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Reactions to unethical consumer behavior across six countries

Emin Babakus (The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, USA)
T. Bettina Cornwell (The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia)
Vince Mitchell (Manchester School of Management, UMIST, Manchester, UK)
Bodo Schlegelmilch (Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Vienna, Austria)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



Examining individual tolerance for unethical consumer behavior provides a key insight to how people behave as consumers worldwide. In this study, consumer reactions to 11 unethical consumer behavior scenarios are investigated using sample data from Austria, Brunei, France, Hong Kong, the UK, and the USA. Nationality is found to be a significant predictor of how consumers view various questionable behaviors. Gender is not a significant predictor, while age and religious affiliation are found to be significant predictors of consumer ethical perceptions. The study identifies distinct consumer clusters based on their perceptions of consumer unethical behavior. Implications of the findings are discussed and future research directions are provided.



Babakus, E., Bettina Cornwell, T., Mitchell, V. and Schlegelmilch, B. (2004), "Reactions to unethical consumer behavior across six countries", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 254-263.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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