Model of eco-socially conscious consumer behaviour related to choice and use of personal cars: evidence from an emerging economy

Saleem, Muhammad Abid (2019) Model of eco-socially conscious consumer behaviour related to choice and use of personal cars: evidence from an emerging economy. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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Abstract

This thesis focuses on developing a model of eco-socially conscious consumer behaviour related to choice and use of personal cars. It presents empirical evidence relating to the factors that must be considered when promoting environmentally friendly cars (noted as alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) throughout the thesis), especially in an emerging economy such as Pakistan. The rationale and motivation behind this project is that there is an increasing rate of environmental problems such as air pollution and CO₂ in emerging economies and relatively lower competence in developing strategies aimed at improving climate change resilience. Together with changing the climate, anti-environmental anthropogenic activities make it more difficult for affected communities to prosper. To curb these environmental problems, studies reported in the academic literature have suggested taking measures to reduce the impact of human activities on the environment and regulating consumption of environmentally harmful products. In response to these emerging demands, marketers have invested heavily, regarding both product development and promotion of pro-environmental behaviours, in various domains of commercial interest. One such area is the use of personal cars, a sector that is proliferating and, given that CO₂ emissions from cars are one of the most significant sources of environmental problems (particularly global warming), there is a need to promote alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) and eco-social behaviours in the use of personal cars. This thesis reports on two major studies to answer three underlying research questions. The first study focuses on two research questions. The first research question, RQ1, explores how automobile industry consumers (those in the personal cars segment) define eco-socially conscious behaviour (ESCCB) related to the choice and use of personal cars in Pakistan. The second research question, RQ2, attempts to identify the profiles of different customer segments based ESCCB defined in RQ1. The second study is focused on the theoretical explanation of factors that are suggested in the literature to affect ESCCB related to the choice and use of personal cars. The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) and Value-Beliefs-Norms Theory (VBN) have been converged to provide a holistic explanation of ESCCB.

Based on scientific methodologies recommended for new scale development, the results reported in this thesis suggest that ESCCB related to choice and use of personal cars is a latent construct manifested in three underlying dimensions: eco-social use, eco-social purchase and eco-social conservation. A market segmentation approach using cluster and discriminant analysis suggests that three consumer segments exist in the Pakistani automobile market based on response towards eco-social behaviour and inclination towards choosing AFVs. The first segment, the conservatives, are not concerned about the environmental issues, prefer conventional cars, and are least sensitive to the eco-social use of personal cars. The second segment, the indifferents, are unsure whether they should buy AFVs and whether this will positively affect the environment. The third segment, and the largest one (51%), the enthusiasts, are highly inclined towards purchasing AFVs and eco-social use of personal cars to reduce the impact of the use of personal cars on the environment. The findings of Study 1 hold significant implications for marketing practitioners and policymakers. Some conceptual and methodological limitations are highlighted.

The results of Study 2 suggest that the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), Value- Belief-Norm (VBN) Theory and the integrated model, were all found to be very strong in explaining not only ESCCB intentions but also actual behaviour, related to purchase of environmentally friendly cars and conservation of fuel. Results showed that the integrated model based on TPB and VBN was stronger in predicting ESCCB-conservation (49.7 per cent variance) than TPB (46.7 per cent variance) and VBN (26.7 per cent variance). A similar pattern of results was evident for ESCCB-purchases (integrated model: 14.8 per cent variance, TPB: 12.5 per cent variance, VBN: 10.8 per cent variance). However, the predictive power of the three models for actual eco-socially conscious consumer behaviour (ESCCB) had slightly different results. TPB was found stronger to predict actual ESCCB (33.4 per cent variance), followed by the integrated model based on TPB and VBN (31.9 per cent variance) and VBN (15.7 per cent variance).

This study contributes to both theoretical and practical aspects linked with ecosocially conscious consumer behaviour related to choice and use of personal cars. These contributions extend the theoretical literature related to eco-social behaviours and provides policy measures for marketing practitioners and public policy makers. The study findings not only provide guidelines for automobile related behaviours but can also be generalised in other areas.

Item ID: 60539
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Eco-Socially Conscious Consumer Behaviour (ESCCB), egoistic values, altruistic values, biospheric values, Value-Belief-Norm (VBN) Theory, the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), new scale development, alternative fuel vehicles
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Copyright Information: Copyright © 2019 Muhammad Abid Saleem.
Additional Information:

Three publications arising from this thesis are available from the Related URLs field. The publications are:

Saleem, Muhammad Abid, Eagle, Lynne, and Low, David (2018) Climate change behaviors related to purchase and use of personal cars: development and validation of eco-socially conscious consumer behavior scale. Transportation Research Part D, 59. pp. 68-85.

Saleem, Muhammad Abid, Eagle, Lynne, and Low, David (2018) Market segmentation based on eco-socially conscious consumers’ behavioral intentions: evidence from an emerging economy. Journal of Cleaner Production, 193. pp. 14-27.

Saleem, Muhammad Abid, Eagle, Lynne, Yaseen, Asif, and Low, David (2018) The power of spirituality: exploring the effects of environmental values on ecosocially conscious consumer behaviour. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 30 (4). pp. 867-888.

Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2019 04:55
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1505 Marketing > 150501 Consumer-Oriented Product or Service Development @ 50%
15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1505 Marketing > 150505 Marketing Research Methodology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 88 TRANSPORT > 8898 Environmentally Sustainable Transport > 889802 Management of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transport Activities @ 50%
88 TRANSPORT > 8898 Environmentally Sustainable Transport > 889801 Management of Gaseous Waste from Transport Activities (excl. Greenhouse Gases) @ 50%
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