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An intentional profit-generating strategy can be detrimental to a sustainable organisation

Chakravarti, Jayani and Basso, Frédéric ORCID: 0000-0003-3709-8331 (2021) An intentional profit-generating strategy can be detrimental to a sustainable organisation. Journal of Cleaner Production, 287. ISSN 0959-6526

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.125057


Sustainable organisations have to be profitable to maintain their economic and social activity. However, prior literature finds that people are reluctant to associate profitability with sustainability, which leads to negative judgement. Through experimental evidence, the current research supports this idea but shows that profitability actually backfires within sustainable organisational contexts when it is intentional, rather than unintentional. Results indicate that consumers use a zero-sum heuristic on resource allocation when they are presented with a green product that is intentionally (vs. unintentionally) profit-generating. They infer from intended (vs. unintended) profitability that the organisation devoted greater resources to make profit rather than to make the product more sustainable. This product thus appears less sustainable to consumers and they are less interested in buying it. The article concludes with a discussion on the implications of this research for sustainable organisations.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2021 16:45
Last Modified: 30 May 2024 21:51

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