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Get consumers walk into the sustainability talk : an analysis of consumers' sustainability perception via business’s sustainable practice, focusing on a case study from IKEA

Yang, Xiao LU (2016) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20161
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
As more and more companies are realizing the importance to integrate sustainability with their economic prosperity development, Triple Bottom Line functions as companies' Polaris to guide them to incorporate "People, Planet" considerations into their "Profit" seeking goal. Corporate social responsibility initiatives are adopted by many companies. Among them, Cause Related Marketing(CRM) is a popular one, company donates part of its profits to support a good cause (either an environmental or social one). CRM has been claimed to be a win-win-win strategy for business, consumers and non-profit organization (the cause). However, whether consumers think of the same is still highly debatable.
Many researches have been done on CRM, but most are... (More)
As more and more companies are realizing the importance to integrate sustainability with their economic prosperity development, Triple Bottom Line functions as companies' Polaris to guide them to incorporate "People, Planet" considerations into their "Profit" seeking goal. Corporate social responsibility initiatives are adopted by many companies. Among them, Cause Related Marketing(CRM) is a popular one, company donates part of its profits to support a good cause (either an environmental or social one). CRM has been claimed to be a win-win-win strategy for business, consumers and non-profit organization (the cause). However, whether consumers think of the same is still highly debatable.
Many researches have been done on CRM, but most are from a business perspective, to test how efficient CRM is to improve the company’s profit or reputation, or whether CRM can affect consumers' purchase behavior. Even if some studies start from consumers' point of view, most are to find what are consumers' attitudes toward CRM (this business tool per se), few have focused on how consumers look at the social/environmental issues connected with the cause via CRM.
Since nowadays consumers are increasingly playing an important role in pushing forward the
development of sustainability as responsible and conscious citizens, it is important to study how consumers view CRM in the sustainability lens, whether business can help the public have a better understanding of sustainability issues while conducting its economic function. Therefore my research is to find out the connections between consumers and their sustainability perception via business's sustainable initiatives. Namely, whether CRM can increase people's awareness on sustainability issues? Can business CRM initiatives create sustainability value for consumers?
This research focuses on a social sustainability initiative -"Soft Toy For Education Campaign" from IKEA company, using both quantitative and qualitative approach. Data was collected through 60 surveys and 15 semi-structured interviews with consumers from IKEA store in Shanghai, China and Malmö, Sweden respectively. Findings indicate that consumers' attitudes towards CRM are complex, some people claim its positive role in contributing to sustainability, some argue that CRM is more of a marketing tool. CRM may play a certain role in increasing consumers' sustainability awareness, but that largely depends on consumers' sustainability background knowledge, and the social environment they live in. In addition to that, CRM can create emotional, functional and educational value for consumers. (Less)
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author
Yang, Xiao LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
CSR, sustainability science, sustainability awareness, sustainability value, consumer
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2016:006
funder
China Scholarship Council
language
English
id
8880444
date added to LUP
2016-06-16 10:47:15
date last changed
2016-06-16 10:47:15
@misc{8880444,
  abstract     = {As more and more companies are realizing the importance to integrate sustainability with their economic prosperity development, Triple Bottom Line functions as companies' Polaris to guide them to incorporate "People, Planet" considerations into their "Profit" seeking goal. Corporate social responsibility initiatives are adopted by many companies. Among them, Cause Related Marketing(CRM) is a popular one, company donates part of its profits to support a good cause (either an environmental or social one). CRM has been claimed to be a win-win-win strategy for business, consumers and non-profit organization (the cause). However, whether consumers think of the same is still highly debatable. 
Many researches have been done on CRM, but most are from a business perspective, to test how efficient CRM is to improve the company’s profit or reputation, or whether CRM can affect consumers' purchase behavior. Even if some studies start from consumers' point of view, most are to find what are consumers' attitudes toward CRM (this business tool per se), few have focused on how consumers look at the social/environmental issues connected with the cause via CRM.
Since nowadays consumers are increasingly playing an important role in pushing forward the
development of sustainability as responsible and conscious citizens, it is important to study how consumers view CRM in the sustainability lens, whether business can help the public have a better understanding of sustainability issues while conducting its economic function. Therefore my research is to find out the connections between consumers and their sustainability perception via business's sustainable initiatives. Namely, whether CRM can increase people's awareness on sustainability issues? Can business CRM initiatives create sustainability value for consumers?
This research focuses on a social sustainability initiative -"Soft Toy For Education Campaign" from IKEA company, using both quantitative and qualitative approach. Data was collected through 60 surveys and 15 semi-structured interviews with consumers from IKEA store in Shanghai, China and Malmö, Sweden respectively. Findings indicate that consumers' attitudes towards CRM are complex, some people claim its positive role in contributing to sustainability, some argue that CRM is more of a marketing tool. CRM may play a certain role in increasing consumers' sustainability awareness, but that largely depends on consumers' sustainability background knowledge, and the social environment they live in. In addition to that, CRM can create emotional, functional and educational value for consumers.},
  author       = {Yang, Xiao},
  keyword      = {CSR,sustainability science,sustainability awareness,sustainability value,consumer},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Get consumers walk into the sustainability talk : an analysis of consumers' sustainability perception via business’s sustainable practice, focusing on a case study from IKEA},
  year         = {2016},
}