Greenwash and Green Trust: The Mediation Effects of Green Consumer Confusion and Green Perceived Risk

Abstract

The paper explores the influence of greenwash on green trust and discusses the mediation roles of green consumer confusion and green perceived risk. The research object of this study focuses on Taiwanese consumers who have the purchase experience of information and electronics products in Taiwan. This research employs an empirical study by means of the structural equation modeling. The results show that greenwash is negatively related to green trust. Therefore, this study suggests that companies must reduce their greenwash behaviors to enhance their consumers’ green trust. In addition, this study finds out that green consumer confusion and green perceived risk mediate the negative relationship between greenwash and green trust. The results also demonstrate that greenwash is positively associated with green consumer confusion and green perceived risk which would negatively affect green trust. It means that greenwash does not only negatively affect green trust directly but also negatively influence it via green consumer confusion and green perceived risk indirectly. Hence, if companies would like to reduce the negative relationship between greenwash and green trust, they need to decrease their consumers’ green consumer confusion and green perceived risk.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful for the funding of National Science Council in Taiwan for this study, and the project number of this study is NSC 98-2410-H-224-012-MY3.

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Correspondence to Yu-Shan Chen.

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Chen, YS., Chang, CH. Greenwash and Green Trust: The Mediation Effects of Green Consumer Confusion and Green Perceived Risk. J Bus Ethics 114, 489–500 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-012-1360-0

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Keywords

  • Greenwash
  • Green trust
  • Green consumer confusion
  • Green perceived risk
  • Green marketing