Academic journal article Journal of Management Research

Towards Developing a Conceptual Framework of Environmentally Significant Behaviour

Academic journal article Journal of Management Research

Towards Developing a Conceptual Framework of Environmentally Significant Behaviour

Article excerpt

Abstract

Considering the recent concern over environmental issues and human behavior, the environmentally significant behaviour has received significant research attention. Environmentally significant behaviour indicates individuals' way of living in harmony with the environment. It is assumed that when an individual embraces environmentally significant behaviour, the person would be willing to sacrifice one's own immediate interest for the environment. However, it is still not fully understood that what factors affect individuals' environmentally significant behavior. The present study is such an effort to fill this gap. The objective of this study is to develop a model that addresses the factors that contribute to the environmentally significant behaviour. This research is expected to provide useful direction for the policy makers to combat environmental issues.

Keywords: Environmentally Significant Behaviour, New Ecological Paradigm, Personal Norm, Conceptual Framework

1. Introduction

Human behaviour has always been the focal point of research in the field of environmentalism. Indeed the relationship between nature and human need holds the key for the betterment of the environment (Haron, Paim and Yahaya, 2005). Therefore, environmentally significant behavior became the center of research attention in the recent years. Environmentally significant behaviour indicates person's way of living in harmony with the environment (Chan, 1996). It is assumed that when an individual embraces environmentally significant behaviour, that person is likely to be willing to sacrifice his/her own immediate interest for the sake of environment (Bruvold, 1973). However, it is still not fully discovered that what factors positively affect individuals' environmentally significant behavior. Considering this the present study attempts to fill the gap in the existing literature.

This study aims to develop model that addresses the factors that contribute to the environmentally significant behaviour. Based on value-belief-norm theory and norm-activation theory, it is expected that environmentally significant behavior is predominantly driven by new ecological paradigm and pro-environmental personal norm. Norm-activation theory helps to explain the effect of personal norm in activating environmentally significant behaviour. On the other hand, the New Ecological Paradigm is connected to personal norm through the generalisation of value-belief-norm theory (Dunlap et al., 2000; Stern, 2000). Past studies found support for the relationship between new ecological paradigm and environmentally significant behavior as well as between personal norm and environmentally significant behavior (Poortinga et al., 2004). However, there is a dearth of research that examined the direct link between pro-environmental personal norm in relation to environmentally significant behaviour. Moreover, the mediating role of pro-environmental personal norm between New Ecological Paradigm and environmentally significant behaviour is yet to be considered.

This research is expected to provide support for the policy formulation to combat environmental issues. The effect from social and psychological perspective of an individual would shape the human behaviour. Environmental problems that are caused by human behaviour can be mitigated by changing the relevant behaviour to reduce the environmental problems. Thus, understanding factors that influence behaviour provides the necessary guidance for marketers to decide on market segmentation and product positioning. In addition, marketers could apply the knowledge on the effect of general belief and personal norm on environmentally significant behaviour for marketing communication of green products.

The rest of the paper is twofold. First, relevant literature is reviewed pertaining to environmentally significant behavior, personal norm and new ecological paradigm. Next, a conceptual framework is developed. …

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