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An Islamic identity approach to developing pro-recycling attitudes in Malaysia

Isa, Normalisa Md


Normalisa Md Isa


Haseeb Shabbir

Stephan Dahl


Recycling attitude and behaviour change have been traditionally explored from a socio-psychological perspective. Recent work on integrating social marketing communications interventions to influence this attitude and behavioural change has also grown. In particular, framing as a communications strategy has formed an important focus of this renewed stream of query. However, although the individual main effects of both positive and negative framing have been studied, the findings are mixed and do not offer clear justification in environmental studies. Sufficient articles emphasise that designing effective communication tools is vital and could be one of the reinforcement mechanisms to bridge the discrepancy. Furthermore, the studies on message framing effects and how consumer responses for single or multiple messages have received limited empirical consideration. Critically earlier studies have not specifically accounted for the influence of religion and moral identity in inducing behaviour change. Yet, within the type of context this study is embedded in, i.e. Malaysia, it would seem logical to tailor any interventions based on the socio-psychology on the target audience. Given the targeted nature of social marketing campaigns, this study proposes factoring in the Islamic self-identity of the Muslim target audiences in understanding recycling attitude change.

In this study, an experimental design was employed. This study utilised a 2 (positive vs. negative) X 2 (Islamic identity framing: yes/no) X 2 (Moral identity framing: yes/no) between-subjects experimental design. Hence, eight groups (two control groups, six experimental groups) were required in total. The participants (n=850) were final-year business students at the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM). The study found that informants would reflect different degrees of advertising effectiveness in response to different combinations of advertising framings, and Islamic framing will induce a better attitude towards the ad and a greater inclination to recycling intention. The results also indicated that, positive frames may be the most salient with Islamic appeals and may work effectively when emphasised with moral identity framing. Using identity framing to embed religion in these messages could have greater persuasive impact. As such this study is the first to highlight the use of Qur’anic verses as indicators of Islamic self-identity and demonstrate the effectiveness thereof for generating social change. Given the growing use of Qur’anic verses for social marketing interventions, this initial study represents an important contribution to validating the salience of this powerful social marketing approach.


Isa, N. M. (2014). An Islamic identity approach to developing pro-recycling attitudes in Malaysia. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Mar 2, 2020
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Business
Public URL
Additional Information Business School, The University of Hull
Award Date Nov 1, 2014


Thesis (3.5 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2014 Isa, Normalisa Md. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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