IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/jbuset/v131y2015i2p423-437.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Impact of Choice Architecture on Sustainable Consumer Behavior: The Role of Guilt

Author

Listed:
  • Aristeidis Theotokis

    ()

  • Emmanouela Manganari

    ()

Abstract

Companies often encourage consumers to engage in sustainable behaviors using their services in a more environmentally friendly or green way, such as reusing the towels in a hotel or replacing paper bank statements by electronic statements. Sometimes, the option of green service is implied as the default and consumers can opt-out, while in other cases consumers need to explicitly ask (opt-in) for switching to a green service. This research examines the effectiveness of choice architecture and particularly the different default policies—i.e., the alternative the consumer receives if he/she does not explicitly request otherwise—in engaging consumer green behavior. In four experiments, we show that the opt-out default policy is more effective than the opt-in, because it increases anticipated guilt. This effect is stronger for consumers who are less conscious for the environment (Study 1).We also show that a forced choice policy, in which the consumer is not automatically assigned to any condition and is forced to choose between the green and the non-green service option, is more effective than the opt-in policy and not significantly more effective than the opt-out policy (Study 2). Finally, we show that the role of defaults is weakened (enhanced), if a negotiated (reciprocal) cooperation strategy is used (Study 3). The article contributes to the literature of defaults and provides managerial and public policy implications for the design of green services. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Aristeidis Theotokis & Emmanouela Manganari, 2015. "The Impact of Choice Architecture on Sustainable Consumer Behavior: The Role of Guilt," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 131(2), pages 423-437, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:131:y:2015:i:2:p:423-437
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-014-2287-4
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10551-014-2287-4
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2003. "Optimal Defaults," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 180-185, May.
    2. Meuter, Matthew L. & Ostrom, Amy L. & Bitner, Mary Jo & Roundtree, Robert, 2003. "The influence of technology anxiety on consumer use and experiences with self-service technologies," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 56(11), pages 899-906, November.
    3. Park, JungKun & Han, HyoJoo & Park, JooHyung, 2013. "Psychological antecedents and risk on attitudes toward e-customization," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(12), pages 2552-2559.
    4. Calder, Bobby J & Phillips, Lynn W & Tybout, Alice M, 1981. " Designing Research for Application," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 197-207, September.
    5. Gabriel D. Carroll & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2009. "Optimal Defaults and Active Decisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1639-1674.
    6. Julie S. Downs & George Loewenstein & Jessica Wisdom, 2009. "Strategies for Promoting Healthier Food Choices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 159-164, May.
    7. Noah J. Goldstein & Robert B. Cialdini & Vladas Griskevicius, 2008. "A Room with a Viewpoint: Using Social Norms to Motivate Environmental Conservation in Hotels," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(3), pages 472-482, March.
    8. repec:eee:jouret:v:86:y:2010:i:4:p:295-309 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Shang, Jingzhi & Basil, Debra Z. & Wymer, Walter, 2010. "Using social marketing to enhance hotel reuse programs," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 166-172, February.
    10. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2001. "The Power of Suggestion: Inertia in 401(k) Participation and Savings Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1149-1187.
    11. Kilbourne, William E. & Beckmann, Suzanne C. & Thelen, Eva, 2002. "The role of the dominant social paradigm in environmental attitudes: a multinational examination," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 193-204, March.
    12. Cotte, June & Coulter, Robin A. & Moore, Melissa, 2005. "Enhancing or disrupting guilt: the role of ad credibility and perceived manipulative intent," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 361-368, March.
    13. Pracejus, John W. & Olsen, G. Douglas, 2004. "The role of brand/cause fit in the effectiveness of cause-related marketing campaigns," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(6), pages 635-640, June.
    14. Hui, Michael K & Bateson, John E G, 1991. " Perceived Control and the Effects of Crowding and Consumer Choice on the Service Experience," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(2), pages 174-184, September.
    15. Peterson, Robert A, 2001. " On the Use of College Students in Social Science Research: Insights from a Second-Order Meta-analysis," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(3), pages 450-461, December.
    16. Brennan, Linda & Binney, Wayne, 2010. "Fear, guilt, and shame appeals in social marketing," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 140-146, February.
    17. Simonson, Itamar, 1992. " The Influence of Anticipating Regret and Responsibility on Purchase Decisions," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 105-118, June.
    18. Menz, Fredric C., 2005. "Green electricity policies in the United States: case study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(18), pages 2398-2410, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:jbuset:v:155:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s10551-017-3519-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:kap:jbuset:v:157:y:2019:i:4:d:10.1007_s10551-017-3644-x is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:touman:v:59:y:2017:i:c:p:425-437 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:joreco:v:34:y:2017:i:c:p:153-158 is not listed on IDEAS

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:131:y:2015:i:2:p:423-437. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.