Why people do not keep their promise: Understanding the pro-environmental behavior in China

Jingling Chen*, Rob van Tulder, Tao Eric Hu, Thorben Kwakkenbos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The promise-implementation gap is a particularly salient feature in promoting individuals' pro-environmental behavior (PEB). Many individuals are becoming aware that their past behavior has not actually been in line with the norms they have made promise to. Prior studies have suggested an array of constraints restricting individuals' pro-environmental involvement. In addition to individuals' behavioral incapability, the said inconsistency can also be traced back to the affected willingness, hard trade-off decisions, and/or the failure of stakeholders' collaboration. Based on the line of reasoning, this research develops an attitude model and frames the potential types of gaps from the perspective of attitude formation and transition surrounding PEBs. The promise-implementation gap is closely related to a sequence of attitudes showing great motivation differences from being reactive to reactive-active transition and to the active-proactive transition. The paper contextualizes the model to examine the promise-implementation gap in the Chinese environmental context. Importance of this context is high with quite mixed economic and social development across the country, which is the same across the world. The application of the model in the Chinese context justifies the validity and generalizability of the theoretic framework. The paper contributes a novel understanding of the promise-implementation gap, and illuminates potential analytic measures and managerial implications for literature of this stream.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6720
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020

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