Effect of Greenwashing Advertisements on Organizational Image

Effect of Greenwashing Advertisements on Organizational Image

Tamer Baran (Pamukkale University, Turkey) and Mehmet Kiziloglu (Pamukkale University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2965-1.ch003


Firms have an unfavourable effect on environmental problems that severely threatens the ecological balance. In this context, firms' responsibility must be heavy on environmental problems. In the last two decades an approach guiding firms' socially beneficial activity as well as profitably activity has emerged. Accordingly, many firms launched marketing campaigns in order to claim themselves environment friendly. But it is not possible to say all of these campaigns reflect the facts. Some firms conduct greenwashing campaigns, which means misleading activity in order to persuade external stakeholders and consumers to appear more environmentally friendly than they actually are. In this chapter, the authors explain the effect of greenwashing advertisements on organizational culture using findings of previous studies as evidence. Organizational image, greenwashing concepts, and factors that drive firms' greenwashing activities are explained and then the effect of green advertisements on organizational image is revealed through previous studies' findings.
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Organizational Image

In general, image is a concept, a collection of meanings that we use consciously or unconsciously in our daily lives which describes persons, firms, cities, countries and objects in a positive or negative way. Image, despite being expressed in a word, is affected by social, cultural, demographic and other factors in the society we live in, and consists of many pieces that are related or unrelated to each other. Additionally, some of these pieces are more significant, while others are less significant.

The image concept, which was first defined by Sidney Levy in 1955 as ‘the sum of beliefs, attitudes and impressions of persons or groups towards certain objects’, have caught the attention of researchers and become subject of studies in various fields. Image may be described as a dynamic and complex concept that changes continuously (Dichter, 1985). Image was described as the impression of an object, person or organization on a person, or a collection of behaviors, ideas, attitudes, stances and beliefs related to such objects, persons or organizations (Prahalad & Hamel, 1990; Kotler & Andreasen, 1996; Lemmink et al., 2003). Van Riel and Fomburn argue that image arises from the interaction of emotions, thoughts and beliefs of individuals regarding an object, person or organization. Image is how something is known and how it is related with, described and remembered by people (Van Riel & Fomburn, 2007). Additionally, image is the interpretation and perception of an object or a person both mentally and emotionally; it is a construct that occurs via reasoning by all real and imaginary evidence at hand, and is affected by existing effects, beliefs, thoughts and emotions (Davis, 2006).

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