Social responsibility awareness of uni students

Jason Sit, Diletta Acuti*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Universities have been working diligently to promote social responsibility awareness (SRA) amongst students. Being aware of the responsibility is necessary to initiate positive behavioural change and transform students’ decision-making process. That is, being (more) socially responsible. The present study seeks to investigate students’ formulation of SRA via a novel technique. That is, the Zaltman metaphor elicitation technique (ZMET). It involves using visual and non-visual images to elicit and probe the metaphors that participants deem meaningful to communicate a complex topic under study like SRA (Coulter and Zaltman, 1994). ZMET is known to be more advantageous to tap into participants’ unconscious thoughts than classical qualitative techniques that are mostly based on verbal communication. Supported by the ZMET, the present study conducted three group discussions with 15 marketing students studying at a UK university. For consistency purposes, the group discussions focused on the plastic issue. It identifies three forms of SRA that this consumer group values: issue awareness; individual awareness and susceptibility awareness. It also identifies three themes surrounding the varied SRA forms, namely, the need for a proactive intention to improve social issues awareness, the necessity of a shared effort towards sustainability and the usefulness of social awareness co-creation to overcome the inertia of students. This project represents the first study to investigate the SRA amongst students and the formulation process. It provides universities and other related institutions (e.g. local councils) with an original theoretical framework that they can apply to learn about what SRA signifies amongst students and then how to promote SRA via relevant themed activities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2022
EventAdvanceHE Surveys and Insights Symposium 2022: Innovative Insight - Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Apr 202228 Apr 2022


ConferenceAdvanceHE Surveys and Insights Symposium 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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