Religionists, a divine blessing to Earth’s survival?

Religionists, a divine blessing to Earth’s survival?

Management summary

 

Over the years, religion has been subjected to many scientific studies, particularly in the fields of psychology and sociology. Many of these efforts have revealed that religion shapes the human complexion in ways that may provide commercial opportunities for companies. As such, prior scientific work on religion increasingly gained attention from academics in the fields of marketing, management and more recently socially responsible consumption. The results of the very few studies to have explored religiosity in the light of socially responsible consumption were anything but elucidating. Two studies found a significant positive relationship between religiosity and socially responsible consumption whereas one study found no significant relationship. Thus, more rigorous research efforts seemed warranted to determine the role of religiosity as a predictor of socially responsible consumption, which was effectuated in this study by including an examination of possible moderating effects of age and gender. Moreover, prior studies were mostly conducted in Islamic countries or solely included university students in the sample. This study attempted to bridge these gaps by formulating the following problem statement: ‘’How do religious individuals differ from non-religious individuals in exhibiting socially responsible consumption?’’.

To find an answer to the problem statement, an extensive literature review was conducted and several hypotheses were developed. Data was collected by means of a questionnaire and participants were sampled by utilizing a non-probability sampling procedure. Regression analyses were performed to statistically examine the relationship between religiosity and socially responsible consumption. The results indicate that religiosity is highly significantly related to socially responsible consumption in the expected direction. That is, being more religious increases the frequency with which products and services are consumed that benefit both societal and environmental conditions. Moreover, the analyses show that both age and gender do not significantly moderate this relationship.

Since this study solely sought to identify the nature of the relationship between the concepts of religiosity and socially responsible consumption, this study did not conduct industry or product class specific examinations. It therefore remains somewhat difficult for any company to make well-grounded decisions based on this study alone. Researchers could enhance the utility of such studies for companies by examining how religiosity influences SRC in various industries and whether the strength and direction of this relationship change with different product classes and prices.

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