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Ethics in consumer choice: a multivariate modelling approach

Shaw, D. and Shiu, E.M.K. (2003) Ethics in consumer choice: a multivariate modelling approach. European Journal of Marketing, 37 (10). pp. 1485-1498. ISSN 0309-0566

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Research has consistently revealed an increasing demand for 'ethical' choices in the global marketplace. However, very little has been published about the decision-making processes of these 'ethical' consumers and the implications for marketing. Given the shortfall in research that addresses ethical consumer choice, this paper outlines results from a large scale national UK survey of known 'ethical' consumers. To examine this important and neglected area, reliability analysis and structural equation modelling techniques were used to explore the relationships between important factors influencing ethical consumer choice. Using two data sets, a model of decision-making was developed and cross-validated. Results of the study reveal the improved ability of this new model of ethical consumer decision-making in the explanation of intention to purchase fair trade grocery products. Implications of these findings for marketing practitioners are discussed.