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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1991

Paula J. Haynes and Marilyn M. Helms

As the importance of the purchasing function in corporationsincreases, there has been a concurrent increase in the importance ofethics in the purchasing environment. The…

Abstract

As the importance of the purchasing function in corporations increases, there has been a concurrent increase in the importance of ethics in the purchasing environment. The purchasing linkage is critical to effective operation of corporations as high‐quality raw materials and supplies available on a timely basis are required for global competitive success. Bottom‐line productivity and profitability, as well as long‐term viability, are directly dependent on effective functioning in the purchasing arena. The traditional organisational structure of the purchasing function has the potential to encourage unethical employee practices. Viewing the relationship between an organisation and its suppliers as adversarial creates conflict as well as inherent ethical dilemmas in the purchasing function. This article discusses various categories of unethical purchasing situations and illustrates ways to lessen or avoid these dilemmas through the introduction of just‐in‐time (JIT) inventory control procedures. The internal co‐operation necessary in the purchasing/operations interface under JIT facilitates development of a corporate culture supportive of ethical behaviour. Moreover, since in JIT the supplier is considered part of the team – the “person at the previous work station” – these concepts can reinforce intraorganisational ethics as well.

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Management Decision, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Book part
Publication date: 3 December 2014

Michael A. Long and Douglas L. Murray

A robust literature has developed that demonstrates that ethical consumption, particularly “buycotts,” is on the rise. However, not much is known about (1) consumer…

Abstract

A robust literature has developed that demonstrates that ethical consumption, particularly “buycotts,” is on the rise. However, not much is known about (1) consumer convergence: do consumers who purchase one “ethical” product also purchase others, and (2) the degree to which ethical consumers make their purchasing decisions for collective reasons. We attempt to fill this lacuna in the literature. This study uses results from a mail survey of a random sample of 500 Colorado residents to examine the degree of convergence between consumers of organic, fair trade, locally grown, animal friendly, made in the United States, and union made products with tetrachoric correlations coefficients and binary logistic regression models. We also investigate the degree of convergence between consumers who report holding collective motivations for purchasing ethical products through these same methods. Our findings indicate strong support for convergence between ethical consumers and consumers who believe they are acting collectively. The results suggest that many ethical consumers believe they are part of an “imagined community” of citizen–consumers who through their joint purchasing decisions are critiquing and hopefully changing traditional production–consumption commodity networks.

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Alternative Agrifood Movements: Patterns of Convergence and Divergence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-089-6

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2004

Marylyn Carrigan, Isabelle Szmigin and Joanne Wright

This paper presents an interpretive study of older consumers and their potential for ethical consumption. Although latterly marketers are recognising the value of older…

Abstract

This paper presents an interpretive study of older consumers and their potential for ethical consumption. Although latterly marketers are recognising the value of older consumers, research has not yet examined their attitudes and behaviour towards ethical consumption. From the collection of individual interviews conducted for this study, it would seem that older people share a sense of moral responsibility in their purchase behaviour, and as a community are willing to engage in affirmative purchasing and boycotting. Although there are perceived barriers to their participation in broader ethical purchasing activities, they would appear to be a potentially significant force in the consumer resistance movement. The findings suggest that as a group, older consumers should be considered as an important target market for ethical marketers who wish to benefit from their collective sense of social obligation.

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Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Kyung Hee Lee, Mark A. Bonn and Meehee Cho

This study aims to investigate consumer choice motives for purchasing organic coffee by applying the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) approach and how those are influenced…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate consumer choice motives for purchasing organic coffee by applying the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) approach and how those are influenced by different degrees of ethical concern and price sensitivity to gain a better understanding about consumer behavior related to the rapidly growing demand for this unique product.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from consumers at cafés (n = 482) located in seven metropolitan cities in South Korea using a self-administered questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling.

Findings

Results documented that health and environmental protection were predictors of purchase attitude and subjective norm. Environmental protection was found to be a predictor of perceived behavioral control. TPB antecedents were significantly related to purchase intention. Ethical concern and price sensitivity documented the significant moderating roles upon organic coffee purchasing behavior.

Research limitations/implications

Findings further contribute to a better understanding about influential choice motives regarding organic coffee and their effect upon consumer purchase behavior.

Practical implications

Findings assist in understanding the roles ethical concerns and price sensitivity play upon consumer behavior issues specific to purchasing organic coffee. New research findings assist with marketing and promoting the social benefits associated with organic coffee while also offering pricing strategies for café and restaurant businesses to optimize their organic coffee sales revenue potential.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to clarify consumer motives for purchasing organic coffee, and to ascertain whether consumer purchase attitudes and intentions regarding organic coffee are influenced by different degrees of ethical concern and price sensitivity.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2014

Paul F. Burke, Christine Eckert and Stacey Davis

This paper aims to quantify the relative importance of reasons used to explain consumers’ selection and rejection of ethical products, accounting for differences in ethical

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to quantify the relative importance of reasons used to explain consumers’ selection and rejection of ethical products, accounting for differences in ethical orientations across consumers.

Design/methodology/approach

Reviewing previous literature and drawing on in-depth interviews, a taxonomy of reasons for and against ethical purchasing is developed. An online survey incorporating best–worst scaling (BWS) determines which reasons feature more in shaping ethical consumerism. Cluster analysis and multinomial regression are used to identify and profile segments.

Findings

Positively orientated consumers (42 per cent of respondents) purchase ethical products more so because of reasons relating to impact, health, personal relevance, and quality. Negatively orientated consumers (34 per cent of respondents) reject ethical alternatives based on reasons relating to indifference, expense, confusion and scepticism. A third segment is ambivalent in their behaviour and reasoning; they perceive ethical purchasing to be effective and relevant, but are confused and sceptical under what conditions this can occur.

Research limitations/implications

Preferences were elicited using an online survey rather than using real market data. Though the task instructions and methods used attempted to minimise social-desirability bias, the experiment might still be subject to its effects.

Practical implications

Competitive positioning strategies can be better designed knowing which barriers to ethical purchasing are more relevant. The paper challenges the benefits in altruistic-based positioning and outlines shortcomings in communication about ethical products, including those relating to product labelling.

Social implications

Through their purchase behaviours across a number of categories, ethical consumers aim to minimise the harm and exploitation of humans, animals and the natural environment. This research provides insights into the potential reasons why the uptake of ethical products is not being achieved and how it can be addressed to make improvements in making this movement more mainstream.

Originality/value

This research examines an extensive list of reasons for and against ethical purchasing used by a general population of consumers. By forcing respondents to make trade-offs, this is the first study quantifying the relative importance of reasons utilised by consumers. It also highlights the value in using cluster analysis on best–worst scores to identify underlying segments.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 48 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Book part
Publication date: 30 July 2018

Abstract

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

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Article
Publication date: 22 September 2020

Gopal Das, John Peloza, Geetika Varshneya and Todd Green

Although research demonstrates the importance of ethical product attributes for consumers, a prior study has not examined the role of consumption target (i.e. self…

Abstract

Purpose

Although research demonstrates the importance of ethical product attributes for consumers, a prior study has not examined the role of consumption target (i.e. self-purchases vs gift-giving) on consumers’ preference for products with ethical attributes. Notably, consumers’ preference for quality can differ between self-purchases and gifts, and the presence of ethical attributes can impact product quality perceptions. The purpose of this paper is to examine how the presence of ethical attributes alters decision-making in a gift-giving context using perceptions of product quality as an explanatory variable for these differences.

Design/methodology/approach

One field study and two controlled experiments test the proposed hypotheses. The experiments were conducted across different product categories and samples.

Findings

Results showed that the presence of an ethical attribute leads to higher purchase intentions for products in a gift-giving context compared to self-purchase. Perceived quality mediates this effect. Further process evidence through moderation, including resource synergy beliefs, support the findings. This paper discusses the theoretical, managerial and societal implications of these results.

Research limitations/implications

Although care was taken to select products to enhance generalizability, the studies presented here are limited to two products. Further, although the present research includes a field study with actual charity-related purchases, the role of time pressures is not explicitly explored. Finally, the role of brand-self connections is not explored in the current research. The ability for a donor to integrate the mission of a charity into their self-perception or the potential for social normative influences to impact behaviors remains open for exploration.

Practical implications

Charities are facing increasing pressures to raise sustainable funds to support their missions. The research provides guidance to marketers and fundraisers in the non-profit sector that allows them to direct more focused fundraising appeals to donors and adapt their fundraising efforts to create a fit between their audience and fundraising appeals.

Originality/value

This research demonstrates that consumption target (purchasing for the self versus purchasing for others) is a vital contextual factor that influences customer preference for ethical attributes. These results complement the extant literature by exploring the underlying mechanism behind consumers’ responses to the ethical attributes in the case of self-purchase and other-purchase. The underlying effect is supported theoretically by resource synergy beliefs.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 55 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2020

Abdallah Alsaad, Abdulazeez Y.H. Saif-Alyousfi and Hamzah Elrehail

The cognitive processes through which religiosity and idealism affect ethical consumption have received little attention in prior research. This study aims to explore the…

Abstract

Purpose

The cognitive processes through which religiosity and idealism affect ethical consumption have received little attention in prior research. This study aims to explore the influence of religiosity and idealism on ethical purchasing intention through moral obligation and perceived customer effectiveness (PCE).

Design/methodology/approach

The study analyses data from 149 Muslim participants in Saudi Arabia, using structural equation modelling.

Findings

The results reveal that religiosity leads to PCE but not to moral obligation and that idealism leads to both PCE and moral obligation. Mediation analysis indicated that PCE mediates the effect of both religiosity and idealism, although moral obligation only mediates the effect of idealism.

Research limitations/implications

This research enriches the understanding of ethical consumption and contributes to the debate on how religiosity and idealism affect ethical consumption. It also has significant implications for theory and the development of sustainable marketing initiatives. Marketing campaigns and other promotional activities may focus on the interconnection between ethical purchase and the religious and ideology dimensions of consumers. Also, while formulating a communication strategy, it is necessary to emphasize the religious dimension of the sustainable use of the product.

Originality/value

Moral obligation and PCE have been shown as cognitive and psychological mechanisms explaining the links between religiosity or idealism and ethical purchasing behaviour.

Details

Journal of Social Marketing, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6763

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Elliot Simangunsong, Linda C. Hendry and Mark Stevenson

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate effective management strategies for 14 sources of supply chain uncertainty, with a particular emphasis on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate effective management strategies for 14 sources of supply chain uncertainty, with a particular emphasis on uncertainties or strategies that involve ethical issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Manufacturing strategy theory, underpinned by alignment and contingency theory, is used as the theoretical foundation. Multi-case study data are collected from 12 companies in the Indonesian food industry, including four focal manufacturers, four first-tier suppliers, and four first-tier customers (retailers).

Findings

Within the context of appropriately aligned management strategies to address 14 sources of uncertainty, three ethical issues are empirically identified: first, collusion amongst suppliers to ration supplies and increase prices; second, unethical influences on government policy; and third, “abuse” of power by large retailers at the expense of smaller competitors. Joint purchasing is argued to be a key strategy for combatting the first of these ethical issues.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to the Indonesian food industry, and so further research is needed in other cultures/contexts.

Practical implications

Management strategies that aim to reduce an uncertainty at its source lead to better overall supply chain performance than strategies that merely cope with uncertainty, which only have an impact on firm-level performance.

Social implications

The ethical issues identified have implications for fair negotiations between customers and suppliers.

Originality/value

This study is unique in its in-depth case study-based empirical investigation of the management of multiple supply chain uncertainties; and in its discussion of ethical issues in this context.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 36 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2017

Riccardo Mogre, Adam Lindgreen and Martin Hingley

This conceptual paper details the evolution of purchasing research and describes the increasing integration of purchasing with other strategic functions to identify key…

Abstract

Purpose

This conceptual paper details the evolution of purchasing research and describes the increasing integration of purchasing with other strategic functions to identify key trends in purchasing practices together with their implications for purchasing research.

Design/methodology/approach

This study takes a conceptual approach and reviews prior literature to describe the field and predict future developments.

Findings

Purchasing is increasingly integrated with different business functions, such as strategy, marketing, decision-making and supply chain management. Key real-world trends include sustainable and ethical purchasing, purchasing in the digital economy, supply chain risk management and public sector purchasing. These trends suggest both avenues for further research and specific methodologies to pursue them.

Originality/value

By providing a comprehensive overview of the trends in purchasing practice and research, this study offers unique insights, especially for researchers who seek to continue expanding the field.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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