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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2018

Emma Sutton, Morven McEachern and Kevin Kane

By using the lens of the social enterprise mark (SEM) accreditation which enables social enterprises to “prove” that the interests of people and planet are put before…

Abstract

Purpose

By using the lens of the social enterprise mark (SEM) accreditation which enables social enterprises to “prove” that the interests of people and planet are put before shareholder gain, this study aims to enhance the knowledge of how effectively the social agenda is communicated by higher education institutions (HEIs).

Design/methodology/approach

By using a qualitative research design, this exploratory study uses a combination of both a focus group and in-depth interviews with HEI holders of the SEM.

Findings

With a particular focus on University A, this study advances the knowledge around how social agendas and the role of the SEM in particular are used to communicate to HEI employees as a key stakeholder group.

Research limitations/implications

At the time of this study, fewer SEM accredited HEIs existed, and therefore, the following conclusions are based upon a small select sample of HEIs that held the SEM. Further studies are needed to provide a more representative view of each university’s use of and commitment to the SEM/ Social Enterprise Gold Mark.

Practical implications

Building on Powell and Osborne’s (2015) observations regarding the role of marketing in social enterprises, the findings of this study offer practical insight into current and or prospective HEI SEM holders as to the role of “social” accreditations, stakeholder perceptions of such marketing initiatives and how they can be used as a vehicle to improve social communications in the future.

Originality/value

The area of social enterprise and social impact has been evolving in recent decades, but literature in relation to its promotion and communication in the higher education sector remains scant. This study responds to this gap in the literature by providing greater insight into how social agendas and engagement with the SEM, specifically, are communicated by HEIs.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 June 2020

Isabelle T. Szmigin, Deirdre Mary O'Loughlin, Morven McEachern, Kalipso Karantinou, Belem Barbosa, Grigorios Lamprinakos and María Eugenia Fernández-Moya

In the context of European consumers’ experiences of austerity, this study aims to advance current resilience theory in marketing through developing persistent resilience…

Abstract

Purpose

In the context of European consumers’ experiences of austerity, this study aims to advance current resilience theory in marketing through developing persistent resilience from a context of austerity influenced consumption.

Design/methodology/approach

Following an interpretivist approach, 38 face to face, in-depth interviews were conducted with European consumers from Ireland, UK, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece who were affected in some way by the global financial crisis.

Findings

Building upon limited conceptual and empirical investigations in social geography, the analysis identifies the themes of persistent stressors and temporal orientation as constants, alongside day-to-day coping, relating and pragmatism, consumer adjustment, repertoires of resistance and transformation as key elements of persistent resilience within the consumption context of austerity.

Research limitations/implications

The study addresses the limited theoretical and empirical focus on persistent resilience and austerity and directly contributes to consumer behaviour and marketing theory in understanding persistent resilience and its implications.

Practical implications

Changes to behaviours as a result of persistent resilience included reducing and stopping consumption, discount shopping, alternative consumption in the form of growing or making and mindful consumption through wastage reduction and re-use.

Social implications

The study highlights the significant social impact of austerity while also identifying positive outcomes for social relations among family, friends and the wider community.

Originality/value

This study develops and extends Golubchikov’s (2011) theory of persistent resilience through exploring European consumer responses to austerity, identifying key consumption characteristics relevant for marketing theory and practice.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 54 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Morven G. McEachern and Claire Seaman

To identify factors that could influence consumer perceptions relating to meat production and areas where further development would be of assistance to British agriculture.

4119

Abstract

Purpose

To identify factors that could influence consumer perceptions relating to meat production and areas where further development would be of assistance to British agriculture.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative semi‐structured interviews of a quota sample of Scottish meat purchasing consumers.

Findings

Results indicate that consumer views on meat production vary widely and that while there are some differences between rural and urban consumers the differences are rarely simple. Views were expressed on a variety of factors including livestock producers, agricultural production, certification and traceability. Relatively few consumers were routinely concerned with assurance labels. Consequently, knowledge of underpinning standards was limited. Primary sources of meat were the major supermarket groups with a distinct bias towards older consumers among those who preferred to shop in small butchers shops. Attitudes towards producers were mainly positive but some consumers remained sceptical about producer behaviour during hard times.

Research limitations/implications

While more research would clearly be required to consider a broader spectrum of UK consumers, these current data indicate that consumer understanding of food information and indeed their interest and credibility of the current systems is a subject that would benefit from much wider research. The practical implications for the development of Government policy and for the idividual producers are substantial and would benefit from considerable clarification.

Originality/value

Prior research concerning meat production and the views of consumers is limited. Theses findings have implications for future sector‐based communications to consumers, in that equal emphasis should be given to both rural and urban consumers. More collaborative communications measures must be implemented to ensure consumer awareness/understanding of underpinning assurance label standards and bring about loyal purchase preferences for British produce.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 107 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2002

Monika J.A. Schröder and Morven G. McEachern

A highly‐fragmented UK beef industry today faces large, powerful retailers, potentially giving rise to mistrust and lack of common purpose. Consumer confidence in beef has…

2370

Abstract

A highly‐fragmented UK beef industry today faces large, powerful retailers, potentially giving rise to mistrust and lack of common purpose. Consumer confidence in beef has been undermined by BSE and similar crises. The beef supply chain has responded with a number of initiatives designed to improve the quality and marketing of the product, and Government has put in place risk management controls. This paper uses ISO 9001:2000 as an audit frame to assess quality assurance for beef in Scotland, focusing specifically on supply chain integration and integrity of product specification. Identification of responsibilities for quality within the chain, standard setting and audit are also highlighted.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 17 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 June 2007

Morven G. McEachern, Monika J.A. Schröder, Joyce Willock, Jeryl Whitelock and Roger Mason

This paper aims to explore ethical purchasing behaviours and attitudes, relating to the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and their…

7792

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore ethical purchasing behaviours and attitudes, relating to the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and their brand‐extension “Freedom Food”.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed methodology was adopted. This involved both in‐depth interviews with 30 consumers and a postal survey of 1,000 consumers. Beliefs, attitudes, normative and control issues were measured within the context of the theory of planned behaviour (TPB). Structural equation modelling was used to explore a series of dependence relationships simultaneously.

Findings

Overall, consumers' moral obligations towards food‐animals as well as consumer location are confirmed as influencing ethical brand choice. Both variables provide additional predictive capability improvements, raising the percentage of explained variance by 28 per cent to 80 per cent. The RSPCA's brand extension is clearly successful in terms of the positive, association value between the parent brand and the extended brand. However, market opportunities to increase market potential exist. These opportunities are discussed.

Originality/value

Despite the plethora of brand extensions amongst conventional fast‐moving consumer goods, the success of the brand extension concept remains unexplored amongst ethical products. Similarly, within the ethical consumption literature the majority of ethical research focuses either on environmental issues or Fair Trade purchasing behaviour, with much less attention given to societal concern for animal welfare. Additional originality is gained by exploring consumer purchase activities of “Freedom Food” branded meat by adopting the TPB as a theoretical framework.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Morven G. McEachern and Monika J.A. Schröder

Superior knowledge of customers’ perceptions of value is recognised as a critical success factor in today's competitive marketplace. Despite this, the voice of the…

3286

Abstract

Superior knowledge of customers’ perceptions of value is recognised as a critical success factor in today's competitive marketplace. Despite this, the voice of the consumer is often poorly integrated within the value chain, the UK fresh‐meat sector being one example. This supply chain has attempted to add value through the implementation of value‐based labelling schemes. Few studies, however, have assessed the value created for consumers. Using both in‐depth interviews and a postal survey of 1,000 fresh‐meat consumers based in Scotland, this paper offers a strategic insight into how coordinators of value‐based labelling schemes might integrate the voice of the consumer within the fresh‐meat value chain. Structural equation models are used to develop marketing recommendations. The main attitudes driving consumer purchases of fresh meat bearing a value‐based label are identified and the market potential for further differentiation of each value‐based label is examined. Future research opportunities are also explored.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 21 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Susanne Padel and Carolyn Foster

The purpose of the paper is to explore the values that underlie consumers purchasing decisions of organic food.

52296

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to explore the values that underlie consumers purchasing decisions of organic food.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on data from focus groups and laddering interviews with a total of 181 regular and occasional consumers of organic food that were contrasted with survey results of other studies.

Findings

The results show that most consumers associate organic at first with vegetables and fruit and a healthy diet with organic products. Fruit and vegetables are also the first and in many cases only experience with buying organic product. The decision‐making process is complex and the importance of motives and barriers may vary between product categories.

Research limitations/implications

While further research would be required to facilitate full understanding of the consumer‐decision making process with regard to organic produce, this work indicates the complexity of the process and the likelihood of variation between different product categories. Future research should consider tradeoffs that consumers make between values and product as well as consumer segmentation.

Originality/value

Prior research concerning the consumer decision‐making process with regard to organically produced food is limited. Theses findings have implications for future sector‐based communications to consumers and, potentially, for product development and labelling.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 107 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2004

Morven G. McEachern and Joyce Willock

Research into organic production is internationally widespread but has rarely focused on producer's motivations for adopting organic farming techniques and whether organic…

5511

Abstract

Research into organic production is internationally widespread but has rarely focused on producer's motivations for adopting organic farming techniques and whether organic consumers share their values. As conventional agricultural prices remain depressed, questions arise surrounding producer's motivations towards organic production. For example, are motivations based on economic rather than ethical decisions? Additionally, what motivations underpin consumer's organic purchases and are those values shared between producers and consumers? Using postal questionnaires, the attitudes and motivations of both producers and consumers towards organic livestock production, are explored. Future recommendations are made to the industry with regard to the UK market for organically produced meat.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 106 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Monika J.A. Schröder and Morven G. McEachern

Aims to investigate the effect of communicating corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives to young consumers in the UK on their fast‐food purchasing with reference…

68702

Abstract

Purpose

Aims to investigate the effect of communicating corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives to young consumers in the UK on their fast‐food purchasing with reference to McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

Design/methodology/approach

Focus groups were conducted to clarify themes and inform a questionnaire on fast‐food purchasing behaviours and motives. Attitude statements were subjected to an exploratory factor analysis.

Findings

Most respondents (82 per cent) regularly purchased fast food from one of the companies; purchases were mostly impulsive (57 per cent) or routine (26 per cent), suggesting relatively low‐level involvement in each case. While there was scepticism regarding the CSR activity being promoted, expectations about socially responsible behaviour by the companies were nevertheless high. Four factors were isolated, together explaining 52 per cent of the variance in fast‐food purchasing behaviour. They were brand value, nutritional value, ethical value and food quality.

Research limitations/implications

The research was conducted with students, and while these represent a key‐target market, any further research should target a more diverse public.

Practical implications

There are important implications for global fast‐food companies in terms of protecting and developing their brand value; they need to respond to the wider food‐related debates in society, in particular, those concerning healthy eating and food ethics. They also need to ensure that their business practices are fully consistent with the values expressed in their CSR initiatives.

Originality/value

The special value of the paper lies in its joining together of current perspectives on CSR and consumer value in the UK food industry as it explores both through the perceptions of young consumers of fast food.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 107 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 January 2007

Tim Knowles, Richard Moody and Morven G. McEachern

This paper aims to chart the wide range of food scares reported throughout the EU over the period 1986‐2006 and explores their impact on EU policy.

14553

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to chart the wide range of food scares reported throughout the EU over the period 1986‐2006 and explores their impact on EU policy.

Design/methodology/approach

There is much extant research that solely investigates the occurrences of specific food scares, however; little emphasis is given to the responses of policy makers. This research aims to narrow this gap in the literature by reviewing the major food scares, which have occurred throughout the EU and the subsequent policy responses.

Findings

A number of food scares have dominated media reports over the last two decades, but this study reveals the increasing emergence of rare serotypes of foodborne pathogens, as well as a rising trend of EU‐wide contaminant and animal disease‐related food scares. Simultaneously, there is evidence of evolution from a product‐focused food policy to a risk‐based policy, which has developed into a tentative EU consumer‐based food policy. Inevitably, in a market of 25 member‐states the concept of food quality varies between countries and therein justifies the need for responsive policy development, which embraces the single market philosophy.

Research limitations/implications

A typology of EU food scares is advanced and discussed in detail, with comments being made on their impact. In addition, the paper highlights the complexity of a EU consumer, which has led to a need for research into the maximisation of the satisfaction of purchasers by reinsuring their individual “right to choose”.

Originality/value

This paper provides a unique insight into a wide range of European food scares (e.g. microbiological, contaminants, animal disease‐related) and EU policy makers' responses to such food scares.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 109 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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