Green Search Engine Usage - A Qualitative Study Exploring Why German Millennials Use the Green Search Engine Ecosia
Abstract: Aim: The aim of this study is to explore why German millennials use the green search engine Ecosia, as the organisation is experiencing considerable growth in Germany. Theoretical Perspectives: This thesis adopts well-established theories such as the Theory of Planned Behaviour, the Value-Belief-Norm Theory, and the Social Influence Theory. Moreover, the theoretical perspective consists of the Multi-Level Factor Model of Green Consumerism and Green Nudges intending to understand German millennials' reasons for using the green search engine Ecosia from multiple angles. Methodology: This study applies a qualitative research design using the green search engine Ecosia as a suitable example and their users as embedded units. The study follows an abductive research approach. The data was collected in April 2021 through 12 semi-structured interviews. The interviews were conducted in German, translated and transcribed in English. The empirical data was thematically analysed, following a six-step process. Conclusion: Our study reveals six reasons for using the green search engine Ecosia from the viewpoint of German millennials, which are endogenous, exogenous and structural in nature. The reasons are (1) perceived behavioural ease, (2) a green lifestyle, (3) positive behavioural beliefs, (4) social influence - internalisation, (5) positive perception about the organisation, and (6) Ecosia’s tree-counter.
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