A deep dive into responsible consumption


Faculty Leaders: Gita V. Johar, Columbia Business School and Shilpa Madan, Virginia Tech
Date: December 1st, 9 – 11:30 AM EST
Target Audience: Faculty and Ph.D. students interested in consumer-related research in the BMBW area.

Session Summary:

One of the core objectives of marketing as a function is to encourage consumers to buy more and consume more. In a world grappling with overflowing landfills, pollution, and climate change, how can marketing instead persuade people to consume more responsibly, and maybe even less? Aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal on “Responsible Consumption and Production,” this seminar seeks to accomplish two key objectives. First, in conversation with leading scholars, we hope to inspire researchers to conduct rigorous and relevant research that facilitates responsible consumption. Second, we aspire to encourage more research on responsible consumption by developing skills to generate and sharpen such ideas.

We will be joined by leading researchers with deep expertise in research on responsible consumption: Pierre Chandon (INSEAD), Laura Peracchio (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), and Kate White (University of British Columbia).

In the first part, we will invite three leading scholars with expertise in research on responsible consumption to share their research, including the findings as well as their motivation to study the problem and the process behind the paper. Next, we will have a conversation with these scholars and ask them to share their insights on problem selection, idea generation, research design, data collection, analytical methods, and practical insights to help researchers seeking to engage in this type of research with the crafting of their work.

In the second part, participants will meet in small groups in breakout rooms to explore developing ideas related to responsible consumption. Interested participants will complete the assignment detailed below ahead of the seminar. During the seminar, faculty leaders, the Journal of Marketing BMBW co-editors, and guest speakers will engage with the participants to develop and refine a few ideas, including feedback on potential theoretical approaches, research design, and practical relevance and impact.


Bublitz, M., Peracchio, L. et al. (under review). Stronger Together: Developing Research Partnerships with Social Impact Organizations

Cornil, Y., Plassmann, H., Aron‐Wisnewsky, J., Poitou‐Bernert, C., Clément, K., Chabert, M., & Chandon, P. (2021). Obesity and Responsiveness to Food Marketing Before and After Bariatric Surgery. Journal of Consumer Psychology.

White, K., Habib, R., & Hardisty, D. J. (2019). How to SHIFT consumer behaviors to be more sustainable: A literature review and guiding framework. Journal of Marketing83(3), 22-49.

White, K., & Simpson, B. (2013). When do (and don’t) normative appeals influence sustainable consumer behaviors?. Journal of Marketing77(2), 78-95.

Popular press articles on responsible consumption:


Using the materials above for inspiration, write two short paragraphs describing a research idea related to how we may nudge or persuade consumers toward more responsible consumption. Alternatively, what antecedents may shape people’s willingness to consume more responsibly? Write ~100-200 words for your idea, outlining the nature of the impact and why it is important. Describe at least one key hypothesis you might study. You can enter your idea into this survey, and we will review these before the session. We will select one or two ideas to discuss in detail in each breakout room, and you will be informed in advance if your idea is selected.

Watch a recording of the proseminar.