A SOCIAL IMPACT THEORY PERSPECTIVE ON CONSUMERS’ INTENTION TO ADOPT RECYCLING IN CHINA
Department of International Business, Tamkang University, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Bachelor's Program in Business Management, Fu Jen Catholic University,
Department of International Business, National Taiwan University, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Consumers always claim that they support ethical consumption, however, previous studies found few of them actually purchase in the way they claimed. Hence, this study focuses on another attribute of ethical consumption: disposing of products with reducing environmental harm, i.e., recycling. As the concept of recycling is rooted in developed countries, this study aims to examine consumers in an emerging market, i.e., China. Moreover, we used Social Impact Theory to fill the literature gap, in which consumers’ perceive immediacy, persuasiveness, and supportiveness positively influences consumers’ ethical belief, and then lead to consumers’ recycling intention. With a sample of 544 participants in China, the empirical results suggest that the variables from Social Impact Theory significantly affect consumers’ ethical beliefs. The results also indicate consumers’ ethical beliefs significantly predict consumer intention to recycle. A better understanding of consumers’ ethical decision-making in ethical consumption behaviors context is reached accordingly.
Keyword: Social impact theory, Ethical consumption, Green consumer behavior, Emerging market, Sustainability