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EMAC 2023 Annual

Effectiveness of Communicating Sustainability Performance: Enhancement vs. Reduction Framing

Published: May 24, 2023


M S Balaji, Rennes School of Business; Jishnu Bhattacharyya, Nottingham University Business School China, University of Nottingham Ningbo China; Yangyang Jiang, The University of Nottingham Ningbo China


Firms use sustainability communication to persuade consumers to support sustainability initiatives. Our study study examines the role of communciating sustainability performance and sustainability message framing on travelers’ behavioral intention toward the service provider. Four studies including a social media study and online experiments were carried out to test the proposed hypothesis. We found that reporting on sustainability performance is more effective than not reporting. When communication about sustainability performance is framed as an enhancement (vs. reduction), behavioral intentions toward the service provider increases. Travelers' perceptions of a tourism service provider's commitment to sustainability mediate the relationship between sustainability performance communication and pro-sustainable travel choices. The effect of sustainability performance communication is contingent on the sustainability performance level.