2012




This paper aims to re‐examine the determinants of ecologically conscious consumer behaviour (ECCB) by analysing the green consumer profile (socio‐demographic and psychographic variables), building on the work of Straughan and Roberts. Moreover, the study explores the determinants of effective green purchase behaviour (GPB) considering ECCB and green purchase intention (GPI) previously evaluated.


The authors conducted a quantitative study based on an online survey. Data collection was implemented in two different phases: in the first phase ECCB, GPI and profiling variables were measured. One month later, the same respondents evaluated their effective GPB. Through path analysis the effects of ECCB and GPI on GPB were measured.


The results show that psychographic variables, with emphasis on perceived consumer effectiveness (PCE) and altruism, are more relevant than socio‐demographics in explaining ECCB. The consumers with higher ECCB have shown higher green purchase intention (GPI). ECCB has a positive impact on GBP, higher than GPI, which in turn mediates that relationship.

Research limitations/implications

The research results may lack generalizability. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to test the proposed propositions further.

Practical implications

The paper provides evidence that whenever ecological consciousness is high, the gap between GPI and GPB is less evident, which provides clear evidence that an understanding of green consumer profiles and behaviour can enable organizations to respond better to new management challenges.


This paper provides a comprehensive understanding about the green consumer profile and behaviour, including the effect of GPI on GPB, and which contribute to the coordination of future marketing strategies to target this segment.



Akehurst, G., Afonso, C. and Martins Gonçalves, H. (2012), "Re‐examining green purchase behaviour and the green consumer profile: new evidences", Management Decision, Vol. 50 No. 5, pp. 972-988.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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