The Legitimation of a Sustainable Practice through Dialectical Adaptation in the Marketplace

Johanna Gollnhofer

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

Consumers, retailers, and public policy makers all strive to engage in sustainable behavior. However, such actions often conflict with existing regulatory, normative, or cultural-cognitive structures, preventing legitimation on a broad scale. This article shows how activist consumers initially tackle the problem of food waste through a practice-namely, dumpster diving-that is at odds with marketplace structures, leading to the practice's marginalization and somatization. However, through dialectical adaptation strategies that alter both the practice of dumpster diving and respective marketplace antecedents, the practice of foodsharing emerges, becomes legitimated, and contributes significantly to the primary goal of dumpster diving: the reduction of food waste. The author identifies goal congruency as the underlying mechanism that allows for this process of dialectical adaptation. This study contributes to the literature on sustainable behavior by showing how the process of dialectical adaptation has the potential to resolve trade-offs as experienced by public policy makers, companies, and consumers. Finally, this article examines a case in which consumers and companies resolve a public policy problem without regulatory intervention, by opting out of public policy.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Public Policy & Marketing
Vol/bind36
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)156-168
ISSN0743-9156
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2017

Fingeraftryk

Public policy
Legitimation
Food
Politicians
Marginalization
Trade-offs
Cognitive structure
Adaptation strategies
Somatization
Retailers
Congruency

Citer dette

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The Legitimation of a Sustainable Practice through Dialectical Adaptation in the Marketplace. / Gollnhofer, Johanna.

I: Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, Bind 36, Nr. 1, 2017, s. 156-168.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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AB - Consumers, retailers, and public policy makers all strive to engage in sustainable behavior. However, such actions often conflict with existing regulatory, normative, or cultural-cognitive structures, preventing legitimation on a broad scale. This article shows how activist consumers initially tackle the problem of food waste through a practice-namely, dumpster diving-that is at odds with marketplace structures, leading to the practice's marginalization and somatization. However, through dialectical adaptation strategies that alter both the practice of dumpster diving and respective marketplace antecedents, the practice of foodsharing emerges, becomes legitimated, and contributes significantly to the primary goal of dumpster diving: the reduction of food waste. The author identifies goal congruency as the underlying mechanism that allows for this process of dialectical adaptation. This study contributes to the literature on sustainable behavior by showing how the process of dialectical adaptation has the potential to resolve trade-offs as experienced by public policy makers, companies, and consumers. Finally, this article examines a case in which consumers and companies resolve a public policy problem without regulatory intervention, by opting out of public policy.

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