: a strategy to increase trust in sustainable products : the role of the communicator

  • Constanze Atzwanger (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Following society’s trend of a more sustainable lifestyle, companies today urge to improve thelive cycle of their products. As consumers often perceive this to happen mainly for thecompanies’ own benefit, their trust in green products is put to the test. The innovation strategyconsumer co-creation should build and strengthen the trust through greater transparency and afocus on customer interests. In three experimental studies of 194, 139 and 227 participants, thisthesis investigated the role of co-creation in a sustainable setting and further how the rightcommunicator influences the effect of co-creation. Using the product category skin-creamdirect as well as indirect mediation or moderation effects between the sustainability claim, theinnovation method, trust and purchase intention were analyzed. The findings indicate that trustis important when buying a sustainable product. Secondly, results show that co-created productshave an effect on trust and purchase intention, especially if consumers feel that the co-creatorshave a sufficiently high level of expertise. Finally, evidence was found that expertise can alsobe transmitted through the communicator, who is responsible to disseminate information aboutthe co-created product. These findings provide a valuable contribution to current literature bycombining the research topics of sustainability and co-creation and further expand the researchon the external factors that can enhance the co-creation effect. In addition, the thesis suggestssubstantial managerial implications for companies practicing sustainable production and longfor a customer-focused innovation strategy.
Date of Award25 Jan 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorCláudia Isabel de Sousa Costa (Supervisor)


  • Sustainable product
  • Trust
  • Purchase intention
  • Innovation strategy
  • Co-creation
  • Expertise
  • Communicator


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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