The Consumer Adoption of Sustainability-Oriented Offerings: Towards a Middle-Range Theory
Despite claims of environmental sensitivity and an increase in sustainability-oriented offerings' availability in the marketplace, such offerings often receive a lukewarm reception. Given the risk associated with their introduction, and heterogeneous findings on adoption-influencing factors, a discovery-oriented investigation of barriers and enablers of consumer adoption contributes to theory and practice. Drawing on interviews and the literature, a middle-range theory is developed, suggesting that consumers' dispositions and perceptions of offerings' characteristics thwart adoption, whereas perceptions of marketers' competencies and consumer benefits engender adoption. Sustainability-oriented marketers should, therefore, avoid green-gouging, ensure product availability, clearly articulate adoption benefits, and develop offerings that are functionally and environmentally sound.