To read this content please select one of the options below:

Examining attitudes on pay for low level workers: do consumers care?

Nora Moran (Department of Marketing, Northridge College of Business and Economics, California State University, Northridge, California, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 25 January 2019

Issue publication date: 8 February 2019




This paper examines whether decisions to improve pay for low-level employees lead to more positive attitudes toward firms, depending on firm’s service reputation.


Four experiments examine whether information on compensation decisions for employees affects consumer attitudes toward firms.


Results show attitudes toward firms providing raises are more positive when firms are known for high quality (vs average) service. This occurs because individuals use information about firm reputation as a cue to make inferences about employees, and fairness of firm pay procedures. Moderators are introduced to show how these effects can be altered.

Research limitations/implications

Drawing from research on the representativeness bias, this work extends theories on justice and equity and contributes to the literature on corporate social responsibility.

Practical implications

This research provides firms with insight on how to promote their efforts to improve employees’ financial welfare.

Social implications

Findings provide guidance on how to increase public support of initiatives to improve financial well-being for low-wage workers.


This research is the first to examine how specific firm factors affect reception of initiatives to improve employee financial welfare and to delineate the process.



Moran, N. (2019), "Examining attitudes on pay for low level workers: do consumers care?", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 36 No. 1, pp. 136-145.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles