Bait Shop Owners as Opinion Leaders: A Test of the Theory of Planned Behavior to Predict Pro-Environmental Outreach Behaviors and Intentions
Boaters and anglers who move between bodies of water are a primary cause of the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS), which are non-native plants or animals that pose a threat to water quality, disrupt ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, and cause economic harm. Research suggests that engagement with these individuals through opinion leaders within their social networks has the potential to encourage attitude and behavior change. Using the theory of planned behavior as a framework, this article explores factors that may enhance AIS outreach behaviors among opinion leaders, namely, bait shop owners and their employees, to communicate with their customers. The results of this study suggest that perceptions about normative social pressures are a strong predictor of intentions to engage in outreach activities, but perceived behavioral control is a stronger predictor of actual engagement with their customers.