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Applying behavioural theory to the challenge of sustainable development: using hairdressers as diffusers of more sustainable hair-care practices

Baden, D. and Prasad, Swarna (2016) Applying behavioural theory to the challenge of sustainable development: using hairdressers as diffusers of more sustainable hair-care practices Journal of Business Ethics, 133, (2), pp. 335-349. (doi:10.1007/s10551-014-2398-y).

Record type: Article


The challenges presented by sustainable development are broadly accepted, yet resource use increases unabated. It is increasingly acknowledged that while technical solutions may play a part, a key issue is behaviour change. In response to this there has been a plethora of studies into how behaviour change can be enabled, predominantly from psychological and sociological perspectives. This has resulted in a substantial body of knowledge into the factors that drive behaviour change and how they can be manipulated to achieve desired social goals. In this paper we describe a study that draws on this body of knowledge to design an intervention to drive behaviour change across the hairdressing sector, and by the process of diffusion, across the vast social networks of this occupational group to influence domestic hair-care practices. The intervention was successful: hairdressers indicated positive intentions to adopt more sustainable practices within their salons and pass them onto their customers. The customer survey (N=776) confirms this: customers surveyed after their hairdresser attended the Green-Salon-Makeover intervention were significantly more likely to report that environmental issues had been considered in their salon visit and that they themselves would consider such issues in their hair-care practices at home than customers who were surveyed before the intervention.

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Accepted/In Press date: 13 September 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 21 September 2014
Published date: January 2016
Keywords: behaviour change, diffusion, hairdressers, practice theory, pro-environmental behaviour, social networks, social norms, sustainable lifestyle
Organisations: Centre for Relational Leadership & Change


Local EPrints ID: 366244
ISSN: 0167-4544
PURE UUID: 213176bb-6db9-4dff-8755-696dc456ae43

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Date deposited: 26 Jun 2014 16:12
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 02:15

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Author: D. Baden
Author: Swarna Prasad

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