University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Supporting sustainable lifestyle change: an evaluation of IKEA’s Live Lagom project

Elf, Patrick (2020) Supporting sustainable lifestyle change: an evaluation of IKEA’s Live Lagom project Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

Patrick Elf - Live Lagom - FINAL.pdf - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (6MB) | Preview


A shift towards sustainable lifestyles is considered to be a major element in the societal effort to decarbonise and avoid potentially disastrous climate change. Often this has been framed as the responsibility of individuals. At the same time, it seems clear that companies have an important role to play in the transition towards a sustainable world. The results and the potential role of a company of enabling citizens to move towards more sustainable lifestyles have been rarely studied in depth. This research aims to fill that gap by focusing on the examination of IKEA’s Live Lagom project. It explored the barriers to, and enabling factors for sustainable lifestyles at home. During a first phase that used an exploratory sequential design, the research confirmed the complexity of barriers and enabling factors. Initial findings indicated that a process of building a shared identity emerged and led to a strengthened motivation to enact further pro-environmental behaviours (i.e. the spillover hypothesis). These results were the basis for a second, explanatory phase which used an explanatory sequential design with a focus on quantitative data. The important role of a pro-environmental identity for the enactment of pro-environmental behaviours was confirmed, and a positive correlation between both was found. However, this was only significant for behaviours that were enacted at home. Additional qualitative evidence suggest that (pro-environmental) behaviour change as well as behavioural spillovers are not a linear process but rather follow a path of ‘adaptive muddling’ (Kaplan, 1990; De Young & Kaplan, 2012) in which a number of possible behaviours are tested in smaller projects. The outcomes suggest that through the support of IKEA operating as a Lifestyle Change Support System this process can be nurtured and potentially accelerated which is necessary in the light of the urgency of adapting less environmental destructive lifestyles. Following a bottom-up approach using empirical evidence from the Live Lagom project as well as a top-down approach that draws on existing literature from across the social sciences, a new framework was developed linking capabilities for living sustainably and commitments that bind individuals and companies alike to a course of action. This framework, Capabilities and Commitments, highlights the need to attend to structural factors as well as individual-level factors when trying to change unsustainable behaviours and lifestyles. The framework is supplemented by a set of nine design principles for corporate interventions for promoting sustainable lifestyles, based on insights from the Live Lagom project.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Elf, Patrick
Date : 28 February 2020
Funders : IKEA UK & Ireland
DOI : 10.15126/thesis.00853736
Contributors :
Depositing User : Patrick Elf
Date Deposited : 06 Mar 2020 13:16
Last Modified : 06 Mar 2020 13:16

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800