Sustainability Campaigns and Consumer Involvement: Effects of Altruism, Locus of Control, and Long-Term Orientation

Sustainability Campaigns and Consumer Involvement: Effects of Altruism, Locus of Control, and Long-Term Orientation

Zeynep Balanlı (Boğaziçi University, Turkey) and Özlem Hesapçı (Boğaziçi University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6635-1.ch002


The main aim of this chapter is to find out the effects of NGO campaigns on consumers in terms of attitude and behavior and discover any relationship between this effect and sustainable personality factors such as altruism, locus of control, and long-term orientation. A survey is conducted with 177 consumers who reside in Turkey for at least two years that are older than 18 years. Experimented with two popular environmental NGO campaigns, results reveal clearly that altruistic personality trait has a positive effect on consumers in terms of behavior. Locus of control and long-term orientation are not correlated with environmental behavior and attitude of consumers. In addition, only age is positively correlated with consumer behavior in one of the campaigns. Demographics are not found to be sufficient to explain consumer behavior in environmental campaigns.
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Although the definition of sustainable development is discussed to be vague; it has different definitions in different contexts and changed over time since Brundtland Commission defined it in 1987 (Redclift, 2005). Established by the United Nations, Brundtland Comission united countries to define a map for the global environmental concerns. The comission released a report in 1987 which defined “sustainable development” and considered as the first definition of the sustainability concept. In his article, Redclift examines the development and evolution of sustainability concept from Brundtland Report’s definition onward. Accoring to Redclift, by 2000s, sustainability concept refers to development of the world we live, by not only concerning the present time but also considering future generations. It has environmental, social and economic aspects which aim to achieve sustainability in all of them. Sustainable development involves governments, NGOs, corporations and consumers. In addition, since sustainable development is a broader subject which involves global problems, there is a need for managing sustainability globally.

The sustainable development concept has influenced the corporations with increasing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) engagements. Many business organizations are formed to support contributions of corporations to sustainable development (Smith, 2003). Some of the widespread organizations include World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF), Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and Business in the Community (BITC). The CSR activities of firms have affected the consumers in terms of attitude and purchasing behavior in sustainability issues (Becker-Olsen et al., 2006).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Long-Term Orientation: Tendency to anticipate future rewards for one’s actions and behavior.

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs): Non-profit organizations which are not established by the government.

Sustainability: Sustainable development, which includes the four interconnected domains: ecology, economics, politics and culture.

Altruism: Doing good to others without expecting any rewards, opposite of selfishness.

External Locus of Control: Belief in people that external factors are mostly in control of their lives.

Internal Locus of Control: Belief in people that they are mostly in control of their lives.

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