One for all doesn’t Work: Micromanaging Pro-environmental Behaviour


  • Kashif  Riaz Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University of Law (SZABUL), Karachi, Pakistan
  • Kamran Khan Department of Management Sciences, Institute of Technology, DHA Suffa University, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Kashif Mehmood Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari Institute of Technology, Karachi, Pakistan



Goal-framing theory, Norm Activation Model, Pro-Environmental Behavior, Sustainability Goals, Theory of Planned Behavior


This study aims to identify the flaws in current theories and present reasons for their failure. Despite all the efforts, the adaptability of products with sustainability elements remains low. This study analyzed some reasons for low adoption and evaluated the planned behaviour, norm activation model, and goal-framing theory. The study reviewed literature that discussed the critics of all three theories mentioned above. Based on the literature assessment, we have provided some guidelines for a way forward in pro-environmental studies related to consumer behaviour. Some suggestions are also provided to increase the adoption of such products, including, using factors of these theories in conjunction. This study also recommends a proposed solution for the consumers’ low adoption of environmentally friendly products. It is stressed in the study that the three main theories discussed in the pro-environmental area are not enough to understand or gauge consumer behaviour fully. Hence, there is a need to have a holistic approach for viewing and checking consumer behaviour of sustainable consumption.


Download data is not yet available.


Agyeman, J., Devine-Wright, P., & Prange, J. (2009). Close to the edge, down by the river? Joining up managed retreat and place attachment in a climate changed world. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 41(3), 509–513. DOI:

Ajzen, I. (1991). The Theory of Planned Behaviour. Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Process, 50(2), 179–211. DOI:

Ajzen, I., & Madden, T. J. (1986). Prediction of goal-directed behaviours, Attitudes, Intentions and perceived behavioural control. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 22(05), 90045–90049. DOI:

Bargh, J. A., Chen, M., & Burrows, L. (1996). Automaticity of social behaviour: Direct effects of trait construct and stereotype activation on action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71(2), 230–244. DOI:

Barkley, R. A. (1997). Behavioural inhibition, sustained attention, and executive functions: constructing a unifying theory of ADHD. Psychological Bulletin, 121(1), 65–94. DOI:

Blamey, R. (1998). The activation of environmental norms extending schwartz’ model. Environment and Behaviour, 30(5), 676–708. DOI:

Bodur, H. O., Duval, K. M., & Grohmann, B. (2015). Will you purchase environmentally friendly products? Using prediction requests to increase choice of sustainable products. Journal of Business Ethics, 129(1), 59–75. DOI:

Bonini, S., & Oppenheim, J. (2008). Cultivating the Green Consumer. Stanford Social Innovation Review, 6(4), 56–61.

Butt, A., Khan, M. A., & Hameed, I. (2022). Factors affecting consumers’ recycling behavior in developing countries: Extending the theory of planned behaviour in the recycling domain. KASBIT Business Journal, 15(2), 172–195.

Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (2001). On the Self-Regulation of Behaviour. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Chakraborty, A., Singh, M. P., & Roy, M. (2017). A study of goal frames shaping proenvironmental behaviour in university students. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 18(7), 1291–1310. DOI:

Chatzisarantis, N. L., & Hagger, M. S. (2005). Effects of a brief intervention based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour on Leisure-Time physical activity participation. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 27(4), 470–487. DOI:

Chen, Y. S., Huang, A. F., Wang, T. Y., & Chen, Y. R. (2020). Greenwash and green purchase behaviour: the mediation of green brand image and green brand loyalty. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 31(1-2), 194–209. DOI:

Conner, M., & Armitage, C. J. (1998). Extending the Theory of Planned Behaviour: A review and avenues for further research. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 28(15), 1429–1464. DOI:

Conner, M., Godin, G., Sheeran, P., & Germain, M. (2013). Some feelings are more important: Cognitive attitudes, affective attitudes, anticipated affect and blood donation. Health Psychology, 32(3), 264–272. DOI:

De Groot, J. I., & Steg, L. (2009). Morality and Prosocial Behaviour: The Role of Awareness, Responsibility, and Norms in the Norm Activation Model. The Journal of Social Psychology, 149(4), 425–449. DOI:

Flores, P. J., & Jansson, J. (2022). SPICe-Determinants of consumer green innovation adoption across domains: A systematic review of marketing journals and suggestions for a research agenda. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 46(5), 1761–1784. DOI:

Fridja, N. H. (2007). The Laws of Emotion. New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis.

Gardner, B., De Brujin, G. J., & Lally, P. (2011). A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Applications of the Self-Report Habit Index to Nutrition and Physical Activity Behaviours. Annals of Behavioural Medicine, 42(2), 174–187. DOI:

Gardner, G., & Stern, P. (2002). Environmental Problems and Human Behavior . (Second ed.). Pearson Custom Publishing.

Gatersleben, B., Steg, L., & Vlek, C. (2002). Measurement and Determinants of Environmentally Significant Consumer Behaviour. Environment and Behaviour, 34(3), 335–362. DOI:

Ge, W., Sheng, G., & Zhang, H. (2020). How to Solve the Social Norm Conflict Dilemma of Green Consumption: The Moderating Effect of Self-Affirmation. Frontier in Psychology, 11. DOI:

Gkargkavouzi, A., Halkos, G., & Matsiori, S. (2019). Environmental behaviour in a privatesphere context: Integrating theories of planned behaviour and value belief norm, self-identity and habit. Resources, Conservation & Recycling, 148, 145–156. DOI:

Hafner, R., Elmes, D., Read, D., & White, M. P. (2019). Exploring the role of normative, financial and environmental information in promoting uptake of energy efficient technologies. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 63, 26–35. DOI:

Hameed, I., Hussain, H., & Khan, K. (2021). The role of green practices toward the green word-of-mouth using stimulus-organism-response model. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights. DOI:

Hameed, I., & Khan, K. (2020). An extension of the goal-framing theory to predict consumer’s sustainable behaviour for home appliances. Energy Efficiency, 13(7), 1441–1455. DOI:

Hameed, I., Khan, K., Waris, I., & Zainab, B. (2021). Factors influencing the sustainable consumer behaviour concerning the recycling of plastic waste. Environmental Quality Management. DOI:

Hameed, I., Waris, I., & Haq, M. (2019). Predicting eco-conscious consumer behavior using theory of planned behaviour in Pakistan. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 26(15), 15535–15547. DOI:

Han, H. (2014). The norm activation model and theory-broadening: Individuals’ decisionmaking on environmentally-responsible convention attendance. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 40, 462–471. DOI:

Hardeman, W., Johnston, M., Johnston, D. W., Bonetti, D., Wareham, N. J., & Kinmonth, A. L. (2002). Application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour in Behaviour Change Interventions: A Systematic Review. Psychology and Health, 17(2), 123–158. DOI:

Insight, R. . (2008). Green Gap Survey. Retrieved from

Kaiser, F. G., Hubner, G., & Bogner, F. X. (2006). Contrasting the theory of planned behaviour with the value-belief-norm model in explaining conservation behaviour.Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35(10), 2150–2170. DOI:

Khan, K., & Hameed, I. (2019a). Determinants of sustainable consumption in high and low involvement product categories. Amazonia Investiga, 8(20), 503–515.

Khan, K., & Hameed, I. (2019b). Relationship between consumer motivations and sustainable consumer behaviour in a developing market. KASBIT Business Journal, 12(1), 178–191.

Khan, K., Hameed, I., Akram, U., & Hussainy, S. K. (2022). Do normative triggers and motivations influence the intention to purchase organic food? An application of the goal-framing theory. British Food Journal. DOI:

Khan, K., Hameed, I., Hussainy, S. K., & Riaz, K. (2022). Consumers’ Sustainable Consumption of Hybrid Cars: An Application of Goal-Framing Theory in the Pakistani Market. Transportation in Developing Economies, 8(2), 1–14. DOI:

Koger, S. M., & Winter, D. D. (2010). The Psychology of Environmental Problems. (3rd ed.). London: Psychology Press.

Lindenberg, S. (2006). Prosocial Behaviour, Solidarity and Framing Processes. In D. Fetchenhauer, A. Flache, B. Buunk, & S. Lindenberg (Eds.), Solidarity and Prosocial Behaviour: An Integration of Sociological and Psychological Perspectives (pp. 23–44). New York: Springer. DOI:

Lindenberg, S. (2008). Social Rationality, Semi-Modularity and Goal-Framing: What Is It All About? Analyse & Kritik, 30, 669–687. DOI:

Lindenberg, S., & Steg, L. (2007). Normative, gain and hedonic goal frames guiding environmental behaviour. Journal of Social Sciences, 63(1), 117–137. DOI:

Madden, T. J., Ellen, P. S., & Ajzen, I. (1992). A comparison of the theory of planned behaviour and the theory of reasoned action. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18(1), 3–9. DOI:

Mathies, E., Selge, S., & Klockner, C. A. (2012). The role of parental behaviour for the development of behaviour specific environmental norms - The example of recycling and re-use behaviour. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 32(3), 277–294. DOI:

Mccarty, D. (1981). Changing contraceptive usage intentions: A test of the fishbein model of intention. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 11(3), 192–211. DOI:

Mceachan, R. R., Conner, M., Taylor, N. J., & Lawton, R. J. (2011). Prospective prediction of health-related behaviours with the Theory of Planned Behaviour: a meta-analysis. Health Psychology, 5(2), 97–144. DOI:

Mellers, B. A., & Mcgraw, A. P. (2001). Anticipated Emotions as Guides to Choice. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10(6), 210–214. DOI:

Milfont, T. L., Sibley, C. G., & Duckitt, J. (2010). Testing the Moderating Role of the Components of Norm Activation on the Relationship Between Values and Environmental Behaviour. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 41(1), 124–131. DOI:

Milinski, M., & Rockenbach, B. (2007). Spying on Others Evolves. Science(5837), 464–465. DOI:

Muraven, M., & Baumeister, R. F. (2000). Self-regulation and depletion of limited resources: Does self-control resemble a muscle? Psychological Bulletin, 126(2), 247–259. DOI:

Neumann, R., & Strack, F. (2000). Mood contagion”: The automatic transfer of mood between persons. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(2), 211–223. DOI:

Nordlund, A. M., & Garvill, J. (2003). Effects of values, problem awareness, and personal norm on willingness to reduce personal car use. Journal of Environmental Psychology,23(4), 37–46. DOI:

Odgen, J. (2003). Some problems with social cognition models: A pragmatic and conceptual analysis. Health Psychology, 22(4), 424–428. DOI:

Onwezen, M. C., Antonides, G., & Bartels, J. (2013). The Norm Activation Model: An exploration of the functions of anticipated pride and guilt in pro-environmental behaviour. Journal of Economic Psychology, 39, 141–153. DOI:

Orbell, S., & Sheeran, P. (2011). Inclined abstainers’: A problem for predicting health-related behaviour. British Journal of Social Psychology, 37(2), 151–165. DOI:

Peterson, M., Minton, E. A., Liu, R. L., & Bartholomew, D. E. (2021). Sustainable marketing and consumer support for sustainable businesses. . Sustainable Production and Consumption, 27, 157–168. DOI:

Pradhan, R. K., Jena, L. K., & Behera, B. (2015). Human behaviour, environmental problem and social wellness: An interdisciplinary exploration. International Journal of Development and Sustainability, 4(3), 308–321.

Rezvani, Z., Jansson, J., & Bengtsson, M. (2018). Consumer motivations for sustainable consumption: The interaction of gain, normative and hedonic motivations on electric vehicle adoption. Business Strategy and The Environment. Retrieved from DOI:

Sandra, N., & Alessandro, P. (2021). Consumers’ preferences, attitudes and willingness to pay for bio-textile in wood fibers. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 58,102304–102304. DOI:

Schwartz, S. H. (1977). Normative Influences on Altruism. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Vol. 10, pp. 221–279). New York: Academic Press. DOI:

Schwartz, S. H., & Howard, J. A. (1981). A normative decision-making model of altruism. In Altruism and Helping Behaviour: Social, Personality, and Developmental Perspectives (pp. 189–211). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Sheeran, P., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Bargh, J. A. (2013). Nonconscious Processes and Health. Health Psychology, 32(5), 460–473. DOI:

Shiffrin, R. M., & Schneider, W. (1977). Controlled and automatic human information processing: II. Perceptual learning, automatic attending and a general theory. Psychological Review, 84(2), 127–190. DOI:

Sniehotta, F. F., Gellert, P., Whitam, M. D., Crombie, I. K., & Mcmurdo, M. E. (2013). Psychological theory in an interdisciplinary context: psychological, demographic, health-related, social, and environmental correlates of physical activity in a representative cohort of community-dwelling older adults. International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10(1), 106–106. DOI:

Sniehotta, F. F., Presseas, J., & Araujo-Soares, V. (2014). Time to retire the theory of planned behaviour. Health Psychology Review, 8(1), 1–7. DOI:

Song, M. R., Chu, W., & Im, M. (2021). The effect of cultural and psychological characteristics on the purchase behaviour and satisfaction of electric vehicles: A comparative study of US and China. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 46(1), 345–364. DOI:

Soomro, Y. A., Hameed, I., Bhutto, M. Y., Waris, I., Baeshen, Y., & Batati, B. (2022). What influences consumers to recycle solid waste? An application of the extended theory of planned behaviour in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Sustainability, 14(2),998. DOI:

Steg, L., Bolderdijk, J. W., Keizer, K., & Perlaviciute, G. (2014). An integrated framework for encouraging pro-environmental behaviour: The role of values, situational factors and goals. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 38, 104–115. DOI:

Steg, L., & Vlek, C. (2009). Encouraging pro-environmental behaviour: An integrative review and research agenda. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29(3), 309–317. DOI:

Stern, P. C. (2000). Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behaviour. Journal of Social Issues, 56(3), 407–424. DOI:

Stern, P. C., & Gardner, G. T. (1981). Psychological research and energy policy. American Psychologist, 36(4), 329–342. DOI:

Tunn, V. S., Bocken, N. M., Van Den Hende, E. A., & Schoormans, J. P. (2019). Business models for sustainable consumption in the circular economy: An expert study. Journal of cleaner production, 212, 324–333. DOI:

Vining, J., & Ebreo, A. (1992). Predicting recycling behaviour from global and specific environmental attitudes and changes in recycling opportunities. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 22(20), 1580–1607. DOI:

Vlek, C., & Steg, L. (2007). Human behaviour and environmental sustainability: problems, driving forces and research topics. Journal of Social Issues, 63(1), 1–19. DOI:

Vohs, K., & Baumeister, R. (2011). Handbook of self-regulation: Research, theory, and applications. New York: The Guilford Press.

Vugt, M. V., Van Lange, P. A., & Meertens, R. M. (1996). Commuting by car or public transportation? A social dilemma analysis of travel mode judgements.European Journal of Social Psychology, 26, 373–395. DOI:<373::AID-EJSP760>3.0.CO;2-1

Waris, I., Hameed, I., & Ali, R. (2022). Predicting household sign up for solar energy: an empirical study based on the extended theory of planned behaviour. International Journal of Energy Sector Management. DOI:

Wijekoon, R., & Sabri, M. (2021). Determinants that influence green product purchase intention and behaviour: A literature review and guiding framework. Sustainability (11), 13–13. DOI:

Wittenberg, I., Blobaum, A., & Matthies, E. (2018). Environmental motivations for energy use in PV household: proposal of a modified norm activation model for the specific context of PV household. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 55, 110–120. DOI:



How to Cite

Riaz, K., Khan, K., & Mehmood, K. (2022). One for all doesn’t Work: Micromanaging Pro-environmental Behaviour. JISR Management and Social Sciences & Economics, 20(2), 1–20.



Review Papers