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Toward a theory of ethical consumer intention formation: re-extending the theory of planned behavior

William Sun ()
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William Sun: Leeds Beckett University

AMS Review, 2020, vol. 10, issue 3, No 12, 260-278

Abstract: Abstract What drives consumers to purchase or not purchase ethical products remains something of a puzzle for consumer behavior researchers. Existing theory—particularly the widely applied theory of planned behavior (TPB)—cannot fully explain ethical purchase decisions. This article contends that not only is the original TPB limited in its applicability to ethical purchasing contexts but also subsequent modifications to it have been generally unfitting. This study advances the literature by taking a different approach to recharacterize and re-extend the original components of the TPB in order to make it more relevant and effective for explaining and predicting ethical consumer decisions. This new theoretical framework of intention formation features four determinants (attitude, subjective norm, moral identity, and perceived behavior control) and a key moderator (level of confidence), and thereby possesses better explanatory and predictive abilities to understand ethical consumer decisions.

Keywords: Ethical consumer behavior; Ethical consumer purchase decision; Ethical consumer intention formation; Moral identity; The theory of planned behavior (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s13162-019-00156-6

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