EFFECT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN & SOCIAL NORMS ON ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY BEHAVIORAL INTENTIONS

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1 169 EFFECT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN & SOCIAL NORMS ON ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY BEHAVIORAL INTENTIONS Joshi Pradeep Assistant Professor, Quantum School of Business, Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India Abstract The author has done factor analysis of environmental friendly behavioral intentions taken from an earlier study, to study the effect of environmental concern & social norms on these intentions. The results indicate that these intentions can be grouped into active intentions & passive intentions. The environmental concern plays significant role in active intentions while social norms plays significant role in passive intentions. Implications of these results for consumer researchers, marketing managers & public policy makers are outlined.key Words: Environmental concern, Social norms, Consumer behavior. The issue of environment has grown important over the past few decades, however the critical part of this issue remains that the rate at which the problems related to environment are increasing is quite higher than the rate at which the actions are taken to solve these problems. Whether it is government, population or other organizations all are responding to the furies caused by the nature or human actions rather than behaving proactively & taking a check at their current actions. The most important part in this environmentally friendly behavior is to be played by the consumer. Follows & Jobber (1999) in their study to develop a model to predict environmentally purchase behavior found that there will be a positive relationship from attitude towards environmental consequences & a negative relationship from attitude towards individual consequences to environmentally responsible purchase intention. Their study also indicated that motivation to promote & enhance the welfare of others underlies positive environmental attitudes. The present theory of attitude (Bagozzi &Warsaw, 1990) differentiates between attitude, intention & behavior. In theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1985, 1991) the strength of behavioral intention is the antecedent of behavior. This behavioral intention is further formed by the combination of a positive or negative attitude towards the behavior, a subjective norm to perform the behavior, and perceived control over the behavior. Moreover, the attitude is determined by strengths of beliefs about consequences of the behavior & evaluations of these consequences. Review of Literature Environmental concern can be taken as an attitude towards facts, one s own behavior or other s behavior with consequences for environment (Weigel, 1983). This implies that environmental concern may refer to both a specific attitude directly determining intentions or more broadly to a general attitude or value orientation (Fransson & Gorling, 1999). Van Liere & Dunlap (1980) has proposed five determinants of attitude towards environment. These are age, social class, residence, political ideology & gender. Fransson & Gorling (1999) tested these hypotheses & found that age was negatively correlated with attitude. Support for social class hypothesis was limited to the moderately strong association between environmental concern & education. Regarding residence hypothesis, those living in metropolitan areas were significantly more concerned than those living in towns or in countryside. Social norms can be very useful in understanding the critical component of human behavior & predicting the individual behavior (Berkowitz, 1972; Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975; Triandis, 1977). On the other hand some scholars have also viewed social norms of little value in predicting human behavior (Darley and Latane, 1970; Krebs, 1970; Marini, 1984; Krebs and Miller, 1985). Studies on social norms further divided it into many types. Two of them are injunctive norm & personal norm. The injunctive norm is conceptually like the subjective norm of the theory of reasoned action (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). It refers to what others think I should do & motivates behavior

2 170 Business Intelligence Journal January by imposing informal social sanctions (Minton & Rose, 1997). The personal norm is tied to the self concept & is experienced as a feeling of moral obligation (Schwartz 1973, 1977). It refers to what I feel morally obligated to do & motivates behavior by the desire to act in ways that are consistent with one s values (Minton & Rose, 1997). Behavioral intention is an indication of an individual's readiness to perform a given behavior. It is assumed to be an immediate antecedent of behavior (Ajzen, 1991). The strength of behavioral intention further determines the likelihood of the behavior. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this research was to study the effect of environmental concern & norms (injunctive & personal) on environmental friendly behavioral intentions. This study is a partial replication of the work of Minton & Rose (1997) in Indian context, as it discussed the effects of environmental concern & social norms on environmental friendly behavioral intentions. Also it extends the above study by carrying out factor analysis of environmental friendly behavioral intentions & then studying the effect of environmental concern & norms on each factor. Materials and Methods The sample consisted of working & non working population of Chandigarh city & was taken on the basis of convenience sampling. The working population consisted of employees of two private companies of Chandigarh. 50 questionnaires were mailed out of which 21 were received. The non- working population consisted of students of Panjab University. The students were contacted personally & questionnaires were filled. 50 students were contacted out of which 30 were received in usable form. Thus total number of usable observations was 51. Measures The variables were operationalized with previously developed scales which were adapted from earlier conducted study. All the measurement scales used in this study are included in appendix. Dependent Variable Measures The dependent variables included in this study were six behavioral intentions. These six environmentally friendly behavioral intentions were measures with single item which were taken from the Antil & Benett scale (1979). Independent Variable Measures The independent variables in this study were environmental concern, personal norm & injunctive norm. All were measured by Likert type response formats, using a five point response anchored by strongly disagree to strongly agree. All were scored in the direction of agreement, meaning that higher score indicated more favorable environmental attitudes & stronger norms. Respondents completed a 16 item measure of environmental concern which was adapted from Antil & Benett (1979) scale to measure socially responsible consumption behavior. The personal norm measure (what I feel morally obligated to do) & injunctive norm measure (what others think I should do) were taken from study done by Minton & Rose (1997) on environmental behavior. Results Factor analysis was carried on six behavioral intentions to summarize them. Further linear regression analysis was carried out to look into the effect of independent variables on these factors of dependent variable. 1 Factor Analysis of six Behavioral Intentions Table 1 - KMO and Bartlett's Test Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy.719 Approx. Chi-Square Bartlett s Test of Sphericity df 15 Sig..000 Business Intelligence Journal - January, 2012 Vol.5 No.1

3 171 Table 2 - Total Variance Explained Component Initial Eigenvalues Extraction Sums of Squared Loadings Rotation Sums of Squared Loadings Total % of Variance Cumulative % Total % of Variance Cumulative % Total % of Variance Cumulative % Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis. Table 3 - Component Matrix(a) Component 1 2 Intentions Intentions Intentions Intentions Intentions Intentions Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis. a 2 components extracted. Table 4 - Rotated Component Matrix(a) Component 1 2 Intentions Intentions Intentions Intentions Intentions Intentions Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis. Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization. a Rotation converged in 3 iterations. The values of KMO test & Bartlett s test (Table 1) shows that the data is appropriate for factor analysis. The table of total variance (Table 2) shows that there are only two factors with eigen values greater than 1 & both the factors are able to explain approx. 63% of variance. The rotated component matrix (Table 4) shows that the intention 1 & intention 2 have large loadings on factor 2, while intention 3, intention 4, intention 5 & intention 6 have higher loadings on factor 1. The intention statements in each factor are as follows. Factor 1 I would be willing to pay more taxes to support greater government control of pollution. I would be willing to pay more each month for electricity if it meant cleaner air. I would be willing to stop buying products from companies guilty of polluting the environment even though it might be inconvenient for me. I would be willing to make personal sacrifices for the sake of slowing down pollution even though the immediate results may not seem significant. Factor 2 I would be willing to sign a petition to support an environmental cause. I would consider joining a group or club which is concerned with the environment. If we look at the statements under each factor, we can expect the observed factorization. The intentions under factor 1 demand active participation as well as economic & personal sacrifices. Moreover these intentions clearly mention the rewards & sacrifices attributed to them. That means the consequences of these intentions are clear to the consumer.

4 172 Business Intelligence Journal January However, the factor 2 consists of intentions which are easy to confirm & practically do not demand active participation. Moreover the consequences of these intentions are not very clear. We can call factor 1 as Active intentions & factor 2 as Passive intentions depending upon efforts required by consumer to pursue them. 2 Results of Regression Analysis of Factor 1 Table 5 - Model Summary Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the Estimate 1.591(a) a Predictors: (Constant), Injunctive norm, Environmental concern, Personal norm Table 6 - ANOVA(b) Model Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. 1 Regression Residual Total a Predictors: (Constant), Injunctive norm, Environmental concern, Personal norm b Dependent Variable: Factor1 Model Unstandardized Table 7 - (a) Standardized B Std. Error Beta t Sig. 1 (Constant) Environmental concern Personal norm Injunctive norm a Dependent Variable: Factor1 3 Results of Regression Analysis of Factor 2 Table 8 - Model Summary Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the Estimate 1.579(a) Business Intelligence Journal - January, 2012 Vol.5 No.1

5 173 Table 9 - ANOVA(b) Model Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. 1 Regression (a) Residual Total a Predictors: (Constant), Injunctive norm, Environmental concern, Personal norm b Dependent Variable: Factor2 Model Unstandardized Table 10 - (a) Standardized B Std. Error Beta t Sig. 1 (Constant) Environmental concern Personal norm Injunctive norm a Dependent Variable: Factor2 Above tables (Table 5 & Table 8) of regression analysis show that independent variables are explaining 35% of variance in factor 1 & 34% of variance in factor 2. Anova table (Table 6 & Table 9) shows that both the regression models are significant (p<.01). The first factor that is Active intentions is dependent mainly (though significance level is little less) on environmental concern (Table 7) or attitude. The second factor that is Passive intentions is dependent significantly on personal norm (Table 10). Discussion In case of factor 1 (Active intentions) the rewards & sacrifices of the intentions are already clear. Hence, a person can affirm these intentions only if he believes that by making sacrifices (economic or personal) he will be getting the mentioned consequences. Moreover, affirming to these statements also means that the person evaluates those consequences favorably. According to theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991) the person who has belief in consequences & who evaluates those consequences favorably has an attitude towards these intentions. Or we can say that a person will affirm to these intentions if s/he has an attitude towards these intentions. The similar results have been found in study as these intentions are mainly dependent on environmental concern or attitude. In case of factor 2 (Passive intentions), these intentions as such do not demand any sacrifice & a person can affirm to these intentions without knowing too much about consequences or we can say the person does not necessarily need an attitude to affirm to these intentions. The personal norm or a feeling of moral obligation can be a sufficient reason for affirming to these intentions. Limitations The first limitation of this study is low significance level of the effect of environmental concern or attitude on factor 1 (active intentions). This may be due to small sample size. With greater sample size, it is possible that environmental concern or attitude show significant affect on active intentions. Secondly confirmatory factor analysis need be carried out to understand the factors in better way. Implications & Directions for Future Research This study has implications for researchers, marketing managers & public policy makers. For researchers, the classification of behavioral intentions can be useful to understand the effect of other variables on these intentions, in the sense that whether any variable has significant effect on any particular group of intentions.

6 174 Business Intelligence Journal January For marketing managers & public policy makers, this study is useful in development of themes of promotion related to environmental cause. For example, if the policy makers are promoting an idea of contribution towards any environmental cause, in that case they need to develop the ad/theme giving importance to the attitude of the person. With respect to future research, the moderating role of socio demographic variables on the relation between environmental concern & behavior could be studied. Secondly, role of some other factors like perceived behavioral control in above relation could be studied. References Ajzen, I. (1985). From intentions to actions: A theory of planned behavior. In Fransson, Niklas & Gorling, Tommy (1999) Environmental concern: conceptual definitions methods, and research findings. Journal of Environmental Psychology. 19: Bagozzi, R. P. & Warshaw, P. R. (1990). Trying to consume. In Fransson, Niklas & Gorling, Tommy (1999). Environmental concern: conceptual definitions methods, and research findings. Journal of Environmental Psychology. 19: Berkowitz, L. Social Norms, Feelings, and Other Factors Affecting Helping and Altruism. In Minton, Ann P. & Rose Randall L. (1997). The Effects of Environmental Concern on Environmentally Friendly Consumer Behavior: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Business Research. Darley, J. M. and Latane, B. Norms and Normative Behavior: Field Studies of Social Interdependence. In Minton, Ann P. & Rose Randall L. (1997). The Effects of Environmental Concern on Fishbein, M. & Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, Attitude, Intention and Behavior: An Introduction to Theory and Research. In Minton, Ann P. & Rose Randall L. Volume Follows, Scott B. & Jobber, David (1999). Environmentally responsible purchase behavior: a test of a consumer model. European Journal of Marketing. 34: Fransson, Niklas & Gorling, Tommy (1999). Environmental concern: conceptual definitions methods, and research findings. Journal of Environmental Psychology. 19: Gill, J. D., Crosby, L. A. and Taylor, J. R. (1986). Ecological Concern, Attitudes, and Social Norms in Voting Behavior. Public Opinion Quarterly. 50: Krebs, D. L. (1970). Altruism An Examination of the Concept and a Review of the Literature. In Minton, Ann P. & Rose Randall L. Krebs, D. L. & Miller, D. T (1985). Altruism and Aggression. In Minton, Ann P. & Rose Randall L Exploratory Study. Journal of Business Research, McCarty, J. A. and Shrum, L. J (1994). The Recycling of Solid Wastes: Personal Values, Value Orientations, and Attitudes about Recycling as Antecedents of Recycling Behavior. Journal of Business Research. 30: Marini, M. M. Age and Sequencing Norms in the Transition to Adulthood. In Minton, Ann P. & Rose Randall L. (1997). The Effects of Environmental Concern on Environmentally Friendly Consumer Behavior: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Business Research. Schwartz, S. (1977). Normative Influences on Altruism. In Minton, Ann P. & Rose Randall L. Weigel, R. H. (1983). Environmental attitudes and the prediction of behavior. In Fransson, Niklas & Gorling, Tommy (1999). Environmental concern: conceptual definitions methods, and research findings. Journal of Environmental Psychology. 19: Business Intelligence Journal - January, 2012 Vol.5 No.1

7 175 APPENDIX Questionnaire Items Injunctive Environmental Norm Measure 1. Most of my friends think I should use household products that are safe for the environment. 2. Most of my friends think I should recycle household garbage. 3. Most of my neighbors think I should use environmentally friendly household products. 4. Most of my neighbors think I should recycle. 5. Most of my coworkers think I should use environmentally friendly household products. 6. Most of my coworkers think I should recycle. 7. Most of my family members think I should use environmentally friendly products. 8. Most of my family members think I should recycle. 9. The leaders of my community encourage us all to be good to the environment. Personal Environmental Norm Measure 1. Do you feel a personal, moral obligation to buy environmentally friendly products for your household? 2. Do you feel a personal, moral obligation to recycle household waste? 3. Do you feel a personal, moral obligation to pay attention to advertisements about products which are safe for the environment? 4. Do you feel a personal, moral obligation to read and compare package labels for environmentally safe ingredients when you shop? 5. Do you feel a personal, moral obligation to buy products made with recycled ingredients? 6. Do you feel a personal, moral obligation to buy larger size products in order to reduce waste? 7. Do you feel a personal, moral obligation to do whatever you can to help improve the environment? 8. Do you feel a personal, moral obligation to buy products made by companies known for being environmentally responsible? Environmental Concern Measure 1. I think we are not doing enough to save scarce natural resources from being used up. 2. Natural resources must be preserved even if people must do without some products. 3. I feel sorry that the government does not do more to help control pollution of the environment. 4. (Reversed) Much more fuss is being made about air and water pollution than is really justified. 5. I feel angry and frustrated when I think about the harm being done to plant and animal life by pollution. 6. I think the government should devote more money toward supporting conservation and environmental programs. 7. Consumers should be interested in the environmental consequences of the products they purchase. 8. Consumers should pay higher prices for products which pollute the environment. 9. Non-recyclable containers should be taxed to reduce waste. 10. The government should subsidize research on technology for recycling waste products. 11. Manufacturers should be required to use recycled materials in their operations whenever possible. 12. Commercial advertising should be required to mention the environmental disadvantages of products. 13. Products which pollute the environment during manufacturing or consumption should be taxed. 14. Public schools should require all students to take a course dealing with the environment and conservation problems. 15. I feel angry and frustrated when I think of the ways industries are polluting the environment. 16. (Reversed) Environmental issues are overrated and do not concern me. Behavioral Intentions Measures 1. I would be willing to sign a petition to support an environmental cause. 2. I would consider joining a group or club which is concerned with the environment. 3. I would be willing to pay more taxes to support greater government control of pollution. 4. I would be willing to pay more each month for electricity if it meant cleaner air. 5. I would be willing to stop buying products from companies guilty of polluting the environment even though it might be inconvenient for me. 6. I would be willing to make personal sacrifices for the sake of slowing down pollution even though the immediate results may not seem significant.

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