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School of Business | Department of Management and International Business | International Business | 2011
Thesis number: 12665
Consumer perceptions and behaviour in respect to ethical, social, and environmental matters in jewellery business
Author: Jokinen, Henri
Title: Consumer perceptions and behaviour in respect to ethical, social, and environmental matters in jewellery business
Year: 2011  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management and International Business
Academic subject: International Business
Index terms: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; kuluttajakäyttäytyminen; consumer behaviour; asenteet; attitudes; yhteiskuntavastuu; corporate responsibility; korut; jewellery; jalokivet; jewellery industry; toimialat; business branches
Pages: 148
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_12665.pdf pdf  size:11 MB (11229433)
Key terms: jewellery; jewellery business; jewellery market size; consumer behaviour; ethics; International business; consumer perception; jewellery design; ecommerce
This study aims at understanding how consumers perceive ethical, social and environmental issues in jewellery and how this affects their behavior. In essence, what influence these important matters have on the consumer, and thus to the jewellery industry. The study methods are two-fold. First there are sixteen qualitative research interviews with jewellery industry professionals taken in Finland, England, Italy, and in Australia. The second method uses data from an empirical quantitative research survey with a total of 407 Finnish respondents to study consumers’ perceptions and behavior using factor and cluster analysis. These methods altogether yield a rich foundation to understanding the behaviour of consumers and the implications of this to jewellery industry.

Main drivers of consumer behavior in jewellery are design, price, and trust. Consumers require trust since it is difficult for them to understand and evaluate how the price is determined for a jewellery piece. Overall consumers care what they buy, but it seems that they have insufficient information on their purchases and this is the main problem with ethical consumerism. Based on this study 34% of the consumers are willing to make extra efforts to get ethically made jewellery despite some previous studies have estimated it as low as 1% (Bedford 2000). Moreover, the majority of consumers, more than 90%, are genuinely interested and concerned of ethical, social and environmental issues in jewellery.

Two main managerial implications are: First, jewellery companies should now invest and study jewellery ecommerce. During the next ten years Internet will have a considerable effect on sales, especially in retail. High Internet speeds and the ageing younger generation push the balance to Web, especially in brand and commodity jewellery. Second, consumers expect that businesses will improve their corporate social responsibility. This means that ethical, social and environmental issues in jewellery have to be taken in to account. This is a trend train that does not wait and fast adapters gain more market share. A quick checklist to compare company operations against ‘the right way’ is to get to know the Code of Professional Practices by the Responsible Jewellery Council.
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