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Special Issue: Consumer behavior on sustainability issues

Special Issue Editors:
Dr. Sandra Castro-González, Guest Editor
University of Santiago de Compostela 

Dr. Patricia Martínez, Guest Editor
University of Cantabria

Special Issue Information

Sustainability and consumers’ related knowledge is attracting  increasing attention (Kuokkanen and Sun, 2020; Ramasamy et al., 2020). Consumer attitudes and behaviors are being driven by social, economic and environmental concerns, which are creating a new consumption context that makes companies change their strategic decisions (Hofenk et al., 2019). In fact consumers increasingly expect firms to act in a socially responsible and sustainable manner, so companies engage in corporate activities that are communicated to the consuming public and act as a consolidated corporate sustainability framework (Nyame-Asiamah and Kawalek, 2020). This type of strategy is problematic because consumers reassess their priorities regarding the buying of certain products, their loyalty to them, etc., which will have a clear effect on a company's performance. Despite the growing attention, sustainable consumer research is still early-stage, with key issues yet to be resolved.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and/or sustainability are critical actors in consumers’ trust in companies (Barcelos, 2015), in consumers’ positive word-of-mouth about a company, their intention to buy, and so on  Furthermore, consumer values or personal traits affect sustainable consumption practices (Grunert, 2013; Pérez and Rodríguez del Bosque, 2017). And throughout the process, from socially responsible perception to consumer behavior, the consumer experiences a range of emotions that also influence their decisions (Pérez and Rodríguez del Bosque, 2015; Wang and Wu, 2016); however, surprisingly little research has focused on these topics.

On the other hand, consumer sustainable behaviors also are related to choosing proximity, seasonal (Sarmiento and El Hanandeh, 2018), fair trade (Oates, 2020), or even organic farming (Lazaroiu et al., 2019)products, etc. Research on the importance of product origin and its association with consumer purchasing behavior has focused heavily on other topics; however, sustainability is very limited.

Thus, in collaboration with the Society for Marketing Advances’ 2021 conference, Management Letters/Cuadernos de Gestión is producing a special issue that will focus on “Consumer behavior on sustainability issues”. The objective of this special issue is to stimulate a lively discussion about the contributions that sustainability and CSR make to the knowledge of the consumer and to expand empirical-based knowledge for a better understanding of this topic. So, with this special issue we hope to join forces with other researchers around the world who have studied these matters and who can contribute original articles that propose how to best address the effectiveness of sustainable actions across marketing strategies.

We invite theoretical, conceptual, and empirical works on the following topics (but which are not limited to):

  • Corporate social responsibility and consumer perceptions, sentiments, and behaviors.
  • Consumers´ engagement in CSR activities.
  • Consumers’ attitude–behavior gap towards CSR.
  • Ethical decision-making processes, company CSR endeavors and consumer choices.
  • Changes in consumer behavior in response to sustainability.
  • Responsible consumption: proximity products, local products, fair trade, etc.
  • Sustainable marketing strategies (CSR communications, etc.).
  • The challenges and opportunities for marketing in CSR terms.
  • Digital marketing and social media strategies, sustainability, and marketing tactics.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility, sustainability, consumer, consumer social responsibility, consumer psychology, consumer behavior, consumer attitudes, responsible consumption, green consumption, green marketing, corporate branding, co-creation, eWOM.

Manuscript Submission Information
Open for submissions: November 10th, 2021
Closing date for new submissions: February 28th, 2022

For this special issue we have partnered with the Society for Marketing Advances (SMA). The Special Issue is open to all work related to the call. However, priority will be given to papers accepted to the SMA Conference for 2021. For information regarding the conference and submission guidelines please visit the SMA website:  https://www.societyformarketingadvances.org/ 

Submissions to the conference open March 1, 2021 and close June 30, 2021.

Please indicate that your paper is intended for this special issue. Manuscripts should be submitted in MS Word format by e-mail to the following address (revista.cuadernosdegestion@ehu.eus). Accepted papers will be published in the journal and will be listed together in the special issue section. Original empirical research, theory development and meta-analytic reviews are all potentially appropriate for inclusion in the special issue.

All contributions to this research topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements.

Articles can be submitted in English or Spanish. However, if an article is accepted, the authors should send the final version in English.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been previously published, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts will be reviewed by at least two expert referees. Please visit the Instructions for Authors  page before submitting a manuscript (http://www.ehu.eus/cuadernosdegestion/revista/en/submiting-papers). 

Further Information
For questions regarding this special issue’s content, please contact the guest editors.

Barcelos, E., 2015. Relationship Between an Organization Evaluated as Being Socially Responsible and the Satisfaction, Trust and Loyalty of its Clients. Aust. J. Basic Appl. Sci. 9, 429–438. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcps.2011.11.012

Grunert, K.G., 2013. Trends in food choice and nutrition, in: Consumer Attitudes to Food Quality Products. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, pp. 23–30. https://doi.org/10.3920/978-90-8686-762-2_2

Hofenk, D., van Birgelen, M., Bloemer, J., Semeijn, J., 2019. How and When Retailers’ Sustainability Efforts Translate into Positive Consumer Responses: The Interplay Between Personal and Social Factors. J. Bus. Ethics 156, 473–492. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-017-3616-1

Kuokkanen, H., Sun, W., 2020. Companies, Meet Ethical Consumers: Strategic CSR Management to Impact Consumer Choice. J. Bus. Ethics 166, 403–423. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-019-04145-4

Lazaroiu, G., Andronie, M., Uţă, C., Hurloiu, I., 2019. Trust Management in Organic Agriculture: Sustainable Consumption Behavior, Environmentally Conscious Purchase Intention, and Healthy Food Choices. Front. Public Heal. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2019.00340

Nyame-Asiamah, F., Kawalek, P., 2020. Sustainability and Consumer Behaviour: Towards a Cohered Emergent Theory., in: The Palgrave Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility. pp. 1–18.

Oates, C.J., 2020. Sustainability Marketing: Products, Fairtrade, and Greenwashing., in: The SAGE Handbook of Marketing Ethics. p. 226.

Pérez, A., Rodríguez del Bosque, I., 2017. Personal traits and customer responses to CSR perceptions in the banking sector. Int. J. Bank Mark. 35, 128–146. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJBM-02-2016-0023

Pérez, A., Rodríguez del Bosque, I., 2015. An Integrative Framework to Understand How CSR Affects Customer Loyalty through Identification, Emotions and Satisfaction. J. Bus. Ethics 129, 571–584. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2177-9

Ramasamy, S., Dara Singh, K.S., Amran, A., Nejati, M., 2020. Linking human values to consumer perception: The moderating role of consumer skepticism. Corp. Soc. Responsib. Environ. Manag. 27, 1958–1971. https://doi.org/10.1002/csr.1939

Sarmiento, C.V., El Hanandeh, A., 2018. Customers’ perceptions and expectations of environmentally sustainable restaurant and the development of green index: The case of the Gold Coast, Australia. Sustain. Prod. Consum. 15, 16–24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spc.2018.04.001

Wang, J., Wu, L., 2016. The impact of emotions on the intention of sustainable consumption choices: evidence from a big city in an emerging country. J. Clean. Prod. 126, 325–336. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.JCLEPRO.2016.03.119

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