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Digital technology-enabled transformative consumer responsibilisation: a case study

Shalini ( Indian Institute of Management Calcutta , Kolkata, India and S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai, India)
Bhupesh Manoharan (Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Kolkata, India and Masters Union School of Business , Gurugram, India)
Rishikesan Parthiban ( Indian Institute of Management Calcutta , Kolkata, India and S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai, India)
Israr Qureshi (Research School of Management, Australian National University , Canberra, Australia)
Babita Bhatt (Research School of Management, Australian National University , Canberra, Australia)
Krishanu Rakshit ( Indian Institute of Management Calcutta , Kolkata, India)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 26 January 2021

Issue publication date: 20 September 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how a socio-digital platform can facilitate consumer responsibilisation in food consumption to encourage sustained responsible consumption and uncovers its possible impacts on different stakeholders in the agricultural ecosystem.

Design/methodology/approach

Two-year-long case study of a socio-digital platform that aims to integrate consumers with the farming process; creating value for them and the farmers in India.

Findings

The process of consumer responsibilisation happens through three mechanisms; construction of a moral-material identity, vicarious self-artisanship and shared responsibilisation. Through these key mechanisms, the socio-digital platform could foster consumer responsibilisation and engender positive societal impacts by promoting both responsible production and consumption.

Research limitations/implications

This study shows how the construction of moral–material identity could move beyond an either-or choice between moralistic and material identity and allow space for the coexistence of both. This paper highlights how a socio-digital platform can be leveraged to facilitate responsible consumer engagement in an aestheticised farming process.

Practical implications

This paper aims to guide policymakers to design digitally-enabled human-centred innovation in facilitating consumer engagement with farming and cultivating responsible consumers in achieving sustainable development goals.

Social implications

This study shows how consumer responsibilisation can actually address market failures by enhancing the value created in the system, reducing wastage and cutting costs wherever possible, which drive better incomes for the farmers.

Originality/value

Previous studies have discussed heterogeneous motivations for responsible food consumption. However, this research explores the processes through which an individual reconnects to food production and the mechanisms that support this process in the long run.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge that this project has received funding of INR 75,000 (US$1,044 approximately) from the “Raj Sethuraman Research Grant Award” provided by the 12th Great Lakes NASMEI Marketing Conference.

Citation

Shalini, Manoharan, B., Parthiban, R., Qureshi, I., Bhatt, B. and Rakshit, K. (2021), "Digital technology-enabled transformative consumer responsibilisation: a case study", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 55 No. 9, pp. 2538-2565. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-02-2020-0139

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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