The purpose of this paper is to examine how psychological antecedents (i.e. consumer mindsets) and individual difference characteristics (i.e. moral identity) affect the intention to purchase Fair Trade products based on the triadic reciprocal causation model in social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986). The primary factors that influence ethical consumption decisions in ethnic Chinese societies were explored by integrating the unique cultural environment of the Chinese.
The study effective sample comprised university students and professors. Structural equation modelling was used to test the hypotheses and indirect effects. Results showed that moral identity internalization had a mediating effect on the relationship between a collectivistic mindset and the intention to purchase Fair Trade products.
A high moral identity symbolization had a moderating effect on the relationship between a collectivistic mindset and the intention to purchase Fair Trade products. This demonstrated that the two dimensions of moral identity, internalization and symbolization, play different roles and have different functions in regards to the intention to purchase Fair Trade products.
Future studies are urged to examine this issue at a cultural level by performing a cross-cultural comparison and to integrate consumer heterogeneity for a deeper examination of the interaction between demographic factors and psychological traits on consumer behaviours regarding Fair Trade products.
This study indicates that moral identity internalization is the primary factor that influences ethical consumption decisions in Chinese societies. In terms of the moderating effect of moral identity symbolization, results showed that the higher an individual’s moral identity symbolization, the stronger the relationship between a collectivistic mindset and the intention to purchase Fair Trade products is. These results can serve as a reference for marketing communications and market segmentation policies in the business world.
Yen, G.-F., Wang, R.-Y. and Yang, H.-T. (2017), "How consumer mindsets in ethnic Chinese societies affect the intention to buy Fair Trade products: The mediating and moderating roles of moral identity", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 553-568. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJML-06-2016-0107
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