Understanding the Ecologically Conscious Behaviors of Status Motivated Millennials

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Consumer Marketing







This paper aims to test the relationship between millennials’ status motivation and their ecologically conscious consumer behavior (ECCB) and the mediating role of culture influencing this effect.


A panel of millennials was surveyed using established scales to measure their status motivation, cultural values and ECCB.


The findings demonstrate status motivation has a positive effect on millennials’ ECCB. The findings indicate that the cultural values of collectivism, power distance and masculinity mediate the relationship between status motivation and ECCB.

Research limitations/implications

This study looked at responses from one generation, millennials, in one country, the USA.

Practical implications

Status motivation can impact ECCB and cultural values mediate this relationship. Status motivation can directly impact ECCB, as well as work positively through the cultural values of collectivism and power distance and negatively through masculinity.

Social implications

The results suggest ECCB for status-motivated millennials is driven by both status motivation and their collectivism, power distance and masculinity. To encourage millennials’ ECCB, public policymakers and marketers should emphasize the social influences of sustainable behaviors and how these behaviors make them stand out from others who are not sustainable and target those who view women as equal to men.


This research examines how millennials’ status motivations impact their ecologically conscious behaviors both directly and through the mediating role of cultural values. This research contributes by answering the call for looking at the influence of cultural values on environmental behaviors. It offers a possible reason for the mixed findings previously in the literature regarding status and sustainability by illustrating status motivations may work both directly and through cultural values in influencing ECCB. Thus, it is one of the first studies to demonstrate culture’s mediating effect in the area of sustainability.


Copyright © 2021, Emerald Group Publishing Limited