Do consumers really care where products come from and how they are made? Is there such a thing as an 'ethical consumer'? Corporations and policy makers are bombarded with international surveys purporting to show that most consumers want ethical products. Yet when companies offer such products they are often met with indifference and limited uptake. It seems that survey radicals turn into economic conservatives at the checkout. This book reveals not only why the search for the 'ethical consumer' is futile but also why the social aspects of consumption cannot be ignored. Consumers are revealed to be much more deliberative and sophisticated in how they do or do not incorporate social factors into their decision making. Using first-hand findings and extensive research, The Myth of the Ethical Consumer provides academics, students and leaders in corporations and NGOs with an enlightening picture of the interface between social causes and consumption.
Timothy M. Devinney is Professor of Strategy at the University of Technology, Sydney. He is a fellow of the Academy of International Business, a recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellow, an International Fellow of the Advanced Institute of Management (UK), and Distinguished Member (Fellow) of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management. He has published six books and more than eighty articles in leading academic journals. Pat Auger is Associate Professor of Information Systems and e-commerce and Director of the Executive MBA Program at the Melbourne Business School, The University of Melbourne. He has published extensively in leading academic journals in a variety of disciplines including information systems, marketing, business ethics, and strategy. Giana M. Eckhardt is Associate Professor of Marketing at Suffolk University, Boston. She has published widely on issues related to consumer behavior in China, branding, culture and globalization in Asia, and consumer ethics. Her research has been funded by and won awards from the Sheth Foundation and the Marketing Science Institute.
List of figures; List of tables; Preface; 1. The appeal and reality of ethical consumerism; 2. Social consumerism in the context of corporate responsibility; 3. Are we what we choose? Or is what we choose what we are?; 4. Ethical consumers or social consumers? Measurement and reality; 5. Rationalization and justification of social (non) consumption; 6. The ethical consumer, politics and everyday life; 7. Tastes, truths and strategies; Appendix; Index; References; Notes.