Exploring consumer adoption of a high involvement eco-innovation using value-belief-norm theory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Environmental problems are increasingly becoming everyday issues of international organizations, national governments, and individual consumers. In consumer behavior research considerable effort has been focused on understanding environmentally significant behaviors. One such research stream uses the value-belief-norm theory (VBN) to explain and predict a number of relatively low involvement proenvironmental consumer behaviors such as household energy use. However, many consumer behaviors with significant impact on the environment are categorized as high involvement behaviors where VBN theory has not yet been employed. The aim of this paper is to arrive at a better understanding of consumer adoption of a high involvement eco-innovation using VBN theory. As an example of a high involvement eco-innovation the alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) which runs on fossil oil-alternative fuels such as electricity and biofuels is used. A representative sample of adopters and non-adopters of these vehicles in Sweden were surveyed. Differences between adopters and non-adopters on sociodemographic and VBN factors were analyzed and the explanatory ability of the different factors on adoption was analyzed using logistic regression. The results showed that early adopters had a higher level of education and were much more likely to live in multi-person households compared to non-adopters. In terms of attitudinal factors, adopters exhibited higher levels of proenvironmental values, beliefs, and personal norms (PNs). Furthermore the results established that VBN factors were successful in explaining the early adoption of a high involvement eco-innovation such as the AFV. The implications for consumer research, public policymakers, and for marketers of eco-innovations are discussed. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


External organisations
  • Umeå University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Business Administration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Consumer Behaviour
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes