The future green home : A qualitative study of sustainable development in the furniture industry; Generation Ys’ needs and wants for greener furniture
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to provide a deeper understanding to business managers, of how the Swedish Generation Y consume furniture and if there is a want of consuming more green furniture. The thesis identifies previous research of sustainability development within furnishing and the phenomenon of attitude-behavior gap among consumers. Hence, the purpose of investigating consumer’s behavior and attitudes, the qualitative method has been used to understand the processes and influence factors of the contextualized setting. Further, this study follows a deductive approach because of the unexplored research area and due to the importance of studying sustainability within furnishing from a new point of view. Continuously, the literature review of this thesis includes previous established scientific research and theories concerning; green practices within the furniture industry; the characteristics of Generation Y; and the phenomenon of attitude-behavior gap. From the literature review a conceptual framework has been conducted to illustrate the main concepts and their relation, which are examined in this study. These concepts have been used to analyze the empirical data originating from interviews of 37 consumers within Generation Y in Sweden. From the purpose of this thesis the research resulted in two clear research questions that were defined as; (1) How does the behavior and consumption pattern of Gen Y occur when consuming furniture?; and (2) Which are the needs and wants of Gen Y in Sweden, when it comes to sustainable furniture? In the conclusion chapter, the answer of these research questions is completed together with the theoretical and practical implications. The main theoretical implication from this research is the finding that an attitude-behavior gap exists within Generation Y when consuming furniture. This gap is present due to barriers and influencing factors which are; (1) consumers lack of knowledge; (2) the limited supply and information from companies; (3) the unclear or lack of green furniture marketing; and (4) companies not being transparent in their actions. Finally, the practical implications of this study presents suggestions for furniture companies and how they can increase their green operations to meet the request of Generation Y. Companies should focus on marketing sustainable furniture to a larger extent in order to raise the awareness of Generation Y and to be more transparent in the supply chain and business operations, so the consumers can have a greater insight in the process. By implementing these recommendations, companies will improve Generation Y's purchasing of sustainable furniture as well as increase their awareness regarding green furniture consumption.
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