Exploring consumer orientation toward returns: unethical dimensions

Business Ethics 21 (1):115-128 (2012)
As customer return rates increase, retailer bottom lines suffer from customers’ misuse of the policies and to the ethics of such practice. The purpose of this study is to explore customers’ orientation toward return behaviors, and to develop a return orientation assessing these dimensions. This research identified three dimensions relevant to consumer return behavior: the planned/unethical returner; the eager returner; and the reluctant/educated returner. A retest with another sample confirmed these three dimensions. Each dimension was analyzed for its relationship with consumer ethical beliefs as measured by the Muncy–Vitell Consumer Ethics Scale, ethical philosophies and shopping behaviors. These relationships supported the ethical and unethical aspects of returner orientation. Results of this research imply that the core aspect of returner orientation is relevant to ethical behavior and misuse of retail return policies. The three return orientations identified partially support the Rosenbaum & Bitner-Olson research
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-8608.2011.01639.x
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