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Blinds up or down? The influence of transparency, future orientation, and CSR on sustainable and responsible behavior

Thomas Foscht (Department of Marketing, University of Graz, Graz, Austria)
Yuting Lin (Imperial College Business School, Imperial College London, London, UK)
Andreas B. Eisingerich (Imperial College Business School, Imperial College London, London, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 2 February 2018

Issue publication date: 29 March 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how and when a business’ transparency leads to greater willingness to engage in sustainable and responsible consumption by consumers.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected in two studies. Study 1 collected data from 219 consumers in a large shopping mall. Study 2 followed an experimental approach and used data from 327 participants.

Findings

The current research contributes to theory by hypothesizing and demonstrating when transparency is associated with higher willingness for sustainable and responsible consumption. Critically, the positive benefits of transparency vary according to a business’ future orientation, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and levels of customer involvement.

Practical implications

An important societal and practical implication of the current research is that business should not be expected to only focus on transparency in isolation but rather also needs to consider levels of perceived future orientation, CSR and levels of customer involvement to strengthen sustainable and responsible behavior effectively.

Originality/value

This research builds on and extends current knowledge by exploring the key role of business’ transparency in influencing sustainable and responsible customer behavior and examines critical boundary conditions for the observed effects.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper forms part of a special section papers from in Search of Sustainable and Responsible Consumption.

Citation

Foscht, T., Lin, Y. and Eisingerich, A.B. (2018), "Blinds up or down? The influence of transparency, future orientation, and CSR on sustainable and responsible behavior", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 52 No. 3/4, pp. 476-498. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-10-2016-0576

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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