First Advisor

Antonie Jetter

Term of Graduation

Fall 2020

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Technology Management


Engineering and Technology Management




Consumer behavior -- Saudi Arabia, Green products -- Purchasing, Consumers -- Psychology, Consumers -- Saudi Arabia -- Attitudes



Physical Description

1 online resource (xi, 356 pages)


Much of the research on how and why consumers engage in pro-environmental consumption has occurred in the wealthy countries of the West, where green markets are increasingly well established. Research in other economic and cultural context is sparse and points to large regional differences that cause some researchers to call key theoretical foundations, such as the Theory of Planned Behavior, into question. In response, this study investigates the factors that predict green purchase intention for food and personal care products in Saudi Arabia, a wealthy country with a rapidly growing population, severe environmental challenges, and a nascent green consumer market that has rarely been the subject of green marketing research. After a review of the literature, which results in a conceptual research model, the research occurs with a sequential mixed method design: the first research phase consists of ten interviews that elucidate reasons for and barriers to green purchasing intention, including the role of religion, peer opinion, and the cultural norm of prudence. Findings from the interview study are used to develop a survey questionnaire that is administered to faculty and students of King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in Saudi Arabia, yielding 368 responses. Hypothesis-testing confirms the predictions of the Theory of Planned Behavior despite the unique cultural setting. Multiple Regression Analysis identifies the predictors of green purchasing intention, highlights the importance of subjective norms, and prompts an exploratory mediation and moderation analysis to examine the effects of individual behavioral beliefs on the subjective norms path. Results show that Saudi Arabia is a unique context, where green product adoption is in its early stages. Multiple factors influence green product intention, and several of them differ, depending on product category: Consumers who intend to purchase organic food products are strongly motivated by egoistic benefits, novelty seeking, and altruistic benefits, whereas consumers of organic personal care products are influenced by egoistic benefits, environmental concern, and awareness about green products. Moreover, subjective norms are very important and can cause conflict between consumers' personal attitudes and their desire to conform to social norms. This conflict can be resolved by ignoring subjective norms, which consumers high in independent judgment appear to do, and by re-interpreting information about social norms to align norms and individual attitudes. These findings can be used to formulate effective marketing strategies to benefit the government and companies in the country.


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