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Article
Publication date: 28 May 2021

Cagri Bulut, Murat Nazli, Erhan Aydin and Adnan Ul Haque

This study aims to demonstrate how greenwashing perceptions shape the effect of environmental concern on post-millennials purchasing behavior.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to demonstrate how greenwashing perceptions shape the effect of environmental concern on post-millennials purchasing behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on 174 responses gathered through a street survey method from 5 different universities in Turkey, data are analyzed using the statistical package for social sciences software (SPSS 16.0). Principal component analysis is performed to assess the differentiation in factors. Multiple regression analysis is used to examine the effects of the items on the post-millennials purchasing and recommendation behavior.

Findings

The main findings revealed that the environmental concern trait of post-millennials triggers their green purchasing behavior. When the concern on green products is high, the awareness of perceiving that “if the product is actually green or pretending to be green” is high. When the post-millennials take the greenwashing perception into account, their environmental concern has lower effects on their green behavior. The moderating role of greenwashing between environmental concern and green purchasing is apparent. Greenwashing perception decreases the effects of environmental concern on green behavior.

Originality/value

The research raises the concept of greenwashing perception that moderates the relationship between environmental concern and post-millennials purchasing behavior. This study also demonstrates that greenwashing awareness has a critical role in creating a purchasing behavior of post-millennials that have environmental concerns.

Details

Young Consumers, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2020

John Richard Kurpierz and Ken Smith

The purpose of this paper is to show a significant overlap in the models accounting research uses for fraud and the models other research disciplines use for greenwashing

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show a significant overlap in the models accounting research uses for fraud and the models other research disciplines use for greenwashing, and show how researchers and policymakers interested in the application of effective sustainability policy can draw from fraud accounting literature to better understand, and therefore, combat greenwashing. This is illustrated by showing multi-actor information-asymmetry models from other branches of accounting literature and synthesizing them with the fraud triangle model to suggest new avenues for reducing greenwashing and strengthening corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviews the current literature surrounding the greenwashing aspect of corporate camouflage compares the legal and technical definitions of fraud and synthesizes a new variant fraud triangle that more usefully describes greenwashing.

Findings

This paper is able to show that other areas of accounting research in North America have already tackled similar systems of multiple actors in an information-asymmetric environment and that a recurring trait is the emergence of a more robust reporting system. CSR reporting is currently in the process of emerging and could develop more swiftly by copying extant fraud-fighting tools. This is particularly salient given the increasing amount of liability legal regimes are giving to both sustainability activities and sustainability reporting from firms, as evidenced in both guidelines and scandals over the past decade.

Research limitations/implications

Sustainability reporting is not unique in comprising a large number of interrelated entities with non-financial information asymmetry between actors. Previous researchers have encountered similar situations in government accounting and public administration and developed network models to study these relationships as a result. In government accounting, this led to the development both of better diagnostic tools for further research and better models for local governments to use to prevent fraud and malfeasance. This paper suggests that using such research methods in the area of CSR will allow for the development of similarly-useful tools and models.

Practical implications

Visualizing greenwashing as a form of fraud allows policymakers to use tools from the fraud-fighting literature to improve CSR reporting and produce a more robust regime in the future. As governments increasingly seek to respond effectively to material misstatements with an intent to deceive in sustainability reports, understanding the underlying information asymmetry as it is found in other private-public interfaces is critical. Similarly, researchers can analyze CSR reporting through the lens of fraud researchers to gain novel insights into how information asymmetry in CSR reporting works.

Social implications

Greenwashing is not traditionally seen as a form of fraudulent reporting, even though it often meets the same technical test used to determine fraudulent reporting. The realization that the two are structurally similar allows the authors to better understand how CSR reporting works and how CSR reporting can be falsified. By understanding the latter, governments, firms and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can develop tools to prevent CSR reporting from being falsified.

Originality/value

This paper suggests a new suite of tools with which to study greenwashing, and with which to fight greenwashing in a sustainability accounting context.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 11 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2020

Dandan Wang, Thomas Walker and Sergey Barabanov

The purpose of this study is to suggest an approach to regain consumer trust after negative effects of greenwashing that draws corporations and consumers into a conflicted…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to suggest an approach to regain consumer trust after negative effects of greenwashing that draws corporations and consumers into a conflicted relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors collect and interpret qualitative data from in-depth interviews to develop a theoretical approach that enables the rebuilding of trust between greenwashing corporations and their consumers using the concept of psychological resilience.

Findings

This analysis indicates that the approach is an interaction between consumers with green brand loyalty and greenwashing corporations. This type of consumer demands emotional factors, functional factors and legitimate factors in the process of psychological resilience, and after greenwashing, corporations should select appropriate recovery strategies to stimulate these protective factors.

Originality/value

Previous research studied green consumer trust in the marketing field but did not explore the core of trust which was regarded as a cognitive process. This paper investigates green consumer behaviour under the perspective of psychological resilience and makes an innovative attempt to understand drivers of regaining consumer trust. Previous research works put forward a series of strategies related to regaining trust, but they did not discuss the mechanisms by which these strategies work. Using the method of grounded theory, we attempt to reveal the “black box” of consumers cognition after greenwashing and propose a strategy for regaining consumer trust.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 37 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Article
Publication date: 16 December 2019

Hong Wang, Baolong Ma and Rubing Bai

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…

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.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 March 2019

Sergio Braga Junior, Marta Pagán Martínez, Caroline Miranda Correa, Rosamaria Cox Moura-Leite and Dirceu Da Silva

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the perception of the influence of greenwashing and of attitudes and beliefs in the decisions of purchase of green products in the retail.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the perception of the influence of greenwashing and of attitudes and beliefs in the decisions of purchase of green products in the retail.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative research was carried out by means of a survey with a sample of 880 consumers living in São Paulo city, Brazil, who buy in supermarkets weekly or biweekly.

Findings

It was possible to evaluate a model that analyzed the aspects that greenwashing carries and the aspects that the attitudes and beliefs of the consumer present. As a result, it is inferred that when greenwashing is identified in the product, it loses the aspects of loyalty, satisfaction and benefits, as well as becoming a product that causes confusion of consumption. Further, consumer attitudes and beliefs show that they are guided by the aspects of perceived loyalty, satisfaction and benefits and that the perceived risk aspect is practically ignored.

Originality/value

The originality of this study is in evaluating consumer perception focusing on several aspects of purchase intention simultaneously, considering perception and behavior of consumer before greenwashing and green consumption and using all aspects together (satisfaction, loyalty, subjective and control forces, risk and benefits perception). Besides complementing with other determinants like consumer attitudes and beliefs, confusion of green consumption, behavior controlled in relation to green consumption and greenwashing. Thus, it contributes with an interdisciplinary study whose scale and methodology can be used by analogous studies.

Details

RAUSP Management Journal, vol. 54 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2531-0488

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2017

Sandra Khalil and Patrick O’sullivan

The purpose of this paper is to provide further insight into internet social and environmental reporting (ISER) in the Middle East by investigating the ISER of Lebanese…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide further insight into internet social and environmental reporting (ISER) in the Middle East by investigating the ISER of Lebanese banks as well as their greenwashing behaviour and identifying its extent, quality and association with different variables such as profitability, size, religion and other variables.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted a mixed methodology. Interviews were conducted to seek the opinions of banks towards corporate social responsibility (CSR). Content analysis of bank’s websites was used to examine the extent, quality and association of ISER with several bank characteristics.

Findings

The results show the prevalent use of ISER and greenwashing by Lebanese banks. The most disclosed category of ISER is community, whereas the least disclosed is environment. The study found a positive association between ISER and bank profitability, size, leverage and ownership concentration and an insignificant relationship with age and religion.

Research limitations/implications

The authors recognise that the sample is small and addresses a single context and that it could have been expanded to other Middle Eastern contexts. However, the study is exploratory focusing on the Lebanese banking sector which is one of the most developed in the region. Further longitudinal studies could also be conducted to complement the work. The process used to measure greenwashing could be enhanced by addressing the materiality of CSR disclosures to stakeholders and the purpose of communicating CSR information.

Practical implications

In light of the empirical findings, banks will gain a better understanding of the status and importance of ISER and will understand the risks of greenwashing leading them towards higher standard ISER and more ethical activities, which will have a positive impact on the Lebanese economy and society.

Originality/value

This study examines almost all aspects of online social and environmental disclosures including the webpage, CSR sections in addition to online published reports; it is an investigation about ISER with reference to Lebanon which has perhaps the most significant banking sector in the Middle East. It tackles the greenwashing issue in a new context and in a different way by examining its association with several variables. The study also investigates the association between religion and ISER which has seldom been tackled in similar studies.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2018

Ulun Akturan

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship among greenwashing, green brand equity, brand credibility, green brand associations and purchase intention.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship among greenwashing, green brand equity, brand credibility, green brand associations and purchase intention.

Design/methodology/approach

As an object to study, two brands were chosen: a high-involved brand and a low-involved brand. Data were collected from 500 consumers by survey method, and structural equation modeling was run to test the research hypotheses.

Findings

As a result, it was found that green brand associations and brand credibility positively affect green brand equity, and green brand equity has a positive and strong impact on purchase intention of consumers. In addition to that greenwashing negatively affects green brand associations and brand credibility, and therefore, indirectly influence green brand equity and purchase intention.

Research limitations/implications

Previous studies conceptualize greenwashing and examine its effects on company performance and skepticism. This study is a first attempt to explore the effects of greenwashing on green branding strategies.

Practical implications

Managers should be aware of that greenwashing not only negatively affects purchase intention but also generates negative outcomes for the relationship with the brands.

Originality/value

There is no other study, at least to the author’s knowledge, testing the effects of greenwashing on green brand perceptions and green purchase intention.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 36 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2020

Van V. Miller, Qi Su, Luis A. Perez-Batres and Michael J. Pisani

This paper aims to provide a more inclusive perspective on corporate greenwashing. Major ideas from impression management and transaction cost theory (TCT) helped in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a more inclusive perspective on corporate greenwashing. Major ideas from impression management and transaction cost theory (TCT) helped in evaluating the likelihood of greenwashing within the Chinese context.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample consists of 184 Chinese public companies – 104 participating and 80 not participating in China’s green watch (GW) program. Using logistic regression, the analysis illustrates the importance of impression management and TCT as indicators of GW participation.

Findings

GW participation reduced the likelihood of GW firms joining substantive codes of conduct outside the GW program, indicating an important role of impression management and power relationships; a higher level of firm risk is associated with greater GW participation, signaling a higher level of risk tolerance; and higher levels of asset intensity increase the likelihood of GW participation, indicating a TCT connection.

Research limitations/implications

These findings present a strong case for going beyond greenwashing and further exploring the organizations’ multiple motives for sustainability. They “force” the authors to study impression management and greenwashing from a more “human” perspective.

Practical implications

Besides establishing sustainability legitimacy, substantive codes of conduct enhance a firm’s ability to attract capital – impression management behavior falls within the rules of the game to achieve legitimacy and competitive advantage.

Originality/value

This paper provides a complementary explanation for firms engaging in sustainability acts, beyond that offered by the greenwashing concept. It is demonstrated that firms do not necessarily desire to deceive others, but to realistically impress and influence them, most likely in pursuit of corporate objectives.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2019

Deepti Jog and Divya Singhal

The purpose of this paper is to present a view point on greenwashing practices used by pseudo green players to gain competitive advantage.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a view point on greenwashing practices used by pseudo green players to gain competitive advantage.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a description of various tactics of greenwashing and suggest some strategies for real green companies to differentiate themselves.

Findings

Although there is a huge market available for green products, greenwashing brings a tough challenge for real green companies. This paper highlights various tactics used by pseudo green players to get competitive advantage with minimum green effort.

Practical implications

Real green companies are not able to differentiate themselves and thus lose market share.

Originality/value

The paper offers some strategies to tackle the challenges posed by greenwashing behavior.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 35 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2019

Posi Olatubosun and Sethi Nyazenga

This paper aims to explore the nature of responsible investment (RI) practices in Zimbabwe from the point of view of the institutional asset owners by investigating not…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the nature of responsible investment (RI) practices in Zimbabwe from the point of view of the institutional asset owners by investigating not only how they incorporate the ESG criteria when selecting investee companies but also the elements of greenwashing and impression management.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on semi-structured interviews conducted with Pension Fund Entities, Mutual Funds and Life Assurance companies, the authors used interpretive methodological approach to derive the symbolic RI techniques used.

Findings

This study discovered many symbolic acts of “greenwashing” and impression management as opposed to genuine concerns for ESG issues which are at the core of RI practice. RI is used as not only a systematic risk management instrument but also a symbolic marketing tool due to weak regulatory environment. Contrary to the significantly high public communication on RI, the actual links of the asset owners with the environmental impacts in investee companies is insignificant. The authors also found that there are clear distinctions between how foreign and local firms operating in the local economy engage on ESG matters.

Practical implications

This is likely to have practical implications for stewardship practices in developing jurisdictions where RI practices are puerile.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature on RI dialogue by demonstrating the peculiarity of ESG engagement in a developing economy.

Details

Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4179

Keywords

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