This introduction to the Journal of Business Research special issue on anti-consumption briefly defines and highlights the importance of anticonsumption research, provides an overview of the latest studies in the area, and suggests an agenda for future research on anti-consumption.
Drawing on conceptual works by Murphy (1999) and Solomon (1999), we develop a virtue ethics scale. Other ethics scales, which are grounded in deontological and teleological principles, may be used to classify people according to their beliefs about (1) the criteria they use to make ethical decisions, or (2) the ethicality of those decisions. We suggest augmenting these scales with our virtue ethics scale, which may be used to classify people according to their beliefs about the virtuous qualities of businesspeople.
Although the societal advantages of responsible advertising are self-evident, no detailed vision of responsible ads exists. Without this vision, stakeholders have no framework for identifying, preventing, and remedying non-conforming ads. To address this problem, the four basic properties of responsible ads – consistent with an everyday-language, business-oriented definition of responsibility and the assumption that ads are not inherently bad – are posited. Then, the best milieu for creating such ads is identified.
Many of today's ads work by arousing the viewer's emotions. Although emotion-arousing ads are widely used and are commonly thought to be effective, their careless use produces a side-effect: the psychoactive ad. A psychoactive ad is any emotion-arousing ad that can cause a meaningful, well-defined group of viewers to feel extremely anxious, to feel hostile toward others, or to feel a loss of self-esteem. We argue that, because some ill-conceived psychoactive ads can cause harm, ethical issues must arise during their (...) production. Current pretesting methods cannot identify the potentially psychoactive ads; therefore, we offer some tentative guidelines for reducing the number of viewers harmed by psychoactive ads. (shrink)
We critique a series of recent papers in which Reidenbach and Robin developed a multidimensional ethics scale. Our critique raises four problems for the scale. First, it is not clear what the scale measures. Second, the semantic differential items used in the scale seem problematic. Third, the scale omits several important ethical rationales. Finally, no caveats accompany the scale to alert managers about its proper and improper use.
Although the pedagogy literature indicates significant relationships between cheating intentions and both personal and situational factors, no published research has examined the joint effect of personal moral philosophy and perceived moral intensity components on students’ cheating intentions. Hence, a structural equation model that relates magnitude of consequences, relativism, and idealism to willingness to cheat, is developed and tested. Using data from undergraduate business students, the empirical results provide insight into these relationships and evidence of mediation for magnitude of consequences on (...) idealism and students’ cheating intentions. Implications for educators are offered. (shrink)
Although ads with subtle racist imagery can reinforce negative stereotypes, advertisers can eliminate this problem. After a brief overview of predominantly U.S.-based research on the racial mix of models/actors in ads, a theoretical framework for unmasking subtle racial bias is provided and dimensional qualitative research is introduced as a method for identifying and rectifying such ad imagery. Results of a DQR-based study of 622 U.K. television ads with at least one Black actor indicate subtle racially biased imagery now supersedes overt (...) forms, and the most popular ad appeals often mask negative stereotypes. Implications for public policy and advertisers, as well as recommendations for future research, are discussed. (shrink)
Many popular business strategies, such as re-engineering, core competency, and value engineering, may achieve short-term profits by antagonizing workers and alienating customers. We contend that self-actualized companies must create an ethical business environment grounded in three ethical principles. To suggest these principles, which characterize all "volitionist companies", we first review two typical problems and the questionable ways that some companies resolved them. Then, we discuss these principles and compare "volitionism" to three well- known normative ethical theories. Finally, we show that (...) these principles form the core of at least four popular management theories. (shrink)
Although social scientists have identified diverse behavioral patterns among children from dissimilarly structured families, marketing scholars have progressed little in relating family structure to consumption-related decisions. In particular, the roles played by members of single-mother families—which may include live-in grandparents, mother’s unmarried partner, and step-father with or without step-sibling(s)—may affect children’s influence on consumption-related decisions. For example, to offset a parental authority dynamic introduced by a new stepfather, the work-related constraints imposed on a breadwinning mother, or the imposition of adult-level (...) household responsibilities on children, single-mother families may attend more to their children’s product preferences. -/- Without a profile that includes socio-economic, behavioral, and psychological aspects, efficient and socially responsible marketing to single-mother households is compromised. Relative to dual-parent families, single-mother families tend to have fewer resources and less buying power, children who consume more materialistic and compulsively, and children who more strongly influence decision making for both own-use and family-use products. Timely research would ensure that these and other tendencies now differentiate single-mother from dual-parent families in ways that marketers should address. Hence, our threefold goal is (1) to consolidate and highlight gaps in existing theory applied to studying children’s influence on consumption-related decision making in single-mother families, and (2) to propose a hybrid framework that merges two theories conducive to such research, and (3) to identify promising research propositions for future research. (shrink)