Greenwashing accusations and their effect on CSR trust in B2B settings. Does it pay not to engage in greenwashing?
Aim: Although the literature on greenwashing is expanding, the consequences of a greenwashing accusation in a business-to-business (B2B) context remain unclear. In particular, few authors have investigated those factors reducing or aggravating the negative effects of a greenwashing accusation in an intra-firm relationships. Therefore, we propose to examine the extent to which different conditions related to the source of accusation and to specific firm attributes may aggravate or mitigate the negative greenwashing effects.
Context: Greenwashing has mostly been investigated in the business-to-consumer (B2C) setting, but less is known about how it affects B2B relationships. Indeed, although greenwashing is expected to harm the intra-firm trustworthiness and collaboration, no prior studies have examined the consequences of greenwashing in a B2B context. This is surprising given the number of cases about greenwashing scandals not directly related to the firm’s operations but rather to its supply chain. Therefore, through a series of experiments directed to managers and CEOs, we aim to provide insights in the field by investigating greenwashing effects for an intra-firm relationship.