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Embracing biodegradable bags: effects of ethical self-identity on consumer buying behavior

Khansa Zaman (Department of Management Sciences, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) Islamabad Campus, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Umer Iftikhar (Department of Leadership and Management Sciences, National Defence University (NDU), Islamabad, Pakistan)
Mahmood Rehmani (Faculty of Management and Administrative Sciences, University of Sialkot (USKT), Sialkot, Pakistan)
Huda Irshad (Department of Business Administration, University of Sialkot (USKT), Sialkot, Pakistan)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Article publication date: 8 March 2022

Issue publication date: 28 February 2023

881

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to predict ethical self-identity’s effect on consumer buying behavior of biodegradable bags. Moreover, a moderated mediation model is tested by analyzing the mediating role of attitude and the moderating role of religiosity to investigate buying behavior. Few studies have been conducted to explore moderated mediation to predict consumer behavior based on belief congruence and planned behavior theories, according to previous literature, indicating a literature gap in consumer behavior studies. Accordingly, the moderating role of religiosity in the relationship between ethical self-identity and purchase intention in the context of biodegradable bags was used to contribute to the consumer behavior literature.

Design/methodology/approach

The population of the study included literate consumers who are aware of biodegradable bags and keen to buy them. The data were collected from consumers of twin cities (Rawalpindi/Islamabad) via purposive sampling. The data were collected from 310 consumers five-time lags.

Findings

The findings suggest that ethical self-identity influences the buying behavior of consumers toward biodegradable bags. In this study, the theory of planned behavior provides greater implications to predict consumer buying behavior because the subjective norm, perceived behavioral control and attitude were found to have a significant influence on purchase intention, which further predicts the actual consumer behavior.

Research limitations/implications

The study’s sample was limited to one geographical area and the sample was limited to only biodegradable bags. Future studies may go for a cross-comparison of industries or multiple environment-friendly products to enhance the generalizability of the research.

Practical implications

This study provides useful insights to the companies of consumer-based brands to use eco-friendly practices from production to packaging and consumption. Environment-friendly consumers are ready to pay a premium price for environment-friendly products, which encourages decision-makers companies to cater to this niche market. Moreover, companies can focus on factors that influence their decision-making, such as ethical and moral values of responsibility, while planning their advertising strategies. Furthermore, the positioning of the environmental or consumer personal care products should be done by considering the personal disposition factors because they reinforce the actual behavior of employees.

Social implications

For researchers, this research opens new avenues for predicting consumers’ buying behavior by applying the theory of planned behavior in the plastic bag industry. This study provides useful insights to the companies of consumer-based brands to use eco-friendly practices from production to packaging and consumption.

Originality/value

The proclivity to buy biodegradable bags increased over time, providing opportunities to the companies to offer environmentally friendly products to an increasing number of customers. However, personal deposition factors, such as religiosity and consumer views, are less well understood in terms of predicting actual behavior. Few studies have been conducted to explore moderated mediation to predict consumer behavior based on belief congruence and planned behavior theories, according to previous literature, indicating a literature gap in consumer behavior studies.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Citation

Zaman, K., Iftikhar, U., Rehmani, M. and Irshad, H. (2023), "Embracing biodegradable bags: effects of ethical self-identity on consumer buying behavior", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 474-485. https://doi.org/10.1108/SRJ-03-2021-0099

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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