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EMAC 2022 Annual

Responsible Consumption Behavior of Generation Z: An Investigation of Its Drivers with the Extension of KAB Framework

Published: May 24, 2022


Sze Lok Choi, Hong Kong Baptist University; Kimmy Chan, Hong Kong Baptist University; Kwong Yin Henry Fock, Hong Kong Baptist University


Responsible consumption has been widely promoted and considered an essential way to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs-SDG12) of the United Nations. While emerging studies devoted to investigating ways to promote responsible consumption behavior (RCB), they predominately focus on the general consumers’ views as a whole but neglect the potential differences among the different stakeholders, particularly those youngsters who are gradually turning into one of the largest consumer segments in the future. Due to the growing influences of Generation Z, there is a special need to unravel ways to promote responsible consumption among this cohort of consumers. This study adopts and extends the knowledge-attitude-behavior (KAB) framework by examining how general knowledge leads to more socially RCB for Generation Z. Using data from one survey study and one field experiment, our findings reveal a carryover effect of general knowledge such that knowledge accumulated in the past (Time 1) enhances current knowledge (Time 2), which in turn increase responsible consumption attitude and behaviors. We further decompose the knowledge concept by showing a reducing role of one’s specific knowledge in moderating the carryover effect of general knowledge on responsible consumption attitude and behavior. Moreover, perceived consumer effectiveness acts as another essential determinant of one’s RCB. The findings of our research enrich the extant KAB framework and provide important insight on promoting socially responsible consumption for ensuring sustainability, especially among Generation Z.