The Effect of Greenwashing on Consumer Perception

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Amanda Juul Jensen
  • Oliver Frøkjær
Purpose: The purpose of the thesis is to uncover how greenwashing affects consumer perception. A literature review is conducted in order to identify concepts related to greenwashing and the factors of consumer perception it might influence. From the literature review, a total of six hypotheses are formed, which will be either confirmed or denied on the basis of the data analysis. Empirical research is conducted to either confirm or deny the hypotheses. Finally, based on the findings a conclusion is given, which will clarify how greenwashing affects consumers’ perceptions of brands.
Method: The research that has been conducted is based on a quantitative data collection method of an electronic questionnaire with 204 respondents from three institutes of AAU (Aalborg University). The collected data were then analyzed with statistical tools and compared to previous studies. The analysis methods include linear regression, T-test, Spearman’s Rho and Kruskal-Wallis H-test in order to determine the influence of the factors found in the literature review.
Findings: The literature review revealed that there were two factors influencing how consumers perceive greenwashing, also called “perceived greenwashing”. The two factors are subjective environmental knowledge and whether a product is a low or a high involvement product. Perceived greenwashing then affects consumer perception of a brand, which includes three factors; consumer trust, brand associations and brand credibility. Perceived greenwashing were found to have a negative effect on these factors. Furthermore, this thesis confirms the findings of other researchers and acknowledge their findings in relation to greenwashing and consumer perception.
Publication date2 Jun 2020
Number of pages117
ID: 333391096