Kauppakorkeakoulu | Markkinoinnin laitos | Markkinointi | 2014
Tutkielman numero: 13587
Don't give me attitude: Can perceptions of social norms, behavioral control and moral intensity help bridge the attitude-behavior gap in ethical consumer behavior?
|Otsikko:||Don't give me attitude: Can perceptions of social norms, behavioral control and moral intensity help bridge the attitude-behavior gap in ethical consumer behavior?|
|Vuosi:||2014 Kieli: eng|
|Asiasanat:||markkinointi; marketing; kuluttajakäyttäytyminen; consumer behaviour; kulttuurierot; cultural differences; etiikka; ethics; yhteiskunta; society; päätöksenteko; decision making; yhteiskuntavastuu; corporate responsibility; asenteet; attitudes|
|Avainsanat:||consumer behavior; consumer ethics; ethical decision-making; self-efficacy; moral intensity; attitude-behavior gap; theory of planned behavior|
The last couple of decades have seen a significant increase in positive attitudes towards ethical products and services. However, this increase is has yet to lead to a marked growth in the sales of such products. This thesis looks at the consumer decision-making process in situations where a moral issue or dilemma is present, and examines possible reasons for the disconnect between consumers' attitudes and behavioral intentions.
Drawing on Icek Ajzen's (1985) theory of planned behavior, the study proposes and tests a theoretical framework for examining the consumer decision-making process. The primary goal of the study is to investigate whether including measures of perceived self-efficacy and perceived moral intensity would improve the theory's ability to explain variation in behavioral intentions. Although existing academic literature suggests that the two additional components should significantly improve the model's predictive power, previous research has thus far failed to adequately examine their potential contribution to the model.
Data for the study were gathered by means of an Internet survey of undergraduate and graduate students, and analyzed using multiple regression analyses. A total of 83 students participated in the study.
Including additional measures of perceived self-efficacy and perceived moral intensity significantly improved the predictive power of the model. On the whole, increased awareness of negative social norms regarding a behavior and greater perceptions of behavioral control, self-efficacy and moral intensity were all associated with decreased intentions to engage in unethical behavior. As anticipated, attitude was only marginally significant in explaining variation in intentions.
The paper contributes to academic discourse in consumer ethics by presenting a new framework for examining the consumer decision-making process leading up to the formation of intentions to engage in ethically questionable behavior. The thesis answers Ajzen's (2002) call for further testing of the perceived self-efficacy measure in new contexts, and proposes a new measure for personal moral norms, which is subsequently shown to improve the predictive validity of the theory of planned behavior in a wide range of contexts.
In addition, the study also offers implications for marketers of ethical products. The findings suggest that descriptive and injunctive appeals in marketing communications are likely to be more effective in increasing the incidence of ethical consumer behavior than appeals to attitude or judgment. Marketers are also encouraged to emphasize the availability and accessibility of ethical products, to facilitate consumer information search about product ethicality, and to highlight the characteristics of the moral issue whenever possible.
Graduja säilytetään Oppimiskeskuksessa Otaniemessä.