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Cross-national examination of cultural values, belief systems and sustainable consumer attitudes and behaviours

Berkin, Anıl
Since the 1970’s concern about the environment has been growing and with this growth the concept of sustainability has started to become integrated into the business world. One of the main goals of sustainability is to meet full environmental costs of production and consumption to create a sustainable economy. Necessarily, behaviour of consumers also plays a role in sustainability. Sustainable consumption mainly focuses on the environmental impacts of consumers’ habits, their food choices or their transportation. Research has shown that sustainability-relevant behaviours may be influenced by the cultural values and belief systems that consumers possess. Thus, differences in values and belief systems are important in understanding the adoption of a sustainable consumption lifestyle. The present research attempts to understand whether and how the cultural values and belief systems affect sustainable consumption attitudes and behaviours. Specifically, it will examine the role of religiosity and spirituality, which past research has shown to be relevant to consumption practices generally. An online survey is used to collect data from participants from different backgrounds and cultures using multi-cultural organizations’ Facebook groups, such as American Field Service. Results of the study show that religiosity and spirituality are related to sustainable consumption attitudes and behaviours. Outcomes of this thesis are believed to help better understanding of how religiosity relates to sustainability and the important role spirituality plays to studying sustainable consumption, and possible enhancements of sustainability marketing efforts.