Effects on behavior of external factors: information, government regulations and economical benefits

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Method

This chapter presents and explains research approach that authors have been used in this study. The choice of questionnaire is discussed and pilot study is also included.

Research approach

Stated research questions in this thesis are linked to the theories and used by the au-thors. The questions are aimed to discover consumers’ environmental concern. This will be made through the questions concerning behavioral beliefs, controlled beliefs and normative beliefs. Moreover, external factors and additional factors in form of PCE and subjective norms are included in the research model. Thus, the research questions that have been chosen for this study will be answered as follows:
Quantitative methods involve a structured questionnaire which is tested on a large sam-ple (Burns & Bush, 1999). Since the authors are interested in consumers’ personal envi-ronmental concern and their attitude and intention towards carsharing the research will be implemented on a larger group of people. Therefore, collection of the quantitative data was chosen in order to receive as many answers as possible.
The authors have used the deductive approach since the hypotheses stated in this study are based on already existing theories. The deductive approach is usually based on the theory that can be narrowed down to more specific hypotheses within the area of re-search. These hypotheses can later be rejected or accepted (Saunders, 2009).
Explanatory approach was implemented since the goal of the research is to find out the attitude and intention of consumers and what factors causes the formation of it. Moreo-ver, the relationship between dependent and independent variables will be observed in this study.
The data will be mainly collected at the shopping mall A6 in Jönköping and gas stations with the main focus on the respondents between 20 and 70 years old. The questions will be distributed in the questionnaires which the respondents will be asked to fill in.

Explanatory study

Explanatory studies aim to determine the accuracy of the theory and test a theory’s pre-diction or principle. The primary goal is to study a situation or a problem in order to ex-plain the relationship between dependent and independent variables (Saunders, 2009). The data will be subjected into statistical tests such as correlation in order to get clearer view of the relationship. This study will be focused on trying to find a relationship be-tween different variables and therefore an explanatory method will be used. There are going to be several independent variables in this study. The first independent variable that will be used is personal environmental concern which is measured through beha-vioral beliefs, normative beliefs and control beliefs. Information, governmental policy and economical benefits stand for the external factors and will represent the second in-dependent variable in order to measure intention towards carsharing. Finally, PCE and subjective norms will serve as independent variables in order to test how they influence on intention towards carsharing. The dependent variables are intention to use carsharing and attitude towards carsharing.

Secondary and primary data

Secondary data is the information that is collected from external sources and can usually be found in magazines, reviews, research articles, TV and internet (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill, 2009). In comparison to primary data, secondary data is much easier and even cheaper to obtain. Nevertheless, there may arise problems with secondary data such as the reliability and accuracy of the information. Since the authors in this thesis do not have the time or necessary financial resources to collect all the data on their own some secondary data in form of research articles presenting information about previous studies will be used.
Primary data on the other hand is the information that is collected by the researchers. Primary data is more time consuming and often more costly to acquire compared to secondary data. One of the benefits of using primary data is that it is often more reliable since the research is done by the researchers themselves. Methods that can be used when collecting primary data are interviews, surveys and observation (Saunders, 2009). The authors are using different articles and external sources of information in this the-sis. Moreover, the data which is necessary for answering the purpose of this study and test the theories will be collected through the questionnaire. Consequently, the second-ary and primary data will be used by the authors (Zikmund, 2000).

Quantitative data

When studying a larger group of people it is more suitable to use quantitative data which can be measured and identified on a numerical scale. That might be done through different techniques such as surveys or questionnaires. Quantitative data is more effi-cient when it comes to testing hypothesis and this is one of the reasons the authors chose to use a quantitative research (Zikmund, 2000). The generated data will be later analyzed in the SPSS software program and presented in the chapter of empirical find-ings.

Data collection

Sampling

Since the goal of this study is to investigate the attitude of consumers towards carshar-ing and their intention to use it, the authors chose to focus on the population from the age of 20 and on the respondents who holds a driver license. The main goal has been to cover the group of people who lives within the area of Jönköping. The population will be divided in two age categories up to 40 years old and 40 years old and older. This will make it possible to see whether there any differences between the respondents or not. A deeper insight in differences between age groups will be provided in the empirical find-ings and the analysis part.
The study was made during the time period of three weeks where respondents were ap-proached at different locations in Jönköping. The main area of research has been A6 shopping mall in Jönköping, Shell and OK/Q8 gas stations. The respondents that were approached at the gas stations were more unwilling to participate in the survey, which can partly be explained by the lack of time. However, most of the respondents at the A6 shopping mall were willing to fill in the questionnaire. The statistical rule of thumb in business statistics is that there should be at least 30 respondents in the research in order to analyze the collected data in the SPSS (Aczel & Sounderpandian, 2006). Thus, in or-der to get a better picture of the sampling and have a good margin the authors have col-lected answers from 92 respondents.

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Questionnaire

The questionnaire in this thesis is used as the main source of the primary data. Usually questionnaires do not work properly for exploratory researches that need a large amount of open ended questions. In this research that is not the case, standardized questions will be used and the authors can be confident that the questions will be interpreted the same way by all respondents (Robson, 2002).
Questionnaires can be designed in many different ways depending on how it should be administrated, especially when it comes to the time that researchers can spend with res-pondents. Types of questionnaires that can be used are for example self administrated questionnaires which are completed by the respondent and usually administrated elec-tronically (Hair & Bush, 2009). In this research the questionnaires will be delivered by hand to each respondent and will be collected when finished (delivery and collection questionnaires).

Questionnaire design

In the beginning of the questionnaire the authors present briefly the purpose of the study and the respondent will fill in the information about his/her environmental concern. In the next step the concept of carsharing is presented for the reader in order to receive as accurate information from the respondents as possible.
The authors chose to use Likert scale rating question from one to seven with alternatives “strongly agree” and “strongly disagree”. This was made due to its wide usage when it comes to attitudes and preferences about any specific object of research.
The questions in the questionnaire were adapted, modified and carefully selected from previous research made at University of California, Berkeley on carsharing pilot pro-gram and a study made on environmental concerns in UK (Gardner & Abraham, 2010). Moreover, the questions in previous research are closely related to the area of this thesis and contribute to reliability for the questionnaire (Shaheen et al., 2004).
Below, examples and explanations of specific questions are presented. The questions presented here are in English. However, in the real study all questions are translated and presented for the respondents in Swedish and can be found in the appendix.
Each question is covering different aspects of theory of planned behavior and other as-pects discussed in the frame of reference. Note that some of the questions in the ques-tionnaire were excluded from the regression analysis and are not used in this thesis due to their insignificance for answering our purpose. However, we let them remain in the questionnaire in order to keep the right numerical order in SPSS analysis. The following questions are excluded from the study: Q4, Q5, Q7, Q9, Q13b and Q14c.
The first three questions are related to environmental concern which is measured through beliefs (Gardner & Abraham, 2010). Questions 1, 2 and 6 are aiming to meas-ure behavioral belief. Questions number 8 will measure normative beliefs and question 10 control beliefs.
1. It is time to change the way we live to help address environmental problems (Behavioral beliefs)
2. Consumption of environmental friendly products should (have to) improve the overall environmental situation (for cities, countries and the earth) (Behavioral be-liefs)
3. Desire and effort from one person (without efforts of many) cannot solve envi-ronmental problems (Control Beliefs)
4. I am doing everything I can to improve the environment and not willing to do anything more
5. I spend too much time with car maintenance and would like to reduce those costs
6. Traffic is the major contributor to global warming and other environmental problems, environmentally friendly vehicles should therefore be more used (i.e. electric vehicles, hybrids or other clean fuel vehicles) (Behavioral Beliefs)
7. I use public transportation when it goes where I want to go (buses, trains, etc) and would like to use it more
8. If friends and neighbors reduce their driving I would follow their example (Normative Beliefs)
9. It is possible for me to be gentler to environment by using more environmentally friendly ways of transportation
10. Through my transport decisions I can make a difference to the environment (Control Beliefs)
After question number 10 the reader is presented with the information on carsharing.
11. Do you know anything about carsharing concept? (Knowledge)
12. Carsharing for me would be (Attitude)
The external factors in the questionnaire are divided into information Q13d, government regulations Q13c and economical benefits Q14a. These are the questions that are as-sumed to have an effect on people’s intention to use carsharing. Q14b and Q15 are aim-ing to measure PCE towards the intention to use carsharing. Finally, Q13a is aiming to discover how subjective norms influence individuals’ intention on carharing. Question number 16 is the last question in the questionnaire and is showing people’s intention to use carsharing.
13. I would be willing to consider carsharing:
a) If my friends and neighbors start to use carsharing I will follow their example
b) Because of current environmental problems
c) If government policy and regulations facilitates its use
d) If I know more about it through information and advertising
14. I will be able to use carsharing service if: a) This will be financially beneficial for me
b) To contribute to environmental improvement (PCE) c) This would not lead to discomfort
15. I believe that by choosing to use carsharing I can contribute to a better envi-ronment (PCE)
16. Rate the probability that you might start using carsharing service 🙁 Intention)

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Pilot study

Pilot study is described as a small-scale exploratory research technique that uses sam-pling but does not apply strict standards (Zikmund 2000). The function of the pilot study is to increase the effectiveness of the questionnaire so that those who will answer questions should not have any problems with it. In order to get as much information as possible from the questionnaires a pilot study has been performed. The number of people that have been asked is 10 where respondents of the sampling were mostly rela-tives and friends to the authors. The difference in population regarding, gender and age was various. The responses of the pilot study are meant to provide the authors with an idea regarding suitability and reliability of the questions and data collected (Saunders et al., 2009). The design that has been suggested by Bell (2005), for the pilot study was used by the authors where the questionnaires have been tested for the following points:
how long the questionnaire took to complete the clarity of instructions
which, if any, questions were unclear or ambiguous
which, if any, questions the respondent felt uneasy about answering whether the layout was clear and attractive any other comments

Results from the pilot study

For the pilot study the authors formed a questionnaire consisting of 16 different ques-tions. Each part of the questionnaire intended to uncover different questions of research topic such as environmental concern, respondent’s attitude and intention to use carshar-ing as a service. Author’s intention was to reveal if the questionnaire was flowing smoothly and if the question sequence was logical (Smith & Albaum, 2005).
The result of the pilot study showed that some of the questions were unclear. Moreover, the questions concerning respondent’s openness to change were deleted since they did not really fit into the context of this study. The description of the carsharing as a service brought more clarity to the respondents’ mind since some of them tended to mix up car-sharing with other rental services.

Data quality

 Validity

Validity is simply means that we are measuring what we believe we are measuring. One type of validity is the content validity. This refers to that the content of a measurement instrument must be concerned the subject, theme, and topics included as they relate to the characteristics being measured. The measurement instrument must include the items such as questions which are representative for the field or topic being investigated Smith & Albaum, 2005). Therefore, in order to achieve a high level of content validity the authors have included different aspects of beliefs, subjective norms, external factors and PCE. These factors have already been tested in similar studies within the same field of research which concerns consumer behavior and carsharing.

Reliability

The reliability is concerned with to what degree the results can be consistent when you conduct the study numerous times (Saunders et al., 2009). The method that has been used in this study is build on well established theories and studies where questions have already been tested.
In order to reduce inaccurate responses and observer error the authors were keeping the questionnaire as structured as possible. The apparent participant bias was avoided by the authors since the respondents were asked individually from each other without any im-pact by other respondents. Another dimension of reliability is homogeneity of the mea-surement where questions regarding attitude and beliefs might need to be asked several times. The questionnaires were handed out to the same group of people where all of them were holding a driver license and living in Jönköping area. The approached me-thod was based on well established theories, previous studies where similar questions already have been tested in the same area of research. Moreover, the authors conducted a pilot study in order to test the questions and the questionnaire was distributed in Swe-dish language.
According to Mujs, the instrument is reliable when it provides the same results every time it is applied (Muijs, 2004). The variables of personal environmental concern, ex-ternal factors and perceived consumer effectiveness were tested for internal reliability with satisfactory results. A more detailed explanation can be found in the section of em-pirical findings. Pallant (2007), determined that the Cronbach reliability test varied be-tween 0,76 and 0,85 dimensions indicating the high internal consistency.

Table of Contents
1 Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Problem area
1.3 Purpose
1.4 Delimitations
1.5 Perspective
1.6 Definitions
1.7 Structure of thesis
2 Frame of Reference
2.1 Sustainable consumption
2.2 Choice of theory
2.3 Theory of Planned Behavior
2.4 Predicting factors of intention and sustainable behavior
2.5 Effects on behavior of external factors: information, government regulations and economical benefits
2.6 Perceived consumer effectivennes
2.7 Research model
2.8 Research questions in relation to hypothesis
3 Method
3.1 Research approach
3.2 Explanatory study
3.3 Secondary and primary data
3.4 Quantitative data
3.5 Data collection
3.6 Pilot study
3.7 Data quality
3.8 Data analysis
4 Empirical Findings
4.1 Score variables for attitude and intention factors
4.2 Verifying Cronbach’s alpha reliability instrumentation
4.3 Empirical findings from regression analysis
5 Analysis
6 Conclusion
7 Critique of Study and Further Research
7.1 Critique of study
7.2 Suggestions for further research
7.3 Contribution to the theory
8 List of references
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