Environmental problems threaten the lives of all living beings, especially human beings, in our environment. With the rapid increase in environmental problems, consumers are directed to protect the environment by the fact that they are aware that they directly have an effect on these issues. Nowadays, the growing awareness of consumers about environmental issues has mobilized green marketers. For this reason, enterprises consider the future of the consumers, and they conduct all their activities in an environmentally friendly manner from the design of the products to the distribution of them. It is important for consumers to have a positive attitude towards green products, because the transformation of these attitudes into behavior will positively affect both the profitability process of the firms and the future of the communities. In this study, the impact of the individual’s culture and self-efficacy on the attitude towards green products has been examined with a holistic approach. In addition, the effect of the attitude towards the green products on the behavior of purchasing has also been examined. According to the results of the research, it has been seen that collectivism and self-efficacy have an effect on the individual’s attitudes towards green product. Besides attitude has an effect on the behavior purchasings.
Keywords: Cultural dimensionsself-efficacyattitude green product
As a result of the environmental problems experienced, both businesses and consumers have increased interest in green products; because, in the intertwined life adventure of nature and human beings, damaging to the environment triggers people’s future anxiety. In this context, due to the signs of global warming and the abuse of the world’s scarce resources, more attention has been paid to environmentally friendly products. Now, consumers support environmentally friendly applications and products much more. In other words, consumers want less pollution of the product, less waste, more recycling, more renewable resources in the production process, and environmentally friendly products (Karaca, 2013). Improvements in the level of education and culture of people also have an effect increasing the sensitivity of the society to the environment. That is why the market, which is composed of consumers demanding green products, is growing day by day (Yaraş et al., 2011). Culture is one of the most important variables affecting consumer behaviors (Keleş, 2007). Businesses, an economic unit, produce goods and services to meet the needs of the society and make profit in return. However, in addition to financial gains, enterprises have also functions such as responding to the economic, social and cultural needs of the society and helping to solve social problems (Erbaşlar, 2012). In this context, cultural differences change individuals’ priorities. Considering nature is in the foreground in the developed countries while the priority of the people in the less developed countries is to meet the main needs of individuals (Ayyıldız & Genç, 2008). In this study, the dimensions of culture that are supposed to have an impact on the attitude towards green products are discussed under three titles. Collectivism is the first of the dimensions of culture. Research shows that individuals with collectivist culture have more green values and more green buying behaviors (Keleş, 2007; McCarty & Shrum, 1994; Nguyen et al., 2017). The other two dimensions of culture are long-term orientation and man-nature orientation (Sreen et al., 2018). Research also shows that long-term oriented individuals have a positive attitude towards environmental and green products because they think they will be beneficial in the future (Leonidou et al., 2010). Besides, man-nature orientation affects environmental attitudes positively (Sugandini et al., 2018).
Self-efficacy is the self-judgment of a person for organizing the activities that are required to show a certain performance and for performing them successfully. Self-efficacy is a belief that develops over time and through the individual’s experiences. Individuals can improve their self-efficacy through direct experience, observing other people, or listening to others' comments (Lee, 2005). In this context, self-efficacy belief affects individuals' green purchasing behavior (Kim & Choi, 2005). Studies that evaluate cultural dimensions and attitudes towards green products are frequently encountered in the literature. However, the aim of the study in terms of contribution to the literature is to provide a holistic approach by considering both the cultural and individual characteristics of the individual together.
The basis of the study is the results of testing the following hypothesis.
H1: Long-term orientation is effective on attitude towards green products.
H2: Collectivism is effective on the attitude towards green products.
H3: Man-nature orientation has an impact on attitude towards green products.
H4: Self-efficacy is effective on attitude towards green products.
H5: The attitude towards green products is effective on green purchasing behavior.
Culture is the unity which is formed by the rules and responsibilities that shape the behavior of a society, make each society a distinct environment, and give the societies their own shape (Mutlu, 2008, p. 201). Due to the rapid globalization of markets and the diversification of consumer segments, the interest towards the impact of culture on consumer behavior is increasing day by day (Douglas & Craig, 1997). It is also assumed that the diversity of behavior in social relationships directs consumers' reactions and perceptions in order to understand the differences in consumer participation in cultural processes (Bolton et al., 2010). In addition, it affects the cultural attitudes of individuals (Abdul Rashid et al., 2004). In the study, the dimensions of the concept of culture were examined under three main titles. Collectivism and long-term orientation dimensions were taken from the study of Hofstede (2011), and man-nature orientation were taken from the study of Kluchhohn and Strodtbeck (1961).
Long-Term Orientation: Long-term orientation is the degree to which a society has a perspective towards a utilitarian future (Furrer et al., 2000). In another definition, long-term orientation is the promotion of rewarding virtues, especially stability and savings, for the future (Hofstede, 2001). Long-term oriented individuals see themselves as financially responsible, loyal and innovative, since they tend to save heavily (Soares et al., 2007). In long-term oriented cultures, individuals are also expected to establish long-term relationships with service providers. The concepts of reliability, responsiveness and empathy are therefore crucial for individuals as a result of their close relationship with service providers (Furrer et al., 2000). In this context, individuals in this culture maintain their social traditions and adhere to their family values (Sreen et al., 2018), and when they are unsure of their future benefits, they seek opinions from others before making any purchase decisions (Sharma, 2010). Sarıgöllü (2009) investigated the impact of cultural, socio-demographic and contextual characteristics on shaping environmental attitudes across the country. As a result of the research, they found that individuals with long-term orientation have a positive attitude towards environmental products. Nguyen et al. (2017) found that consumers' long-term orientation values positively affect their attitude towards environmentally friendly products.
Collectivism: “Collectivism is the degree of integration of individuals in a society into powerful and harmonious groups from the moment they are born” (Hofstede, 2001, p. 225). Collectivism is concerned with values such as philanthropy, tradition and harmony (Schwartz et al., 2001). In collectivist cultures, individuals see themselves as part of one or more groups and are willing to give priority to the goals of these groups rather than their own goals (Sharma, 2010). In the literature, it is possible to come across many studies dealing with the concepts of collectivism and attitude towards green products. Samarasinghe (2012) examined the impact of cultural values and environmental attitudes on green consumer behavior. As a result of the study, she concluded that collectivism affects environmental attitudes. Kirmani and Khan (2016) investigated the relationship between consumers' environmental concerns and their attitudes towards green products. As a result of the study, they found a positive relationship between collectivism and attitude towards environmental products. Erciş et al. (2016) examined the effect of collectivist culture, green attitude and behavior on willingness to pay more for green products. They concluded that collectivist culture positively affected green attitude. Studies in the literature show that collectivism positively affects the attitude towards green products.
Man-Nature Orientation: Mman-nature orientation is expressed “as the ability to direct human relations with nature” (Sugandini et al., 2018, p. 268). When the studies in the literature dealing with man-nature orientation and attitude towards green products are examined, Chan and Lau (2000) investigated the effects of cultural values, ecological influences and ecological information on green purchasing behaviors. As a result of the study, they found that man-nature orientation had a positive effect on the attitudes of individuals when purchasing green products. Sreen et al. (2018) concluded that man-nature orientation has a direct positive effect on attitude for green products. The studies in the literature show that man-nature orientation positively affects the attitude towards green products.
“Self-efficacy is the judgment of individuals about their ability to organize and conduct the actions that are necessary to perform a certain performance” (Bandura, 1986, p. 391). In other words, “self-efficacy is a personal belief that individuals can tackle the difficulties they faced and fulfill the responsibilities that are expected from them” (Uzun, 2018, p. 29). Self-efficacy belief is also thought to be effective on behaviors, thought systems, motivation, emotional and physiological states (Bandura, 1997). As a result, it is seen that this belief is an element affecting people’s choices, goals, how much effort they should make, how much resistance they can resist to the difficulties, how long they can recover themselves when they face negativity, the level of anxiety or stress they have and their final successes (Pajares, 1997). According to the studies dealing with the concepts of self-efficacy and attitude, Torkzadeh and Van Dyke (2001), Hsu and Chiu (2004) and Lee and Hsieh (2009) found that self-efficacy has an effect on attitude. Qader and Zainuddin (2011) concluded that self-efficacy positively affects consumers' environmental attitudes. Studies in the literature show that self-efficacy has a positive effect on attitude.
Attitude towards Green Products
“Attitude is a psychological tendency expressed by evaluating a particular object with positive or negative thoughts” (Khoiriyah & Toro, 2018:, p. 622). The notion of attitude can be conceptually classified as general and specific attitude (Sun & Wilson, 2008). While general attitude refers to the general tendency towards behaviors towards the object to be exhibited, the special attitude is a strong preliminary indicator of a single behavior towards a particular object (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1977; Eagly & Chaiken, 1993; Hines et al., 1987). Therefore, consumers' beliefs or feelings about their decision to buy eco-friendly products and the effects of such behaviors on environmental results often lead to the perception of the concept of special attitude as attitude towards green products (Kaiser & Gutscher, 2003; Riethmuller & Buttriss, 2008). In addition, the attitude towards green products, which is an important mediator between environmental awareness and green product purchasing behavior, is a result of consumers 'appreciation and discontent and has an impact on consumers' willingness to buy a product for environmental protection (Chyong et al., 2006; Tanner & Kast, 2003).
Green purchasing Behavior
“Green purchasing behavior is that individuals buy environmentally friendly products or the products which are recyclable and thus provide benefit and that they avoid the products which harm nature and society” (Jaiswal & Kant, 2018, p. 61). The increasing concern of the future with increasing environmental problems shapes consumers' purchasing behaviors and consumers prefer to purchase products/services which are environmentally friendly and which are offered by companies that implement environmentally friendly policies. In other words, the tendency of consumers to exhibit green purchasing behavior rather than general purchasing behavior increases. Accordingly, companies are directed to implement environmental policies and strategies. Determining the attitudes of consumers towards environmental problems and the factors affecting green product purchasing behaviors are of great importance for the success of enterprises in marketing activities (Liobikiene et al., 2016; Yadav & Pathak, 2017).
Purpose of the Study
The aim of this study is to examine the effects of long-term orientation, collectivism, man-nature orientation and self-efficacy on the attitude towards green products. It is also aimed to address the impact of attitude towards green products on green purchasing behavior. When the literature about variables was searched, it was seen that there are many studies investigating the relationship between cultural dimensions and attitude towards green products among the variables discussed within the scope of the study, but the studies conducted based on the concept of self-efficacy were limited. Therefore, it is aimed to contribute to the literature with a holistic approach by considering both the cultural variables of the individual and the concept of self-efficacy together. The sample of the study consists of individuals who purchase green products and who live in Erzincan. Therefore, the results obtained are valid for this sample and cannot be generalized for other product groups and cities.
Data Collection Method and Process
The main population of the study consists of 18-year- and over individuals who buy green products and who live in Erzincan. The research data were obtained by using face to face survey method. Convenience sampling method was used as the sampling method. Long-term orientation scale was obtained from the study of Yoo and Donthu (2005). Collectivism scale was obtained from the study of Kim and Choi (2005) and man-nature harmony scale was taken from the study of Bong Ko and Jin (2017). The self-efficacy scale was obtained from the study of Qader and Zainuddin (2011). The attitude scale for green products was obtained from the study of Hsu et al. (2017) and the green purchasing behavior scale was taken from the study of Jaiswal and Kant (2018).
While translating the scales, language experts were consulted and the scales were translated in order to eliminate the mistakes that might arise during the translation of the survey questions. After the scales were translated, a preliminary study of 20 samples was applied and the questionnaire was finalized. The survey was conducted between April 22, 2019 and May 16, 2019. After the final questionnaire was prepared, 395 people were surveyed and 350 questionnaires were evaluated after eliminating the wrong and incomplete questionnaires. SPSS 22 package program was used to analyze the data and descriptive statistics, reliability analysis and regression analysis were benefited from.
The research model is shown in Figure
Demographic Characteristics of Respondents
Demographic characteristics of the participants were as follows: 60% of the participants are male and 40% are female. In the distribution of the respondents according to age groups, the majority is between 18-28 age group, which is 40%. In addition, 55% of the respondents are married and 38% are university graduates. In terms of professions, 21% of the respondents are workers and 19% are civil servants. In the income level, the participants with the income of 1000-2001 TL are the first with 23%.
Cronbach's Alpha Values for Variables; Long-Term Tendency is 0.84; Collectivism is 0.89;
Man-Nature Orientation is 0.87; Self-efficacy is 0.73; Attitude towards green products is 0.92; Green purchasing behavior is 0.90. The scales are seen to be reliable.
Multiple regression analysis was conducted to examine the effects of long-term orientation, collectivism, man-nature orientation and self-efficacy, which are of cultural dimensions, on attitude towards green products. The results are shown in Table
As seen in Table
As can be seen in Table
A simple regression analysis was conducted to examine the effect of attitude towards green products on green purchasing behavior. The results are shown in Table
The attitude towards green products, as seen in Table
As shown in Table
The use of green products is known to have many benefits for society. However, it is important to identify variables that will raise awareness in this regard and make these products more preferable to consumers. In this way, the green product market will revive and as a result both businesses and individuals will benefit from this shopping process. Within the scope of the study, the factors that may affect the purchasing behavior of green products, in other words, environmentally friendly products were investigated. According to the results of the research, collectivism, one of the cultural dimensions, is effective on attitude towards green products. The culture of the society in which the individual lives, in other words, traditions and customs, shapes his choice of goods and services. People’s way of thinking is affected by how much they value the group they are in. Collectivism is significant in the sense of the organizational value structure of Turkish society (Fikret Paşa et al., 2001). It is important for the society that environmentally friendly products are presented to the market in line with the collectivism values and that positive attitude is established; because there is a positive relationship between collectivism and environmental concern (Yeniçeri, 2008). In this process, companies need to apply strategies based on an individual’s social self-concept. The groups in which consumers are, their families and the people around them have a guiding effect on their environmentalism and green product perspectives. Therefore, social-oriented goals and group collaborations should be emphasized for people to adopt green products. Because the environmental value judgments of the society enable the individual to prefer environmental products and create a social impact on the consumer. Companies should take into consideration the opinions of the society in the decision process. Individuals should be consulted for their social integration. They should be allowed to express their feelings and thoughts. After the purchase, green consumers need to be constantly monitored. Another result of the study is the effect of self-efficacy on attitude towards green products. Knowing the environmental impact of the situation as a result of individuals’ activities contributes to their positive thinking about green products. In addition, consumers should be convinced that each individual activity within the scope of green marketing will positively affect the process. In this context, individuals should be persuaded to make the necessary effort. It is necessary to support people to find a way out for the solution of environmental problems and to share these alternative proposals with the companies. The correct functioning of such a process is under favour of that people feel themselves important. An individual’s feeling sufficient about a subject is related to having knowledge about it. Companies should inform consumers about the contribution of the use of environmentally friendly products and their impact on nature. They must convince the consumers with concrete data.
Finally, the attitude towards green products has been found to be effective on purchasing behavior. Investigation of green purchasing behavior is important in terms of the strategies to be determined by the producers; because the purchasing behavior of environmentally friendly products affects both production policies and marketing policies (Yeniçeri, 2008). Consumers review the contents label to analyze their environmental sensitivity when purchasing a product. This analysis process of consumers affects their attitudes towards products. In addition to this, it is effective for consumers to consider green products as good, pleasant and satisfying in favouring the purchase of the environmentally friendly products. These positive attitudes are a major factor in the fact that products can be preferred even if they are more expensive.
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Erciş, A., Aykut, O. H., & Yildiz, T. (2021). The Effect Of Culture And Self-Efficacy On The Attitude Towards Green Products. In C. Zehir, A. Kutlu, & T. Karaboğa (Eds.), Leadership, Innovation, Media and Communication, vol 101. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 73-83). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.02.7