uwf UmweltWirtschaftsForum

, Volume 25, Issue 1–2, pp 15–23 | Cite as

Conceptualizing sustainability from a consumer perspective

A qualitative study in the food sector
  • Tom Joerß
  • Payam Akbar
  • Robert Mai
  • Stefan HoffmannEmail author
Originalbeitrag / Original Article


This qualitative study explores consumers’ understanding of sustainability in the food sector. The paper identifies different mental structures of the concept (nominal, ordinal, cluster, hierarchy) and taps into the underlying motivation and goals driving evaluations of sustainability.

Diese qualitative Studie untersucht das Verständnis der Verbraucher für Nachhaltigkeit im Lebensmittelbereich. Der Artikel identifiziert verschiedene mentale Strukturen, wie das Konzept verankert ist (nominal, ordinal, Cluster, hierarchisch) und beleuchtet die zugrundeliegenden Motive und Ziele, welche die Bewertungen der Nachhaltigkeit bestimmen.


Sustainability Sustainable Consumption Corporate Social Responsibility Qualitative Interviews Values 

Konzeptionalisierung der Nachhaltigkeit aus der Konsumentensicht

Eine qualitative Studie im Lebensmittelsektor


Nachhaltigkeit Nachhaltiger Konsum Corporate Social Responsibility Qualitative Interviews Werte 



This research was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), project TransKoll (grant 01UT1414A) as part of the framework program ‘Sozial-ökologischen Forschung (SÖF)’ with focus on ‘Nachhaltiges Wirtschaften’.

Conflict of interest

T. Joerß, P. Akbar, R. Mai and S. Hoffmann declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Business Administration, Department of MarketingKiel UniversityKielGermany
  2. 2.Department of MarketingGrenoble Ecole de ManagementGrenobleFrance

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