Title: What happens when consumers realise about green washing? A qualitative investigation

Authors: Weng Marc Lim; Ding Hooi Ting; Victor Sudirman Bonaventure; Alan Putera Sendiawan; Pengestu Patanmacia Tanusina

Addresses: Monash University, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, 46150 Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia ' Monash University, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, 46150 Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia ' Monash University, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, 46150 Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia ' Monash University, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, 46150 Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia ' Monash University, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, 46150 Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia

Abstract: This study attempts to shed insights on consumers' current understanding of green offerings and the effects of exposure to green washing on future consumer purchasing behaviour. The study is exploratory in nature and employs qualitative in-depth interviews. Findings from the study suggest that currently, consumers are buying green products based on green claims by organisations, in which many consumers remain confused and uncertain about its authenticity. The after effects when consumers realise the existence of green washing points toward distrust, a more cautious future purchasing behaviour, and spreading its existence to other consumers through word-of-mouth communication. Implications and recommendations from the findings are also presented.

Keywords: green washing; green products; green services; consumer behaviour; purchasing behaviour; authenticity; word-of-mouth; WoM; environmentally friendly products; environmentally friendly services; green marketing; ecological marketing; environmental marketing; consumer perceptions; unethical practices; ethics; green claims.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGENVI.2013.057323

International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, 2013 Vol.13 No.1, pp.14 - 24

Received: 11 May 2012
Accepted: 10 Sep 2012

Published online: 25 Oct 2013 *

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