Wensing, Joana: Exploring behavioral motivations as drivers for the adoption of bio-economy innovations. - Bonn, 2020. - Dissertation, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.
Online-Ausgabe in bonndoc: https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:hbz:5-60077
urn: https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:hbz:5-60077,
author = {{Joana Wensing}},
title = {Exploring behavioral motivations as drivers for the adoption of bio-economy innovations},
school = {Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn},
year = 2020,
month = dec,

note = {For the past centuries, fossil resources served the German economy as the basis for numerous technological innovations facilitating continuous economic growth and prosperity. However, global challenges of the 21st century such as climate change and depleting resources increasingly uncover the unintended consequences of a fossil-based economy for the social and natural system. One promising strategy to solve these problems is presented by the bio-economy concept which aims to replace fossil resources by bio-based materials stemming from plants, animals, microorganisms and biological waste streams. In this vein, this innovative concept exposes the agri-food sector to a whole set of novel value-added processes, products and services (e.g. bio-energy or bio-based plastics). The success of these innovations ultimately depends on value chain actors’ behavioral motivations to adopt them. However, many economic regions still do not fully take advantage of bio-economy innovations which is why it is critical to understand the factors that drive actors in the agri-food value chain to adopt these innovations. Hence, this thesis explores how farmers’ and consumers’ adoption decisions are affected by their internal behavioral motivations such as their values, beliefs and norms. Moreover, this thesis uses insights from behavioral economics to test nudging strategies to foster the adoption of bio-economy innovations.
In order to achieve these objectives, this thesis conducts three empirical studies. The first study assesses the effect of behavioral motivations on farmers’ interest in the adoption of bio-economy practices, using the case of the utilization of horticultural by-products. Therefore, a survey with German fruit and vegetable farmers (N = 96) has been carried out and data have been analyzed in a Structural Equation Model. Findings suggest that pro-environmental values, beliefs and norms are relevant to predict farmers' interest in bio-economy practices. Results further indicate that an ecological worldview is potentially relevant for farmers' perception of contextual conditions aimed to foster the bio-economy.
The second study explores systems thinking as a behavioral motivation for consumer intention to buy bio-based products. The study draws upon an online survey (N = 446) with a between-subject design to situate consumers’ level of systems thinking in relation to their altruistic values, an ecological worldview, beliefs and norms as well as intention to buy bio-based products. This study provides empirical evidence that a behavioral task in which consumers reflect on the consequences of their own consumption behavior is successful in activating a systems thinking perspective which, in turn, affects their intention to purchase bio-based products. Moreover, the relationship between systems thinking and purchase intention seems to be mediated by consumers’ problem awareness, outcome efficacy and personal norms.
The third study investigates the effectiveness of green nudges to increase consumer willingness to pay for bio-based products, using the case of bio-based plastic packaging. The study uses a discrete choice experiment (N = 1019) with a between-subject-design to activate consumer pro-environmental values, worldviews, beliefs and norms by providing them with nature pictures, reflection questions, information and social proof, respectively. Results indicate that the strongest effects are generated when the nudging strategy matches the characteristic of consumers’ cognitive style.
The scientific and practical contributions of this thesis are multifold. From a scientific perspective, it extends the widely used value-beliefs-norms theory by contextual factors to understand farmers’ interest in bio-economy practices and integrates systems thinking into the seminal norm-activation model to understand consumer intention to purchase bio-based products. In addition, it theoretically explores the interaction between green nudges and individual cognitive styles. Methodologically, this thesis develops and tests a treatment to activate systems thinking. Besides, it adds to existing empirical research by providing evidence for the role of systems thinking, the value-beliefs-norms theory and green nudges in the context of the bio-economy.
This thesis, moreover, generates important practical implications for policymakers and industry representatives. In this vein, it presents scientifically sound strategies to speed up the diffusion of innovations, to influence the outcome of innovation-decisions and it shows which values and cognitive paradigms are relevant in the context of the bio-economy. For example, consumers’ willingness to pay a price premium for bio-based plastic packaging might encourage companies to invest in this type of packaging. However, as the transition towards a bio-based economy rather depends on changing the underlying beliefs of the value chain actors, this thesis also provides insights about internal values and cognitive paradigms that need to be taught in schools and universities to generate a cultural transition starting with the young generations.},

url = {https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11811/8837}

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