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An Exploratory Study into the Factors Impeding Ethical Consumerism.

Bray, J. P., 2009. An Exploratory Study into the Factors Impeding Ethical Consumerism. In: European Association for the Education and Research in Commercial Distribution Annual Conference, 15-18 July 2009, Guilford, UK. (Unpublished)

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09_EAERCD_-_An_Exploratory_Study_into_the_Factors_Impeding_Ethical_Consumerism.pdf - Accepted Version



ABSTRACT Evidence suggests that consumers are increasingly aware of, engaged with, and influenced by ethical factors when forming opinions on products and making purchase decisions. Despite this, a number of recent studies have highlighted significant differences between consumers’ intention to consume ethically, and their actual purchase behaviour. This paper contributes to an understanding of the factors contributing to this ‘Ethical Purchasing Gap’. A model of the impeding factors to ethical consumption is constructed based upon a review of existing literature, and the inductive analysis of focus group discussions. While exogenous variables such as Moral Maturity and Age are well covered in the literature, a further range of impeding factors have been identified as important. For some consumers, such is their purchasing inertia that the decision making process is devoid of any ethical considerations. For others, ethical views are displayed through post purchase dissonance and retrospective feelings such as guilt. Some consumers display a reluctance to consume ethically due to personal constraints, a perceived negative impact on image or quality or an outright negation of responsibility. For many, the desire to consume ethically is conveyed, yet their cynicism, together with an external locus of control, deters them because they question the impact they, as an individual, can achieve. It is important that future research examines each of the factors identified here to better understand consumers purchasing behaviour in this context.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ethical consumption; attitude-behaviour gap; fair-trade
Group:Bournemouth University Business School
ID Code:9617
Deposited By: Mr Jeffery P Bray
Deposited On:05 Mar 2009 09:09
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:21


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