TRAP@NCI

An exploration of the mediating factors between consumers ethical consumption attitudes and actual ethical purchase behaviours in the Irish consumption context

Cronin, Colm (2017) An exploration of the mediating factors between consumers ethical consumption attitudes and actual ethical purchase behaviours in the Irish consumption context. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Master of Science)
Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

The ethical consumer is one that has been receiving an increasing amount of attention in recent years. Research has pointed to the growing influence exerted by these consumers. Yet it has also been noted that there is a dichotomy between consumers oft stated pro-ethical attitudes and their less frequent pro-ethical purchase behaviour. Previous studies have been employed to try and understand this gap which is commonly referred to in the literature as the attitude- behaviour gap or the ethical-purchasing gap. There is a distinct lack of studies of into the ‘gap’ in the Irish context however. Past studies have also tended to focus exclusively on the environmental context of ethical consumption.

This study seeks to explore the mediating factors between consumers ethical consumption attitudes and actual ethical purchase behaviours in the Irish consumption context. A qualitative methodology using semi-structured interviews is employed to offer insight and seek understanding of the complex factors that intervene between possessing a pro-ethical attitude and enacting this in the form of actual purchase behaviour.

Eight interviews were conducted and thematic analysis was used to identify salient themes. It was found that participants all displayed pro-ethical attitudes although variance in the strength of this was noted. It was also found that the focus of ethical concern tended to vary between participants. A noticeable theme was that to be ethical in one’s purchase behaviour is difficult and requires commitment. The findings suggest that price, lack of information and lack of availability are the most common mediating factors that affect the translation of an ethical consumption attitude into actual ethical purchase behaviour. Other factors to emerge were consumer scepticism, time pressure and the influence of existing forces of habit. The conclusions section also makes some recommendations for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Business Ethics
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing > Consumer Behaviour
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Science in Marketing
Depositing User: CAOIMHE NI MHAICIN
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2017 11:39
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2017 11:39
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/2922

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item