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The spillover effect of greenwashing behaviours: an experimental approach

Hong Wang (School of Management and Economics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China)
Baolong Ma (School of Management and Economics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China)
Rubing Bai (School of Management and Economics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 16 December 2019

Issue publication date: 13 May 2020

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1473

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of greenwashing behaviour of one brand on purchase intention of green products from other brands. Further, this study tests the mediating role of greenwashing perception of the entire industry and the moderating role of brand attitudes towards other brands in the industry for the above-mentioned relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 377 participants was utilised in three studies. The study analysed the data using SPSS 18.0 to test the research hypotheses.

Findings

The study suggests that greenwashing behaviour of one brand negatively affects consumers’ purchase intention of the green products from other brands in the industry. It is also indicated that the greenwashing perception of the entire industry partially mediates the relationship between greenwashing behaviour of a brand and purchase intention of green products from other brands. In addition, the study shows that the relationship between greenwashing perception of the entire industry and purchase intention of the green products from other brands is negatively moderated by brand attitudes towards other brands in the industry.

Practical implications

This study provides useful insights for the managers that firms can learn the way to alleviate greenwashing spillover effect through the brand attitudes to enhance green purchasing behaviour.

Originality/value

The study is perhaps the first one to study the existence of the spillover effect of brands’greenwashing behaviour. The study also reveals the influencing mechanism of greenwashing spillover effect of a brand.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 71672008), Key Project of the Major Research Plan of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 91746210) and Special Fund for Joint Development Programme of Beijing Municipal Commission of Education.

Citation

Wang, H., Ma, B. and Bai, R. (2020), "The spillover effect of greenwashing behaviours: an experimental approach", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 283-295. https://doi.org/10.1108/MIP-01-2019-0006

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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