Seize the Day or Save the World? The Importance of Ethical Claims and Product Nature Congruity

Journal of Business Ethics 152 (3):783-801 (2018)

Consumers have shown increasing interest in products that reflect social and environmental concerns—so-called “sustainable products.” Although consumers typically view sustainability positively, the ethical attributes of products do not always drive their preferences, which implies a trade-off between ethical attributes and other valued attributes. In the current research, we examine how consumers implicitly judge products and services that are more or less congruent with social and environmental concerns and how incongruity between ethical claims and a product’s nature may influence consumers to behave responsibly. The results from two experimental studies show that increasing the strength of ethical claims impairs sophisticated products’ evaluation but enhances simple products’ evaluation. Additionally, the findings reveal that the strength of ethicality on sophisticated products may impair perceptions of product enjoyment to a point at which products are evaluated more favorably when less-ethical claims are used to promote them. For managers, the results highlight an important business consideration, as they reveal the circumstances under which it is worth emphasizing the strength of the sustainability appeal of products or services. Results show that not all consumers are willing to sacrifice taste or quality in their leisure time preferring to seize the day rather than saving the world.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-016-3342-0
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 43,049
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Ulysses and the Sirens: Studies in Rationality and Irrationality.Jon Elster - 1979 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 48 (4):650-651.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Giving Each Person Her Due: Taurek Cases and Non-Comparative Justice.Alan Thomas - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (5):661-676.
Unpacking the Ethical Product.Andrew Crane - 2001 - Journal of Business Ethics 30 (4):361 - 373.
Ethical Neo-Expressivism.Dorit Bar-On & Matthew Chrisman - 2009 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume 4. Oxford University Press. pp. 132-65.
A Hermeneutics of the Consumer.George Colang - 2011 - Annals of Philosophy, Social and Human Disciplines 1.
Martin Buber's I-Thou Relation Within the Sphere of Nature.Craig D. Brestrup - 1989 - Dissertation, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Galveston
On Judging Works of Visual Art.Conrad Fiedler - 1949 - Berkeley: Univ. Of California Press.
Saving Nature and Feeding People.Alan Carter - 2004 - Environmental Ethics 26 (4):339-360.
Saving Nature and Feeding People.Alan Carter - 2004 - Environmental Ethics 26 (4):339-360.


Added to PP index

Total views
1 ( #1,347,283 of 2,260,175 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #905,492 of 2,260,175 )

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes

Sign in to use this feature