What is it about?

Motivating consumers to choose more sustainable options is of particular importance to sustainability stakeholders. Consumers' attitudes, moral obligations, activism, and ability are all significant predictors of their sustainable choices. Yet a relevant question raised by our paper is: what if consumers experience motivational imbalance toward the same choice? Put simply, for example, what if consumers have a strong moral obligation toward a given sustainable product but at the same time they hold less positive or even negative attitudes. Results revealed that motivational imbalance has negative effects on sustainable food choices. Motivationally imbalanced consumers showed consistently weaker intentions toward sustainable​ food choices than those who experience motivational balance.

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Why is it important?

This is the first paper, to my best knowledge, which examines motivational imbalance and discusses its ramifications on consumer sustainable choices discussing at once ​practical​ implications to avoid imbalance​.


Further studies on motivational imbalance across behavioral domains and categories represent​ a relevant and novel aspect of consideration. How does motivational imbalance affect consumer choices? How to overcome its ramifications? What are the different scenarios of motivational imbalance? Are all scenarios equally important? Is one more negative than others? If so, which one?

Dr Sayed Elhoushy
Queen Mary University of London

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This page is a summary of: Consumers’ sustainable food choices: Antecedents and motivational imbalance, International Journal of Hospitality Management, August 2020, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhm.2020.102554.
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