1 Consumption, Culture and Commerce, Department of Marketing & Management, Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, SDU 2 Department of Marketing & Management, Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, SDU 3 unknown 4 Consumption, Culture and Commerce, Department of Marketing & Management, Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, SDU
Although recycling is often experienced as a moral dilemma, studies that systematically approach this issue from an ethical perspective are scarce. Moreover, previous studies have explored recycling by mainly using single ethical constructs, such as moral norms, values or obligations, rarely approaching it as an ethical decision-making process. Our study takes a more holistic approach and integrates the recycling literature with business ethics theory in order to develop a conceptual model of ethical decision making involved in recycling. The model is based on Jones' issue-contingent model and its key concept, that is, moral intensity, which we extend by adding altruism as an important personality trait that influences pro-social behaviour. The data were collected from a sample of 367 adult consumers, representative of the Slovenian population by gender and age. The hypotheses were tested using structural equation modelling. The results of our study confirmed the relationships between three key facets of ethical decision making: moral recognition, moral judgment and moral intention. Higher levels of moral recognition were found to lead to more positive moral judgments, which in turn positively influenced the formation of intentions to recycle. Moreover, moral intensity was found to be a significant predictor of moral recognition and moral judgment, while altruism was found to be a significant predictor of moral recognition. These findings hold important implications for public policy makers and social marketers who have to consider not only the consumer characteristics but also the issue characteristics in seeking to understand and influence consumer recycling. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 2013, Vol 12, Issue 6, p. 449-459
Main Research Area: