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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2020

Ilkka Ruostetsaari

The purpose of this paper is to test the effects of citizens’ support for two rival and opposing conceptions of political involvement, political consumerism and stealth…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the effects of citizens’ support for two rival and opposing conceptions of political involvement, political consumerism and stealth democracy, on their attitudes about demand response (flexible consumption) and prosumerism (self-production) in the context of making of Finnish energy policy. Stealth democracy represents an established view on the role of citizens in energy policy making: the energy sector has traditionally been presented as a technocratic domain reserved for experts and businessmen. By contrast, political consumerism can be seen as an expression of “energy democracy”.

Design/methodology/approach

The data is based on a postal survey and an internet survey that were conducted in 2016 among a random sample representing Finns who were between 18 and 75 years. The dependence of the support for demand response and prosumerism on the endorsement of political consumerism and stealth democracy will be tested statistically (Pearson chi-square).

Findings

The endorsement of demand response mainly depended statistically on citizens’ attitudes towards political consumerism and stealth democracy. However, comparing electricity prices and changing electricity suppliers did not depend on adherence to political consumerism and stealth democracy. Nevertheless, in these cases, support was higher among the supporters of political consumerism than among supporters of stealth democracy. By contrast, the endorsement of prosumerism, for instance, in terms of factors that influence citizens’ decisions to invest in electricity generation in their households, depended statistically on citizens’ attitudes on political consumerism and stealth democracy.

Research limitations/implications

It might be that the variables used in this study to measure stealth democracy are not specific enough. More generally, Finns’ willingness to support for stealth democracy may be based on or at least encouraged by the misunderstandings of democratic politics: more information is needed on the level of knowledge that citizens have about normative principles of democratic decision-making processes.

Practical implications

The implication of this study for energy policy making is that there are (at least in Finland) good preconditions for developing a decentralized energy system: citizens are ready to adopt a more active role as energy citizens in terms of demand response and prosumerism – irrespective of their attitudes on macro-level attitudes on governmental institutions. Democratization of the energy system could strengthen the legitimacy of energy policy making.

Social implications

Citizens’ attitudes indicate that their potential for involvement needs to be strengthened in the spirit of energy democracy: the idea of energy democracy needs to be seen in terms of the demand for increased accountability and democratization of the energy sector that was previously not seen as requiring public involvement and was most often depoliticized and dominated by technocrats. However, strengthening energy democracy through demand response and prosumerism is not without its problems: utilization of these devices requires a relatively large amount of resources which depend on the individuals’ socio-economic position. Thus, energy democracy cannot replace but complement electoral participation as a form of energy policy involvement.

Originality/value

The contribution of this study is to fill a part of the research gap linking to ongoing energy transitions. As a socio-technical transition can take place only if citizens support and participate in it, we need to better understand citizens’ attitudes on energy consumption and production and energy policy involvement. Citizens’ attitudes on energy production and consumption are becoming more and more critical for managing the energy sector as a result of that the share of wind power and solar power is increasing in the energy system. In a decentralized energy system, citizens have to be prepared to change their modes of operation. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the originality of this study is to test the impact of citizens’ political attitudes on the endorsement of demand response and prosumerism.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 14 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2007

D.P.S. Verma and Shashi Nanda

Consumerism is fast emerging as an environmental force affecting major business decisions as consumers become more aware about their rights. Even though comprehensive…

Abstract

Consumerism is fast emerging as an environmental force affecting major business decisions as consumers become more aware about their rights. Even though comprehensive staturory measures have been provided in India for curbing unfair business practices, for protecting consumer interest, and for promoting consumerism; companies have yet to do a lot. This paper seeks to assess the impact of consumerism marketing practices in India. It examines how businessmen react, respond and adapt to consumerism and the problems posed and opportunities provided by consumerism. It seeks to ascertain whether the firms are capable of handling consumerism pressures and to identify appropriate measures for minimising consumer dissatisfaction and complaints. Based on a survey of 65 companies, located in the National Capital Region of Delhi, and engaged in the production of consumer durables, they study has reevealed that a broad recognition and growing acceptance of consumerism tends to make the firms more consumer‐oriented rather than product‐oriented. It is noted that consumerism tends to serve as an opportunity for those corporate managers who are able to identify and anticipate the consumer’s problems.

Details

Journal of Advances in Management Research, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0972-7981

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2002

Ali M. Quazi

Empirically examines the managerial perception of consumerism with reference to the very different macro environments of two countries – Australia and Bangladesh…

Abstract

Empirically examines the managerial perception of consumerism with reference to the very different macro environments of two countries – Australia and Bangladesh. Consumerism is defined as a social movement seeking to augment the rights and powers of buyers in relation to sellers. The attitudes of a sample of CEOs towards various aspects of consumerism are analyzed. The results of ANOVA indicate that there are statistically significant differences between the two groups of managers in terms of their commitment to consumerism on such issues as government regulation, advertising to children, the role of consumer organization and industry self‐regulation. Interestingly, Bangladeshi managers perceived most of the consumerism issues at a higher level than their Australian counterparts. There are interesting interpretations and implications of these findings for firms operating at the international level. These are explored here. Also explores the potential of future research in this area.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 36 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1977

Will Straver

Examines consumerist developments in progressive Western economies. Studies present literature about consumerism, developing some propositions forming the basis for a…

Abstract

Examines consumerist developments in progressive Western economies. Studies present literature about consumerism, developing some propositions forming the basis for a theory of consumerism. Goes on to test the propositions, based on empirical data, to form the foundation for a framework to enable marketing to encompass consumerism. Examines in the first part the USA and the consumerist movement there, looking at various public interest groups active in the USA. Addresses the phenomenon in Europe in the second section stating that Sweden is the most consumer‐friendly, followed by the UK, France and Germany. Concludes that the consumer has a right to expect safety, quality, health; information, education and protection; and truth, authenticity and choice.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1985

Erdener Kaynak

When one looks at the marketing literature, consumerism activity is treated as a developed country phenomenon. The reason for this is partially attributable to a complete…

Abstract

When one looks at the marketing literature, consumerism activity is treated as a developed country phenomenon. The reason for this is partially attributable to a complete lack of appropriate conceptual and methodological frameworks to study consumerism issues across cultures and nations, specifically in less‐developed countries. The purpose of this article is to develop working propositions to study consumerism in multiple environments. Consumerism issues in developed versus LDC environments are discussed and their implications for international trade and marketing are elucidated. The influences that various socio‐economic, governmental and cultural environments have upon consumerism are also examined.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1976

Hiram C. Barksdale and Wamen A. French

Reports on a survey carried out in the USA into the opinions of leading marketing managers and consumer advocates with respect to consumerism. Investigates, also the…

Abstract

Reports on a survey carried out in the USA into the opinions of leading marketing managers and consumer advocates with respect to consumerism. Investigates, also the response of US business to consumerism. Offers several points to illustrate this, concluding that concepts of consumerism appear to have been institutionalized in the economic system of the USA.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 23 April 2018

Ilkka Ruostetsaari

The purpose of this study is to test citizens’ attitudes on political involvement in energy policy-making that has generally seen to be dominated by experts and business…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to test citizens’ attitudes on political involvement in energy policy-making that has generally seen to be dominated by experts and business interests and been relatively closed to citizen involvement. The study asks whether citizens are willing to participate politically more through political consumerism (i.e., consumption choices) or through representative democracy and if citizens are willing to assign decision-making to the experts representing public administration and business, as stealth democracy asserts.

Design/methodology/approach

Methodologically, the study is based on postal surveys conducted in 2007 and 2016 among a random sample representing Finns who were 18-75 years of age.

Findings

Political consumerism and stealth democracy were not considered as alternative and detached modes for electoral participation but rather as complementary. However, adherence to stealth democracy was a reaction of people who feel powerlessness in the face of the regime, while the supporters of political consumerism had a higher trust in their ability to influence.

Originality/value

The study is the first one which empirically compares citizens’ support for these three modes of involvement, and it generates new knowledge for the scholars and decision-makers when planning citizen role in (energy) policy-making.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Steven Lysonski, Srinivas Durvasula and John Watson

New Zealand has gone through a radical metamorphosis since free market economics were introduced in the mid‐1980s. Marketing managers are particularly interested in the…

Abstract

New Zealand has gone through a radical metamorphosis since free market economics were introduced in the mid‐1980s. Marketing managers are particularly interested in the views of consumers about issues dealing with marketing activities. Negative views could signal consumer backlash against free market activities. This study examines the views of consumers from 1986 to 2001 on a range of issues dealing with marketing and consumerism. The results clearly show that consumers are less negative about marketing and consumerism issues since 1986. It seems likely that New Zealand has evolved in terms of the consumerism life cycle over the last 15 years. Marketing managers should continue to remain proactive in their responses to consumer discontents. Implications for New Zealand and for other countries are addressed.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 37 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Book part
Publication date: 6 September 2017

Doirean Wilson

Affluence and material goods of varying types are portents of a millennium age consumer culture that encourages the masses to voluntarily participate in the need to buy…

Abstract

Affluence and material goods of varying types are portents of a millennium age consumer culture that encourages the masses to voluntarily participate in the need to buy, buy and buy! This trend to spend creates a purchasing fervour that preoccupies many consumers with the ongoing yearning to shop until they drop. Clever marketing tactics such as enticing smells, catchy jingles, prize-draw entries, lucrative sales, discounts and the recruitment of celebrities to advertise a range of different wares are just some of the ploys adopted by vendors and retailers to maintain the sustainability of this cycle of consumer spending. This scenario promotes what could be perceived as a never-ending desire to procure yet more products and merchandise, which can create social dilemmas such as personal debt due to, for example, impulse buying, excessive spending and unnecessary borrowing.

Retailers and manufacturers are driven by a quest to sell so constantly tout their goods to tempt consumers including those with a need for personal and social respect, to take the bait in order to encourage them to keep buying. This, coupled with the rapid advances in technology over recent decades, has made it easier for consumers to shop, order, obtain and pay for their goods from the comfort of an armchair or via handheld devices, and all at a tap of a button. In essence, technology has added to, or even exacerbated, the materialistic consumer trend as witnessed across many global societies today – from the east and the west to the north and the south. But what impact does consumerism have on the well-being of humankind and, in turn, the environment? This chapter adopts a comparative approach to answer this question by exploring the implications of consumerism as a means for broadening the topic’s framework and to contribute to debates regarding consumerism, well-being, social dilemma, sustainability and techno-economics.

Details

Integral Ecology and Sustainable Business
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-463-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1978

Will Straver

Emphasises opportunities for positive responses to consumerist phenomena by marketing managements, despite the growing political nature of European consumerism, and that…

Abstract

Emphasises opportunities for positive responses to consumerist phenomena by marketing managements, despite the growing political nature of European consumerism, and that in this new, complex and dynamic environment the marketing man must learn to operate. States in the last two decades of growth markets, the number of products available to satisfy a particular consumer need has dramatically increased. Posits that, luckily for both consumer and marketer, the normal process of consumer satisfaction tends, in the long run, to shake out unviable or invalid products. Investigates consumers' perceptions of consumerism, discussing both male and female views about information, health and safety, repairs and servicing and product quality. Gives results of a survey from a consumers' hot line installed by a US Attorney General in the autumn of 1971 — there were 3,000 calls of which a random sample of 150 were used — these results are included for reference. Discusses businessmen's perception of consumerism, marketing stands, objectives and policies of consumer organisations, future trends in Europe, and marketing's response by firms who practice the marketing concept. Summarises that the time is at hand to apply, in its true meaning, the marketing concept.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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