Consumer Responses to Corporate Environmental Actions in China : An Environmental Legitimacy Perspective

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-602
Journal / PublicationJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number3
Online published9 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


As a result of the increasing public attention to environmental crises, corporate environmental actions and their effects are a current research hotspot. This study examines how two types of corporate environmental actions (symbolic and substantial environmental actions) influence consumers’ perceptions of environmental legitimacy and subsequent purchase intentions. Using experimental method, this study finds that (1) substantial environmental action induces significantly higher perceptions of environmental legitimacy than symbolic environmental action, (2) this effect can be attenuated by corporate environmental reputation, and (3) consumer-based environmental legitimacy has a significantly positive effect on consumers’ purchase intentions. These findings have interesting implications for both researchers and practitioners involved in green marketing.

Research Area(s)

  • Consumer purchase intention, Environmental legitimacy, Environmental reputation, Substantial environmental action, Symbolic environmental action