Being Spiritually Green: Investigating the Impact of Spiritually Motivated Environmentalism on Green Purchasing Intentions

Being Spiritually Green: Investigating the Impact of Spiritually Motivated Environmentalism on Green Purchasing Intentions

Nitika Sharma (Department of Commerce, Delhi University, India), Madan Lal (Department of Commerce, Delhi University, India) and Pankaj Deshwal (Netaji Subhas University of Technology, India)
DOI: 10.4018/IJSSMET.2020100107
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The article theoretically explores and empirically examines the relationship between spiritually motivated environmentalism (SME) and green purchasing intentions (GPI). Also, the mediating role of psychographic variables, namely environmental self-efficacy (ESE), environmental locus of control (ELOC), and environmental empathy (EE), were tested on the SME and GPI. A total of 223 Indian respondents filled out the administered questionnaire to validate the hypothesis, and collected data were analysed using SEM and Hayes's Parallel Multiple Mediation Model. The effect of SME was found significantly positive on GPI through ESE, ELOC, and EE. The findings from the study indicate that spirituality motivates green buying among consumers. Also, green purchasing augments in presence of consumers' self-efficacy, locus of control, and empathy towards environment.
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The concept of spirituality has been studied by many theorists in the context of workplace processes and outcomes like leadership, performance, motivation, satisfaction and coping with stress (Sharma et al., 2014; Gupta et al., 2014; Petchsawanga & Duchon, 2012; Fairholm, 1998). Past studies evolved the concepts of Ecological theology and Environmental ethics to Spiritual environmentalism (Baker & Morrison, 2008; Greeley, 2001; Kale, 2004) as spirituality, culture and religion motivate environmental orientation among consumers (Sharma & Sharma, 2016; Mohd Suki & Mohd Suki, 2015; Narang, 2013). Also, Schultz & Zelezny, 2003, explained the association between spiritual transcendence of individual and their engagement in pro-environmental behaviour. Moreover, lately researchers are examining the association between spirituality and green purchasing intentions (Rodriguez-Rad & Ramos-Hidalgo, 2018; Arli & Tjiptono, 2017; Sharma & Sharma, 2016; Garfield et al., 2014; Baker & Morrison, 2008). However, the extent to which, or in what way, spirituality influences the environmental consumption has been empirically under-researched (Kale, 2006). It might be because the understanding and universal definition of spirituality is a futile process (Kinjerski & Skrypnek, 2004) and hence, the concept is neglected in the marketing activities and understanding the behaviour of the consumers (Ball et al., 2001). Hence, it is affirmed that influence of spirituality on environmental orientation remains under-research. Nevertheless, spirituality may offer a significant insight into the subjective way of understanding green buying using transcendental experiences of consumers as in many cultures and religions individuals have their inclination towards natural environment. Like Buddhist believes in notions of karmas and sacralised sympathy towards all beings (De Silva, 2001). In the same way Indian spirituality profound divinity in self and others which includes the universe and cosmos (Dwivedi, 2001) and White (1967) discussed the human dominance over nature in Judeo-Christian religious tradition. Certainly understanding of spirituality among different religion varies, yet there is convergent view in term of predisposition towards natural environment. Especially in India there is a tradition to worship nature and still trees are considered to be scared and prayed. Indeed, Smith (1995) emphasised on interconnectedness between Indian spirituality and natural environment. Recognising the role of spiritual thoughts in consumer’s buying intentions, this paper attempts to explore the role and association between spiritual orientation and green buying intentions.

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