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Academy Of Marketing Paper 2009   Green Consumers And Flying Behaviours
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Academy Of Marketing Paper 2009 Green Consumers And Flying Behaviours

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Slides of a paper on 'green consumers and flying behaviours' - presented at the Academy of Marketing conference in in UK in 2009

Slides of a paper on 'green consumers and flying behaviours' - presented at the Academy of Marketing conference in in UK in 2009

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Academy Of Marketing Paper 2009 Green Consumers And Flying Behaviours Presentation Transcript

  • 1. The decision of whether or not to fly: A pilot study of Green consumers Claire Carlile, Seonaidh McDonald, Caroline Oates, Maree Thyne and Leigh-Ann McMorland Academy of Marketing 2009
  • 2. Background
    • The academic literature on green consumers is extensive, but relatively little attention has been paid to air travel
    • Recently, Barr (2008) and Randles and Mander (2009) have investigated consumers’ approaches to flying
    • For green consumers, flying raises several issues
  • 3. Methods
    • Qualitative approach
    • 29 self-selected green consumers
    • Recruited through posters and leaflets and then snowballing
    • Semi-structured interviews focussing on detailed discussions of travel (non) purchases
    • Transcribed and analysed inductively
  • 4. Approaches Found
    • Through inductive analyses of our data, we have surfaced five main green consumer strategies:
    • Compromise in favour of mundane criteria
    • Compromise in favour of other ideals
    • Compromise by restricting or reducing flights
    • Compensate with other behaviours/carbon offsetting
    • Not flying
  • 5. Compromise in favour of mundane criteria
    • Expressed concern about contribution of air travel to climate change
    • May have looked into alternatives
    • However the ideal of not flying was compromised in favour of ‘grey’ criteria such as journey time or journey cost
    • “ You could travel from the south to the north but it would have been a day and half journey on the train ”
    • comment on decision to fly within Thailand
  • 6. Compromise in favour of other ideals
    • This group also stated that their ideal was not to fly
    • However this ideal was often compromised, but for less concrete criteria than the previous group
    • The compromise here was sometimes expressed in terms of obligation to friends and/or family:
    • “ Because the people we went to stay with had invited us to stay with them for a few years so we decided we’d do it this year. It wouldn’t have been our first choice to go to Tarifa no; we went because they had invited us more ”
  • 7.
    • And sometimes in terms of issues related to self- identity:
    • “… there’s this breadth of experience that comes from travelling, that you’ve see this and you’ve done that, sometimes I feel like I’m under pressure to travel because that’s what all the interesting people have done…I think that other people judge us by our travelling experiences…”
    Compromise in favour of other ideals
  • 8. Compromise by restricting or reducing flights
    • This group have either stopped flying so frequently:
    • “ We have stopped flying so much, we still do fly a bit, but it’s going to be once every few years, not every year”
    • Or have cut out particular types of flight:
    • “ Over the past few years I’ve tried to reduce my carbon footprint in a couple of fairly major ways, and one of those ways was to try and stop flying, which I’ve been relatively successful at, apart from one short flight to France – but I haven’t flown long haul for 2 years and that was a conscious decision.”
  • 9. Compensate with other behaviours
    • This group continued to fly, but offset what they perceived as the environmental costs of flying through other pro-environmental activities:
    • “ I’ve earned it from all of the things that I have done, whether it be recycling, composting, wood burning, solar panels, cycling to work when I can and just saving all that carbon and thinking that I have lived a relatively low carbon lifestyle for x amount of time, if I do the sums I work out that I can fly once every 3 years within my personal carbon allowance”.
    • Contrast to Barr’s (2008) ‘eco-hypocrites’
  • 10. Not flying
    • For some green consumers, this option was considered for short, but not for long haul flights
    • Many sought alternative modes of transport for short haul flights and simply decided not to travel to long haul destinations
    • An emerging discussion of the merits of ‘slow travel’ and changes to the meaning of the idea of being ‘well travelled’: as such this option has been reframed as a positive scenario
  • 11. Summary
    • All green consumers experience a tension between their desire to fly and their beliefs about sustainability
    • Some ignore this tension
    • Some re-frame the need to fly
    • Some change their behaviours in various ways
  • 12. Cognitive Dissonance
    • One possible framework that could help explain these results is the theory of Cognitive Dissonance
    • We have a need to avoid inconsistencies in our beliefs, attitudes and behaviours (Festinger, 1957)
    • This would explain the tension between ideals and behaviours expressed by respondents
    • Th ø rgersen (2004) notes that cognitive dissonance is not produced if inconsistency can be attributed to external forces, perhaps explaining the discourses around grey criteria and obligation
  • 13. Marketing Implications
    • Our research has identified several consumer strategies that can be used to encourage pro-environmental behaviour
    • Emerging discourses such as ‘slow travel’ could be developed to offer an acceptable alternative
  • 14. Further Research
    • Building on the exploratory pilot work reported in this study
    • Focusing our attention on notions of identity and alternative consumption practices
  • 15.
    • Further details of the Welsh study:
    • Eco hypocrites or key to a sustainable future by Claire Carlile, MSc Marketing
    • Contact:
    • [email_address]
    • http://twitter.com/clairecarlile
    • http://www.linkedin.com/in/clairecarlile