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Over the last ten years, green marketing and ethical consumerism have changed ominously. Consumer attitudes and beliefs regarding the importance of environmentally friendly behavior have become more important. Environmental degradation and consumers’ behavior have been identified as the main cause of ecological deterioration. Consequently, the impact of environmental deprivation of human life has captured academicians and researchers’ interest across the world. Also, customers must be alert and aware about environmental issues whereby responsible customers must take appropriate initiatives to protect the environment. The initiatives include reducing the consumption of non-green products and using environmentally friendly products and biodegradable products, recycling products, and optimizing energy efficient products. Tighter government regulations on the environment can help curb environmental problems facing the nation. Governments must go beyond the present requirements and initiate a new system of green policy that would strengthen and preserve the environment. By adapting the survey done by Greendex (2010), the main objectives of this study are to measure environmentally friendly consumer behavior and sustainable consumption. The respondents in this study are adult consumers, and the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and SEM version 21.0 are used to analyze preliminary data, descriptive analyses and to test the hypotheses. In summary, this study contributes to theoretical and practical knowledge for government policy makers and academicians of environmentally friendly consumer behaviors in Malaysia.
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Understanding Environmental Friendly Consumer Behavior
Wan Kalthom Yahya1*, Noor Dalila Musa1, Nor Hashim Hashim2
1Faculty of Business Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA Pahang,
26400 Bandar Tun Razak Jengka, Pahang, Malaysia*
2Arshad Ayub Graduate Business School, Universiti Teknologi MARA
40450, Shah Alam
*Corresponding Author
Abstract: Over the last ten years, green marketing and ethical consumerism have changed ominously.
Consumer attitudes and beliefs regarding the importance of environmentally-friendly behavior have become
more important. Environmental degradation and consumers’ behavior has been identified as the main cause of
ecological deterioration. Consequently, the impact of environmental deprivation of human life has captured
academicians and researchers' interest across the world. Also, customers must be alert and aware about
environmental issues whereby responsible customers must take appropriate initiatives to protect the
environment. The initiatives include reducing the consumption of non-green products and using
environmentally friendly products and bio-degradable products, recycling products and optimizing energy
efficient products. Tighter government regulations on the environment can help curb environmental problems
facing the nation. Governments must go beyond the present requirements and initiate a new system of green
policy that would strengthen and preserve the environment. By adapting the survey done by Greendex 2010, the
main objectives of this study are to measure environmental friendly consumer behavior and sustainable
consumption. The respondents in this study are adult consumers and the Statistical Package for the Social
Sciences (SPSS) and SEM version 21.0 is used to analyze preliminary data, descriptive analyses, and to test the
hypotheses. In summary, this study contributes to theoretical and practical knowledge for government policy
makers and academicians of environmental friendly consumer behaviors in Malaysia.
Keywords: Environmental consumer, Green marketing, Ethical consumerism, Sustainable consumption,
1. Introduction
Today more and more people have realized the direct impact of their purchasing behaviour on global
warming, climate change and problems related to ecology. Perhaps, this could also contribute to the reasons why
people are becoming more aware about sustainable consumption, and its positive impact on society. Generally,
environmental issues will divide the public into two categories. The first group would point theirs fingers at the
government and hold the government responsible for environmental issues while the second group are those that
are highly concerned about environmental sustainability and they themselves try to manage ecological balance.
Though it is bitter to swallow, society has to admit that the environmental problem is everyone’s responsibility.
Environmental issues are human induced (Oskamp & Saunders, 2003; Ramly et al., 2012). Certainly
irresponsible human behaviors towards environment require behavioral solutions and legislation actions.
Consumer sustainable behaviour is of importance for the future as consumers are the driving force of
Today, issues on environment have captured the interest of the Malaysian legislators and the society.
Myers (1997) agrees the important role play by the public in curbing the environmental problems and issues, yet
requires the government involvement and actions. Similarly, Haron et al., (2005) echo the same opinion
especially the government role in promoting the public in being more sustainable consumption users. Past
research has acknowledged the government’s vigorous efforts and strategies in creating an environment for
sustainable consumption and development (Ahmad & Juhdi, 2008) as well as instills environmentally friendly
consumer behavior in Malaysians. Among of the strategies are education and fostering environmental as well as
awareness on ecological so as to ensure that sustainable consumption practices achieve the objective (Mat Said
et al., 2003).
Tan & Lau (2010); Ahmad & Judhi, (2008); Haron et al., (2005) and Mat Said et al., (2003) identify
there is a gap between environmental issues and knowledge. Therefore, based on the findings from the
mentioned researchers, there is an urgent need to bridge the gap through heighten the public awareness about
ecological biodiversity and tighten the government’s role in the policy and regulations as to cultivate sustainable
consumption among Malaysians.
2. Literature Review
Public awareness
Grunert (1993) professes that 40% of environmental degradation of consumption activities contributed
by the private households. Consistent environmental decay in the developed countries is the reason to a
persistent public concern. Similarly, in Malaysia the green movements for the environmental preservation are
beginning to encourage the public awareness (Tan & Lau, 2010).
Public awareness is the most significant factor affecting environmental problems (Chukwuna, 1998 and
Yahya and Che Ha, 2013). Actually, the environmental problems come from the population and its
consumption patterns (Oskamp and Saunders, 2003) although some put the blame on the government,
commercial agriculture businesses or oil organizations. Therefore, one of the challenging tasks is to stimulate
the citizens’ knowledge and awareness towards environmental protection. This requires a change particularly a
shift in behaviors if the level of awareness and attitudes need to be increase. According to Haron et al. (2005),
the critical step is to oversee the public environmental awareness current state before any changes of behaviors
can take place.
Recently, recycling activities have demonstrated that change of behaviors. However, recycling
activities in Malaysia is not a successful program. This is because the Malaysian citizens are not fully
acknowledging the significant to separate household solid waste (Haron et al., 2005). Conclusively, Haron et
al., (2005) stress that only knowledgeable and concern citizens will be fully committed to work towards having
quality environments.
Government Regulations
Government role in the environmental protection is very important. Additionally, the Malaysian
government has applied various strategies in the efforts to promote sustainable consumption practices among the
citizens. In fact, social advertising has been used as one of the strategies to educate and encourage awareness
and environmental concern among the citizens (Haron et al., 2005).
Despite the serious current of ecology problems, many people are still believe government is the main
body that should be responsible in protecting the environment (Chyong et al., 2006). For decades, government
has been playing its role to up hold the social interest through law and regulations (Wood, 1991), preserve the
environment and developing sustainable consumption by implementing the policies and regulations (Tan & Lau,
2010; Myers, 1997; Wang, 2010). Yet, it is still no enough as Banerjee (1998) asserts that tougher regulations
and a variety of environmental policy are needed as to increase the environmental awareness in order to enable
behavioral changes among the public.
Act on legislation has proven to put pressure on businesses to be more environmental friendly (Barakat
& Cairns, 2002) and this indicate that government legislative policies are crucial in encouraging greater
environmental responsibility among the citizens (Dummett, 2006).
Environmentally Friendly Consumer Behavior
The marketers need to enhance their environmental performance as to satisfy the environmental
requirements and to remain competitive globally. Furthermore, due to consumer demand, increasing of
environmental regulation, managerial concern dealing with ethics and customer satisfaction have force
industries to be more environmentally friendly (Foster et al., 2003). Apparently, environmentally friendly
conscious consumers are contending to look after the environment through activities such as recycling,
emphasizing environmental label of recycled material, and consuming only green products (Barber, 2010).
Now a day, consumers are beginning to notice the contributing factors of the environmental problems.
Obviously, industries are damaging and ravaging the existing environmental resources. They bring more harm
than good. Accordingly, a growing number of concern consumers are looking for products and services that
follow practices to protect the environment. Past study from Barber (2010) specifies these concern consumers
would choose the eco-friendly products against a standard product if they were been given a choice to choose.
Concurrently, studies in Australia (D’Souza et al., 2006) and New Zealand (Forbes et al., 2009) identify that
although the price of conventional products are more expensive, 70% of Australian and 73% of New Zealand
consumers would be willing to pay more for an environmentally sustainable product. Thus, it shows that
consumers are willing to buy a product if quality is the issue.
Underpinning Theory
Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980) is the underpinning theory that is employed as
to develop the framework in the study. The theory suggests basically people before engaging themselves in any
behaviour, they would consider the consequences of alternative behaviors and that they choose to perform
behaviors associated with the desirable outcomes. The Theory of Planned Behavior Model assumes that the
prevailing determinants of a person’s intention /action based on the beliefs. Furthermore, the attitude toward the
behavior is defined as the individual's positive or negative feelings when performing the behavior. It is
determined through an assessment of one's beliefs and the consequences arising from a behavior and an
evaluation of the desirability of these consequences.
2.1 Relationship Between Public Awareness and Environmentally Friendly Consumer
Varadarajan (1992:342) designates those responsible organisations that practise
environmentally friendly policies are “likely to become an increasingly important organisational
imperative in the years ahead.” Similarly, since the issues of public awareness and concern for
environmental are growing, corporate environmental responsibility are now becoming the corporate
agenda for almost every organisations worldwide (Servaes and Tamayo, 2013; Dimitriades, 2007).
Responsibilities of organisation to the society are to respect the environmental considerations,
ensure of public concern and consumer well-being. On the contrary, the organisations must not abuse
the production resources, be more responsive and alert about pollution, noise, waste disposal effects
and potential dangers; and use only eco-friendly substances. Simply put, the organisation
responsibility is to make certain that the environment is always a better place to live and work. Thus,
organisation needs to prove to the public that their productions are better than the competitors. Over
and above, the product health, safety and benefits are the organisation priority concern. Along the
same line, Dawkins and Lewis (2003:188) profess that “business is increasingly addressing corporate
responsibility issues to response to public concern.” Therefore, this study propose that
H1: There is a significant and positive relationship between public awareness and
environmentally friendly consumer behavior
2.2 Relationship Between Government Regulations and Environmentally Friendly
Consumer Behavior
Regulatory forces are the most substantial driving force behind the development of corporate
greening in both the developed (Fisher and Schot, 1993) as well as developing counties (Steger et
al., 2003). Government and the law enforcements are examples of regulatory forces. The primary
roles of the government are as the administrator and the law-maker. Meanwhile, the private sector
mainly would focus on the infrastructure, stimulate R&D, education and distillate on new
Additionally, the government is also the protector of the “social interest” through the
legislation. Simultaneously, legislation has able to put the pressure on businesses to behave in a
more environmentally manner (Barakat and Cairns, 2002; Steurer, 2010). Thus, in order to
embolden and encourage better environmental responsibility, the government legislative policies
need to be more active and lead the way. So, it is suggested that:
H2: There is a significant and positive relationship between government regulations
and environmentally friendly consumer behaviour
3. Methodology
3.1. Measurement Scales
An online questionnaire was used as the data collection in this study. The respondents completed the
mailed questionnaires within two months; April and May 2014. All the items of public awareness, government
regulations and environmental friendly consumer behaviour were taken from the Greendex 2010 survey.
Overall, 502 responses from 1370 of the total population (a response rate of 36.6%) were usable and a total of
twenty nine questionnaires were rejected. The questionnaire consists of three (3) parts which are explained
3.1.1. Public Awareness
The first part of the questionnaire refer to the questions about public awareness. It consists of six (6)
questions in which researchers examine the level of awareness that public have towards environmentally
friendly consumer behavior. The questionnaire was designed to identify whether the respondents are concerned
about environmental problems around them and how serious the problems are in today’s world. The public’s
perception about environmental problems and its impact on their way of life and the action taken on how to
solve the problems was also asked in the survey.
3.1.2. Government Regulations
The second part of the survey instrument focused on the evaluation of the public as a citizen in
Malaysia when dealing with government regulations on environment issues. There are six (6) questions in this
section and the respondents are asked to rate the rules and regulations implemented by the Malaysian
3.1.3. Environmental Friendly Consumer Behavior
The third part of this questionnaire consists of seven (7) questions with the main purpose to ascertain
the level of practices that the public have for environmental friendly consumer behavior. Questions asked how
aware the respondents as citizens on consumption behavior are in their daily life. Respondent’s information on
gender, age, marital status, family size, education level, occupation, monthly household income, state
respondents are currently residing was also asked.
3.1.4. Samples and Data Collections
Using a quantitative approach, this study was conducted among online users using self-reported survey
questionnaires. The survey was sent from April 2014 to May 2014, consuming a time period of 5 weeks.. The
constructs of the conceptual framework were operationalised by multi-item measures using 7 point Likert-Scales
format, anchored by “Strongly Agree”' (7); “Agree” (6); “Slightly Agree” (5); “Neutral” (4); “Slightly Disagree”
(3); “Disagree” (2); “Strongly Disagree” (1) and the items used to quantify them were adopted from previously
tested scales.
The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21 is used to analyze the preliminary
data. The process of data screening and cleaning was conducted in order to identify ‘outliers’. This was followed
by descriptive analyses such as means, standard deviations and frequencies. The analysis includes reliability
testing and validity of the scales. A factor analysis was used to identify the interrelationship among the set of
variables. Finally, Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) using AMOS was conducted to test the strengths and
relationship among the variables.
4. Results
4.1. Respondent Characteristics
Table 1 show the demographic profile of the respondents by gender, age, education, occupational status
and income. The female respondents represented 66.5 percent of the total respondents (334 females), while male
respondents were 168 (33.5 percent). The majority of respondents (68.8%) were from the age group between 21-
40 years old. Most of the respondents obtained tertiary education backgrounds with at least a Master’s degree
(91.0 %). From Table 1, 197 respondents had monthly household incomes above RM 6,000 (36.2%) while 63.8
percent of households had monthly household income less than RM 6,000.
TABLE 1 Characteristics of respondents
Demographic variable
20 years old and lower
21 - 30 years old
31 - 40 years old
41 - 50 years old
51 years old and more
Education level
An exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis was performed to check and verify the three factor-
solutions. Factor analysis using method of principal component analysis with the varimax of Kaiser
Normalization was used to analyze the scales. As recommended by Nunnally (1978) items with loadings higher
than 0.50 on one factor are retained for further analysis. As a result, 6 items were deleted. The entire new factors
were checked for reliability: public awareness (.780), government regulation (.783), and environmentally
friendly consumer behavior (.640). Both the Kaiser-Mayer-Olkin (KMO) test for measuring sampling adequacy
and Barlett’s Test of Sphericity display significant results. The result indicated the KMO value of .779 is greater
than 0.5, which falls in the acceptable range and it considered highly satisfactory. Thus, the factor analysis is
enabled for further analysis, and the Barlett’s Test of Sphericity is significant at 0.000 levels. This means that
there are intercorrelations among the variables. Table 2 depicts the final items and loading used in this study.
Table 2 Measurement Model
Public awareness
I am very concerned about environmental problems
The seriousness of environmental problems is exaggerated todayb
Environmental problems are having a negative impact on my health
Global warming will worsen my way of life within my own lifetime
As a society, we will need to consume a lot less to improve the
environment for future generationsb
To me, concern about the environment is very serious and should be a
priority for everyone
The Government should aggressively enforce environmental rules and
The Government is aggressive in controlling pollution of the
The Government is currently working very hard to make sure that we
have a clean environment
The Government must impose tighten rules on disposable productsb
The Government needs to provide more information and Education on
environmentally friendly behaviorb
The Government is aggressively creating awareness campaigns about
green behavior
Friendly Consumer
I am willing to pay more for energy-saving products because it will save
me money because of lower energy costsb
I use recycled materials to save the environment
I buy environmentally friendly products for future generations’
I bring my own bag in store/market to reduce plastic usage that can harm
the environment
I cut down on use of cars by using public transportation, carpooling, etc.b
I sort trash to separate garbage from recyclable material
The current lifestyle in my country is sustainable for future generations
Notes: a. Scales ranging from1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree)
b. Items that were deleted
Table 3 captured all the results of Confirmatory Factor Analysis on the constructs in this study. The
majority of the CFI and TLI yield results of more than 0.92, indicating a very good fit model. Similarly,
majority of the GFI and GFI also yield results above 0.98 and 0.94 respectively. Finally, the RMR yield results
below 0.05 which all the statistics indicating a good fit model. This suggests that convergent validity in this
study is established. Apart from assessing the overall fit of the measurement model, the critical ratio (t-test) for
the factor loading is often used to assess convergent validity. This is because when the factor loadings show the
statistically significant, then convergent validity exists (Dunn et al., 1994). The magnitude and direction of the
estimated parameters between latent variables and their indicators are also examined for convergent validity
(Steenkamp and Van Trijp, 1991).
Table 4 exhibits the results of the magnitude, direction and statistical significance of the estimated
parameters between latent variables and their indicators. Table 5 illustrates the relationship between the
constructs of the study. Overall, the results of the correlation exhibit the existence of a significant relationship
among the constructs of the study. The composite reliability value for all the factors were above 0.6 as
suggested by Hatcher (1994). This is to prove for the existence of reliability. One of the variance extracts
(EFCB= 0.40) estimates values are below 0.5. However, Hatcher (1994) posits that this situation did not cause
concern since previous studies show that it is quite frequent to find estimates below 0.50 even when the
composite reliability is acceptable.
Table 3: Results of Confirmatory Factor Analysis
(χ2 ); p-value
Public Concern
5.452; .004
Government Regulations
3.554; .169
Environmentally Friendly
Consumer Behavior
4.434; .012
Table 4: The Magnitude, Direction and Statistical Significance of the Estimated Parameters
Between Latent Variables and their Indicators
Reg. Weigh
Error (S.E)
Ratio (C.R)
Public Awareness
PA 6
PA 4
→ PA 1
→ ECB 7
→ GR 6
→ GR 3
→ GR 2
→ ECB 2
Friendly Consumer
→ ECB 3
→ ECB 4
→ ECB 6
Table 5 Internal Consistency, Average Variance Extracted, Composite Reliability and Correlation Matrix
Awareness (PA)
Government Regulations
Environmentally Friendly
Consumer Behavior (EFCB)
Composite Reliability is displayed in Bold and Italic
Notes: ** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed) *Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed)
Table 6 The Direct Effect of Public Awareness and Government Regulation on
Environmental Friendly Consumer Behavior
Direct Effect
Friendly Consumer
Public Awareness
(R2 .21)
Government Regulations
Notes: β is standardized regression weights and Significance level: ****p≤0.001 *p ≤0.01
The constructs of public awareness and government regulations are tested against environmental friendly
consumer behavior. Table 6 shows the result of the hypotheses testing. The result indicates that public
awareness appeared to have the highest positive significant relationship with environmentally friendly consumer
behavior (p≤0.001).This could be explained in the sense that consumers with favorable attitudes towards
environmentally friendly behavior are more likely to be more environmentally friendly consumer. On the other
hand, although government regulations show positive relationship with environmental friendly consumer
behavior, the effect is not as high as public awareness. This maybe because consumers assume that government
regulations and policies are the main concern for organizations and not individuals. Likewise, consumers are
likely to abide and follow any regulations or policies imposed by the government.
Implication and Conclusions
The results from the study indicate consumers with favourable environmental attitudes are acting in
being more environmental friendly consumers. They use recycled materials to save the environment, buy
environmentally friendly products for future generations’ sustainability, bring their own bag in store/market to
reduce plastic usage that can harm the environment and sort trash to separate garbage from recyclable material.
This is similar to a study done by Cheah and Phau (2011) that found if a consumer has knowledge
about the environment and pollution disasters especially in terms of the causes and its impact on the
environment, then their awareness levels will increase and, simultaneously promotes a favourable attitude
towards green environment. Therefore, it is crucial for the government to publicize information or educate the
citizens about the environment either through communication initiatives such as environmental support
campaigns, or general news on how to protect the environment through the electronic media. These actions
could formulate communication strategies and programs designed to reach out and eventually induce favorable
environmental attitudes and behaviors in Malaysian consumers.
The Government cannot solve all environmental issues. More regulatory measures are needed and stern
action must be taken to anyone or any organisation that harms the environment. In addition, the Government
needs to publish more information in the mainstream media to educate the public on the importance and
consequences of the deteriorating environment. Likewise, campaigns on the environment must be done regularly
to remind everyone about their role in saving the environment. Finally, there must be active involvement and
cooperation from the citizens to become ecological friendly consumers to enhance the quality of life in their
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Zero waste according to the Zero Waste International Alliance is an ethical, economical, effective and forward-thinking concept whereby people can change their lifestyles and habits to one that mimics natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources that can benefit others. The aim of the study was to determine the knowledge of the Zero Waste problem (subject of the study) by respondents in selected Central and Eastern European countries, including Poland, Slovakia (EU countries) and Ukraine (EU associated country), as well as to verify whether the Zero Waste rules are known and implemented in sustainable activities of residents in the studied countries. The research was carried out using the CAWI method. The research tool was a structured questionnaire. The analysis of data from the countries covered by the study showed a significant relationship between the basic elements in the daily functioning of households related to the protection of the environment through responsible consumption, reuse and recovery of selected products, packaging and materials and food and the concept of Zero Waste. Research has shown that respondents consciously identify these activities with Zero Waste. According to the authors, the results of the research are the basis for public discussion at the European and global level in the field of creating legal regulations and educational programs in the context of waste management.
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Consumers' awareness of protecting nature has enabled studies to prevent unnecessary use of existing resources and to increase the use of renewable energy resources with the increase in environmental awareness. It is a manifestation of this understanding of using products made from recycled materials. In this context, this study aims to reveal the factors that affect the consumers' intention to buy clothes made from recycled materials. For this purpose, data were collected online from a total of 462 people over the age of 18 on 25 January-3 February 2021.In the study, the validity and reliability of the scale, which was first translated into Turkish, were revealed. Then, the research model was subjected to Path Analysis with PLS-SEM. As a result of the analysis, it was seen that environmental concern, willingness to pay and perceived value had a positive effect on consumers' intention to buy recycled clothes, but personal norms did not. However, in general, these four factors have been found to have an effect of approximately 63% on the consumers' intention to buy recycled clothes
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This paper aims to investigate the influence of demographic and psychographic variables on environmentally conscious consumer behavior (ECCB) in the context of Malaysian consumers. A survey was developed and administered, generating a total sample of 319 respondents across the country. The preliminary results indicated that all of the variables examined were significantly correlated to ECCB, except for income. Later, the analysis from the regression highlighted that only age, gender and perceived consumer effectiveness (PCE) were significant predictors to ECCB. The findings confirmed that, in terms of psychographic variables, PCE has been proven to be more accurate and significant determinant than environmental concern (EC) for segmenting and explaining different segments and characteristics of pro-environmental behavior. These findings may assist Malaysian policy makers in formulating actionable decisions related to environmental education and protection. The finding also allows marketers to use marketing and awarenessraising campaigns to encourage consumers to choose environmental friendly products.
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Since the early 70's environmental issues have been one of the top ten topics for citizens, politicians, scientists and marketers. Newspaper articles and scientific papers are regularly occupied with consumers' environmental concern. These articles usually start with stating the latest opinion polls on consumers' dramatically increasing environmental concern and willingness to change their consumption habits. It seems that only a minority is still believing that qualitative growth and sustainable development are synonymous with stone age-type living conditions. "Green" marketing thus seems to be the number one success strategy for the present and future. Is that a realistic picture?
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This paper specifically investigates the elements that constitute environmental issues which lead to the successful organisational performance. The two elements namely; social concern and economic concern are integrated as tools for the organisations to exhibit their corporate responsiveness and responsibility towards societal concern and issues. The respondents were senior managers of organisations in Malaysia which practices CSR and are involved in the organisations' decision making process. As such, the sample of this study is limited to organisations in Malaysia which practice CSR and integrate CSR into the organisations' agenda. Overall, only 261 respondents from 1379 of the total population were usable and further used in analyzing the data.
An expository overview of the use of Lisrel in validating marketing constructs is presented and its advantages over the “traditional approaches” are demonstrated. Lisrel's contribution in all phases of construct validation is discussed. It is shown that lisrel has much to offer in purifying the measure by testing the unidimensionality of the measurement instrument, and in cross-validation to investigate the convergent validity (within a method) and reliability, Lisrel allows a rigorous assessment of the stability of the construct and its measurement instrument, and it is a powerful methodology for assessing convergent validity across methods, discriminant validity, and nomological validity. The use of Lisrel in construct validation is empirically illustrated by the analysis of data concerning consumers' variety seeking tendency with respect to foods.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) aims to better integrate social and environmental concerns into business routines on a voluntary basis. The present article is concerned with the political side of the management approach. By systematically characterising the public policies on CSR throughout Europe, it first complements the existing, often unsystematic, accounts of how governments address CSR (mostly provided in management journals). Second, it also brings the issue closer to political science. After explaining why governments show interest in CSR, the article introduces CSR as a voluntary contribution to sustainable development. It then develops a typology of CSR policies that distinguishes five types of policy instruments (legal, economic, informational, partnering and hybrid) and four thematic fields of action (raise awareness, improve transparency, foster socially responsible investment and lead by example). Based on this systematic description of CSR policies, the article explores what CSR and the respective public policies imply for business–government relations as well as the changing patterns of regulation. It concludes that CSR started out as a neo-liberal concept that helped to downscale government regulations, but that it has in turn matured into a more progressive approach of societal co-regulation in recent years. Regarding the effectiveness and the opportunity costs of this new pattern of governance, the article emphasises that the respective assessment gaps should be filled by case study research.
The growing recognition that the social sciences play a key role in conservation requires more efficient ways for working together toward a common mission. A new field of conservation psychology is proposed to create stronger connections between the natural and social sciences, between research and practice, and between psychology and the other social sciences. The purpose of such a network is to conduct psychological research that is directly oriented toward the goal of environmental sustainability. To better understand the promise of conservation psychology, it is compared to other fields, such as conservation biology and environmental psychology. Potential conservation psychology research topics are discussed in relation to two broad outcome areas: a) motivating people to act in more environmentally-friendly ways and b) encouraging people to care about the natural world and their role in it. Within these outcome areas, research can be focused at the individual or the group level. The type of research will range from more theoretical approaches to more applied, and examples are provided for such a continuum. The dynamic process by which social scientists and practitioners identify high-priority research questions is another important aspect of conservation psychology.