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How national cultural values affect pro‐environmental consumer behavior

Katja Soyez (Faculty of Business and Economics, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 26 October 2012

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to link national cultural values to personal pro‐environmental value orientations, in order to investigate why the salience of pro‐environmental value orientations differs cross‐culturally. A value‐based model is proposed and tested in a multinational study.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical investigation of 1,096 consumers was conducted in five nations with a different cultural profile on the two cultural dimensions in‐group collectivism and assertiveness. The paper applies multi‐group structural equation modelling to test the moderating effect of culture on the impact of pro‐environmental values on attitudes and subjective norms.

Findings

The study reveals that the influence of a pro‐environmental value orientation differs substantially, according to national cultural values. While an ecocentric value orientation is important in the US, Canadian, German, and Australian samples which hold individualistic values, an anthropocentric value orientation is salient in the Russian sample, characterized by collectivistic values. The hypothesized influence of the national cultural value assertiveness, however, could not be established decisively.

Research limitations/implications

First, the present study considers culture as a national value on an aggregated level. Future studies should take into account cultural values at different levels of aggregation. Second, since only one collectivistic society is the object of the investigation, the results are limited in terms of generalizability.

Practical implications

In order to address the ecocentric value orientation in the analyzed individualistic societies, marketers should emphasize benefits for the environment in the USA, Canada, Australia, and Germany. By contrast, the positive consequences for humankind in general and future generations should be stressed in the collectivistic Russian sample.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature by integrating both individual and national perspectives on the value‐based drivers of environmental concern. The study also provides insight into pro‐environmental consumer behavior in an emerging market (namely Russia), which has so far been neglected in cross‐cultural research.

Keywords

Citation

Soyez, K. (2012), "How national cultural values affect pro‐environmental consumer behavior", International Marketing Review, Vol. 29 No. 6, pp. 623-646. https://doi.org/10.1108/02651331211277973

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited