Our paper, “When is Sustainability a Liability, and When Is It an Asset? Quality Inferences for Core and Peripheral Attributes” has been published in the Journal of Business Ethics. The paper is published Open Access, and can be freely downloaded here.
The paper is written with Siv Skard, and is part of our three year, research council-funded research project #sustainX.
Here is the abstract:
Sustainable products offered in today’s marketplace are labelled with product-related green attributes (i.e. green core attributes) or non-product-related green attributes (i.e. green peripheral attributes). The current research investigates consumers’ inferences about a product’s functional quality when its core attributes are green (e.g. the ingredients) and when its peripheral attributes are green (e.g. the product packaging). Four experimental studies and an internal meta-analysis show that there is a sustainability liability effect in strength-dependent categories (for both core and peripheral attributes), and a sustainability asset effect in gentleness-dependent categories (for core attributes only). Our research contributes to the current understanding of how consumers make inferences about product quality when contemplating different types of green attributes. The findings have implications for how strength-dependent and gentleness-dependent products should be labelled as green.