Inderscience Publishers

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

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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

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