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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2021

Syed Masroor Hassan and Zillur Rahman

As a crucial counter-equivalent to business ethics, consumer ethics has emerged as a promising research domain for practitioners and academicians alike. Despite its…

Abstract

Purpose

As a crucial counter-equivalent to business ethics, consumer ethics has emerged as a promising research domain for practitioners and academicians alike. Despite its pertinence for both industry and academia, little is known about the existing state of consumer ethics research. To address this limitation, a systematic literature review was conducted to identify key research themes, gaps in the extant literature and set the agenda for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

This literature review is based on a sample of 81 research articles drawn from Scopus and EBSCO host databases and analysed on different classification bases, covering a period from 2004 to 2019.

Findings

The results reveal that pro-social behaviour has gained recent attention in consumer ethics research. Moreover, there has been a renewed focus to understand and mitigate the attitude–behaviour gap in ethical consumption. The authors also found that majority of the studies have been conducted in Europe and North America, in a single country context.

Research limitations/implications

Consumer ethics has significant economic and social consequences worldwide. Consumer ethics insights can help marketers and practitioners to devise strategies that minimize business losses due to unethical consumer behaviour, incentivize ethical consumption and align corporate social responsibility initiatives that draw consumer support.

Originality/value

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first major (systematic) review on consumer ethics after Vitell’s review of 2003. This review provides valuable directions for future research to carry this domain forward.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

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Book part
Publication date: 30 July 2018

Hande Begüm Bumin Doyduk

Throughout history, the actions of human beings have been analysed based on ethics. In every aspect of human life, ethics is an essential element, and business life is no…

Abstract

Throughout history, the actions of human beings have been analysed based on ethics. In every aspect of human life, ethics is an essential element, and business life is no exception. Business ethics, and marketing ethics in particular, has been a subject of interest in both the academic and business world. Apart from doing what is perceived as correct, acting in a socially responsible and sustainable manner becomes compulsory, as the changes in ecological and social environment necessitate this. There have been warning signs from nature such as environmental disasters and climate change, and it is no longer possible for for firms or individuals to continue with previous behaviours. Acting as if the world’s resources are limitless has caused damage to the environment. A new way of thinking and behaving is needed. The awareness and involvement levels about sustainability and social responsibility are not the same everywhere in the world. Culture has significant impact on perception of social issues such as social responsibility and sustainability. Turkey, as a developing country with its own cultural dynamics, differs from developed Western countries which makes analysing consumer ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainable consumption in Turkey worthwhile.

In this chapter, concepts of business ethics, marketing ethics, consumer ethics, sustainable consumption and corporate social responsibility are discussed with specific examples from Turkey.

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2020

Lawrence W.T. Lo, Haksin Chan, Felix Tang and Kwan-Yu Yeung

This research aims to generate new insights into consumer ethics by tapping into business executives' first-hand experience. The overarching goal of this novel…

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to generate new insights into consumer ethics by tapping into business executives' first-hand experience. The overarching goal of this novel, discovery-oriented approach is to illuminate the interactive relationships between business and consumer ethics, and to offer contextualized insights into consumers' (un)ethical behaviors.

Design/methodology/approach

Three focus group interviews were conducted with senior business executives representing nine different industry sectors. Thematic analysis was performed to identify key themes for an integrative model.

Findings

Four key themes emerged, highlighting: (1) the mutual influence between business and consumer ethics, (2) the nature and intensity of consumer ethics, (3) the dual influence of digital communication, and (4) the partial influence of consumer education. The themes gave rise to an integrative conceptual model.

Research limitations/implications

This research was limited somewhat by the small and judgmental sample.

Practical implications

Consumers' growing demands for business ethics underscore the need for companies to elevate ethical considerations. The amplified consumer voice on social media is dreaded by business practitioners and is regarded as unethical consumer behavior to be actively managed.

Social implications

Business and consumer ethics can mutually influence each other in a benign or vicious circle. Consumer education is effective in some but not all domains.

Originality/value

Business practitioners' insights reveal (1) the interactivity of business and consumer ethics and (2) the diversity of (un)ethical consumer behaviors. They point to the need for an enriched definition of consumer ethics and an expansion on the categorical structure of consumers' (un)ethical practices.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Book part
Publication date: 30 July 2018

Abstract

Details

Marketing Management in Turkey
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-558-0

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Gomaa Agag, Ahmed El-masry, Nawaf Sulaiman Alharbi and Ahmed Ahmed Almamy

The purpose of this paper is to identify the dimensions of e-retailing ethics from the consumers’ perspective and to develop a reliable and valid measurement instrument.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the dimensions of e-retailing ethics from the consumers’ perspective and to develop a reliable and valid measurement instrument.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a quantitative survey conducted among Egyptian consumers aged 18 and above. These were measured on a five-point Likert scale. The reliability and validity of this six-factor scale are verified using empirical data collected randomly from Egyptians’ online consumers. Structure equation modelling used to test the suggested model.

Findings

The results showed that buyer perceptions about seller ethics (BPSE) is a second order construct composed of six factors (e.g. privacy, security, reliability, non-deception, service recover, and shared value). The results also showed that the BPSE has strong predictive capability in relation to online customer satisfaction and repurchase intention.

Originality/value

This project is one of the first empirical studies that develop a reliable and valid measurement instrument of BPSE. The findings provide several important theoretical and practical implications for online retailing and academic researchers as well as making a significant contribution to the body of knowledge in the online retailing context.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2012

Yam B. Limbu, Marco Wolf and Dale Lunsford

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of consumers' perception of online retailers' ethical behavior on consumer purchase and revisit intentions.

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6796

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of consumers' perception of online retailers' ethical behavior on consumer purchase and revisit intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 259 online shoppers was employed to test the relationships between perceived ethics of online retailers and the intention to revisit and purchase. The measurement model and structural relationships were estimated using AMOS 18.

Findings

Results show that perceived ethics of an Internet retailer's website significantly affect consumers' trust and attitudes to the retailer's website that eventually have positive impacts on purchase and revisit intentions. Website trust was positively related to attitude toward the site. The results do not show support for a direct effect between perceived ethics and behavioral intentions, but attitude and trust toward the website mediate these effects.

Practical implications

The findings support the idea that despite the physical distance between online retailers and customer, behaving ethically has an effect on revisit and purchase intentions. This suggests that online vendors should invest in methods that strengthen consumers' trust of websites. To convey a sense of ethics of the website, websites should ensure that privacy policies are easy to understand, explain clearly how customer information is used, offer secure payment methods, display clearly the terms and conditions of the online transactions, fulfill the orders, and avoid deceptive practices and exaggerations of product characteristics.

Originality/value

Research integrating perceived ethical conduct of retailers and consumer behavior is still in the beginning, and has not explored all outcomes of perceived ethics. This study is an initial attempt to investigate the effects of perceived ethics of retailers on revisit and purchase intentions. This study contributes to the knowledge of consumer perceived ethics and behavioral intentions.

Details

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7122

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Article
Publication date: 13 August 2021

Denni Arli, Tuyet-Mai Nguyen and Phong Tuan Nham

There is a perception that non-religious consumers are less ethical than religious consumers. Studies found prejudices against atheists around the world and assumed that…

Abstract

Purpose

There is a perception that non-religious consumers are less ethical than religious consumers. Studies found prejudices against atheists around the world and assumed that those who committed unethical behavior were more likely to be atheists. Hence, first, the purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of consumers’ intrinsic religiosity, extrinsic religiosity and atheism on consumers’ ethical beliefs. Second, this study attempts to segment consumers and identify differences between these segments.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data from 235 study participants in the USA and 531 in Vietnam. Subsequently, a two-step cluster approach was used to identify segments within these samples.

Findings

The study results show consumers’ intrinsic religiosity negatively influences all consumers’ unethical beliefs. Similarly, atheism also negatively influences all consumers’ unethical beliefs. This study also complements other studies exploring consumer ethics in developing countries. In addition, the segmentation analysis produced unique segments. The results from both samples (USA and Vietnam) indicated that non-religious consumers are less likely to accept various unethical behaviors compared to religious consumers. Religious consumers are not necessarily more ethical and atheism consumers are not necessarily less ethical. In the end, are implications for business ethics, religious and non-religious leaders on how to view the impact of beliefs on consumer ethical behaviors.

Originality/value

This is one of the first few studies investigating the impact of atheism on consumer ethics. The results of this study further extend the knowledge of study in consumer ethics by comparing consumers’ religiosity and atheism.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Denni Arli

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the importance of religiosity in consumer ethics. This objective will be achieved by investigating the impact of intrinsic and…

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1184

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the importance of religiosity in consumer ethics. This objective will be achieved by investigating the impact of intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity on consumer ethics, and segmenting consumers’ religiosity and explore differences between each segment.

Design/methodology/approach

The surveys were distributed to undergraduate students, their friends and members of their immediate families, through a large public university in Australia. Of 700 paper questionnaires, participants returned 651. Incomplete surveys with too many missing values were removed from the sample. Of these, 517 were usable, yielding a response rate of 74 per cent. Singles accounted for 53.9 per cent of the sample, followed by married people (26.8 per cent). Of the respondents, 49.9 per cent were men. The majority of respondents were between 18 and 24 years old (52 per cent), followed by 15-34 years (16.4 per cent). Finally, most respondents had an income level of less than $20,000 (36.6 per cent) followed by $21,000-$40,000 (20.5 per cent) and $41,000-$61,000 (19.7 per cent). Overall, despite being dominated by younger consumers, the sample is relatively representative of the entire adult population of Australia.

Findings

The results show that both intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity had an impact on consumers’ ethical beliefs. Moreover, the results show significant differences between the two segments studied. The religious segment was more likely than the non-religious segment to reject various unethical beliefs, but no significant differences were found in the behavioural dimensions of recycling and doing good deeds.

Originality/value

This is one of the first few studies to explore the impact of religiosity on consumer ethics in Australia. The results of this study have several implications for academic researchers, religious leaders and managers working in the area of consumer ethics.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

Denni Arli, Fandy Tjiptono, Hari Lasmono and Dudi Anandya

The Millennial generation accounts for 27 per cent of the world’s population. These numbers highlight the current and future impact of Millennials on world economies, and…

Abstract

Purpose

The Millennial generation accounts for 27 per cent of the world’s population. These numbers highlight the current and future impact of Millennials on world economies, and they are arguably the most powerful consumer group. Interestingly, Millennials are also the least religious generation. Hence, there is a need to investigate further how they view the world from an ethical and religious perspective and whether their beliefs evolve over time. Therefore, the purpose of this study is, first, to compare and contrast any changes in ethical beliefs across time. Second, the study will compare and contrast any changes in religiousness across time, and finally, it explores the effects of consumers’ religiousness on ethical beliefs across time.

Design/methodology/approach

Using paper-based survey, the data collection took place in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016, resulting in 1,702 young respondents in total.

Findings

The results show that consumer ethics remain constant across time. Therefore, without intervention, individuals’ ethical behavior will remain unchanged. The results also indicate that Millennials understand the boundary between legal and illegal behavior. However, when the boundary becomes unclear, such as in situations in which they see no harm, downloading pirated software and recycling, Millennials were unsure and their religiousness affected their subsequent behavior. The study makes several contributions to consumer ethics and the impact of religiousness on ethical beliefs.

Originality/value

This study makes several contributions to consumer ethics research, especially whether young consumers’ ethical beliefs change or remain constant across time.

Details

Young Consumers, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2010

Larry Neale and Sam Fullerton

Businesses cannot rely on their customers to always do the right thing. To help researchers and service providers better understand the dark (and light) side of customer…

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6237

Abstract

Purpose

Businesses cannot rely on their customers to always do the right thing. To help researchers and service providers better understand the dark (and light) side of customer behavior, this study aims to aggregate and investigate perceptions of consumer ethics from young consumers on five continents. The study seeks to present a profile of consumer behavioral norms, how ethical inclinations have evolved over time, and country differences.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from ten countries across five continents between 1997 and 2007. A self‐administered questionnaire containing 14 consumer scenarios asked respondents to rate acceptability of questionable consumer actions.

Findings

Overall, consumers found four of the 14 questionable consumer actions acceptable. Illegal activities were mostly viewed as unethical, while some legal actions that were against company policy were viewed less harshly. Differences across continents emerged, with Europeans being the least critical, while Asians and Africans shared duties as most critical of consumer actions. Over time, consumers have become less tolerant of questionable behaviors.

Practical implications

Service providers should use the findings of this study to better understand the service customer. Knowing what customers in general believe is ethical or unethical can help service designers focus on the aspects of the technology or design most vulnerable to customer deviance. Multinationals already know they must adapt their business practices to the market in which they are operating, but they must also adapt their expectations as to the behavior of the corresponding consumer base.

Originality/value

This investigation into consumer ethics helps businesses understand what their customer base believes is the right thing in their role as customer. This is a large‐scale study of consumer ethics including 3,739 respondents on five continents offering an evolving view of the ethical inclinations of young consumers.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 24 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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