Price? Quality? Or Sustainability? Segmenting by Disposition Toward Self-other Tradeoffs Predicts Consumers’ Sustainable Decision-Making
Spencer M. Ross () and
George R. Milne ()
Additional contact information
Spencer M. Ross: University of Massachusetts Lowell
George R. Milne: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Journal of Business Ethics, 2021, vol. 172, issue 2, No 10, 378 pages
Abstract Current research suggests consumers trade off price, quality, and sustainability attributes when making choices. Prior studies have typically focused on product attribute dyads, rather than multiattribute decision-making in the sustainability context. For scholars and practitioners, understanding which attributes are more important to consumers in tradeoff contexts has been a challenge. Self-other orientation may play a significant role in predicting consumers’ sustainable choices. We use prior research on equity sensitivity to demonstrate that segmenting consumers by their disposition to self-other tradeoffs (i.e., their self-other orientation) helps predict price–quality–sustainability tradeoffs. We hypothesize and test how members of these equity sensitivity segments tradeoff price, quality, and sustainability attributes in consumption decisions. Through four conjoint studies featuring diverse product assortments and sustainability issues, we find that price provides high utility for Entitled consumers, while sustainability provides high utility for Benevolent consumers. When product attributes are combined, Benevolents are more likely than Entitleds to purchase sustainable products. We also demonstrate that, in the absence of product choices, Equity Sensitives are more willing to choose a sustainable option over a conventional option, even when prices are high. In light of these findings, we discuss the implications for scholars looking to broadly predict consumers’ sustainable choices and for firms looking to target consumers with consumer-centric sustainability strategy.
Keywords: Self-other orientation; Equity sensitivity; Consumer segmentation; Sustainability; Prosocial consumption; Ethical decision-making; Conjoint analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10551-020-04478-5 Abstract (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:172:y:2021:i:2:d:10.1007_s10551-020-04478-5
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... cs/journal/10551/PS2
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of Business Ethics is currently edited by Michelle Greenwood and R. Edward Freeman
More articles in Journal of Business Ethics from Springer
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla () and Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing ().