The Perspectives of University Academics on Their Intention to Purchase Green Smartphones in Sri Lanka

Pivithuru J Kumarasinghe, Qiubo Huang, Nilmini Rathnayake
Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management  •  Volume 18  •  2023  •  pp. 369-385

Most people use their phones for work and communication. Businesses today require sustainable mobile phones to limit the environmental impact of mobile phones. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a green product uses less energy. Green smartphones need low radiation emission, are made from recyclable materials, and are designed to last longer than typical smartphones. Further, the manufacturing process needs to have a low environmental impact. The present study aims to identify the influence of variables (such as Green Awareness, Environmental Concern, Altruism, and Willingness to Pay) on green smartphone purchase intention among academics in the Sri Lankan higher education sector.

With the swift technological advances, almost everyone has begun to use smartphones. Simultaneously, smartphone manufacturers have begun to release cutting-edge smartphone models to the general public. As a result, it has generated a significant amount of e-waste for the environment. As a result, therefore, the sustainability of green smartphones has become a major societal concern in the developed world, but this is not yet true in the developing world

The study used a qualitative research method in which the authors attempted to acquire primary data by conducting in-depth interviews with academics from the Sri Lankan higher education sector using a semi-structured interview guide. Eight interviews were conducted, audio recorded, and word-to-word transcribed for content analysis. Researchers used content analysis to determine the presence, meanings, and linkages of specific words, themes, or concepts.

The findings provide important environmental insights for smartphone makers and society, such as introducing waste reduction programs and energy-saving practices and creating awareness among people to change their consumption patterns. The study will provide valuable insights into the green smartphone phone purchasing intentions of academics in a developing country, especially helping green smartphone producers and marketers construct effective tactics with the insight of the current study based on university faculty members’ viewpoints.

The current study’s findings revealed that academics acknowledge the need for environmental protection with an awareness of the green concept and environmental concerns. According to the interviews, most participants intended to move from their present smartphone to an ecologically friendly phone, as they explained on altruism. This implies that even academics in underdeveloped countries are worried about environmental issues and have shown a more robust understanding of these issues and how environmentally aware individuals’ activities may assist the earth’s sustainability. Further, academics have a willingness to pay for a green smartphone.

Academics prioritize environmental conservation when making purchases. This implies that manufacturers and enterprises should focus on developing and in- novating more environmentally friendly products.

Using only academics as a sample approach is severely limited if the study’s population comprises people with various qualities. Nevertheless, this study presented only four independent variables, and more factors impacting green smartphone purchasing intention may exist. As a result, it is proposed that future research consider other factors.

It was discovered that most participants displayed altruism in their product purchases, implying that policymakers must strengthen the moral practice of concern for the welfare and happiness of other humans, even in developing countries.

A further in-depth study focusing on many perspectives such as limits and motivations for purchasing green products in various socioeconomic groups with varying moderating factors such as gender, education, rural-urban, and so on would be advantageous. Individual (emotions, habits, perceived behavioral control, trust, values, personal norm, knowledge) and situational (availability, product attributes, subjective norm, brand, eco-labeling) variables should be included in future research.

green awareness, environmental concern, altruism, green smartphones, purchase intention
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