Vanya Kraleva
Svilen Ivanov
University of Economics – Varna, 77 Knyaz Boris I Blvd., Varna, Bulgaria

2nd International Scientific Conference on Recent Advances in Information Technology, Tourism, Economics, Management and Agriculture – ITEMA 2018 – Graz, Austria, November 8, 2018, CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS published by the Association of Economists and Managers of the Balkans, Belgrade, Serbia; ISBN 978-86-80194-13-4


In recent years, the issues of sustainable development and how to achieve it are widely discussed in the scientific literature. At the same time, there is a lack of consensus at all levels of what sustainable development means and whose responsibility it is. If at the institutional level this issue seems to be well defined, the perception of the individual about the concept of sustainability and the associated roles is poorly explored. In this paper it is argued that people have different understanding of sustainability drivers and their importance which is combined with their individual perception of how effectively problems are solved forms a gap of unsustainability. This gap in citizens’ assessments can be seen as a motivating factor for their sustainable behavior.

Based on an empirical study this report aims at linking the demographic profile of respondents to their individual perception of unsustainability by analyzing the mismatch between the ideal view of sustainable development and its perceived current state. In order to measure this gap there is developed a measurement scale. The research builds on a survey with a sample of 200 participants from Bulgaria.

The data obtained are analyzed through descriptive statistical methods, correlation analysis and nonparametric tests. Characteristics such as gender, age, place of residence, social status, and forms of engagement with solving social and environmental problems are investigated. On the basis of the analysis there are defined specific areas where this gap is significant.

The results of the study can be used in profiling the segment of active people sensitive to the problems of sustainability. The constructed measurement scale can be used in further research of the role that the gap observed between the ideal view and the perceived reality might have as a trigger for sustainable behaviour.

Key words

sustainable development, perception of unsustainability, demographic profile, activism, sustainable behaviour, motivation

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