Faculty Publications

Title

How does past behaviour stimulate consumers' intentions to repeat unethical behaviour? The roles of perceived risk and ethical beliefs

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Business Ethics

Volume

29

Issue

3

First Page

602

Last Page

616

Abstract

Repeated unethical behaviour by consumers is a serious challenge for participants in business transactions, including consumers, retailers, and those responsible for market supervision. Due to the inherent risk of such behaviours, we examine perceived risk to uncover the psychological mechanism by which consumers consider past behaviour (PAB) when deciding to repeat unethical behaviour. We divide perceived risk into two categories, material risk (MAR) and nonmaterial risk (NMR), based on two kinds of ethical evaluation and explore their mediating effects in the process through which PAB influences consumers' intentions to repeat unethical behaviour (CIRUB). We check the moderating effect of consumers' ethical beliefs on the relationship between PAB and CIRUB. We use survey data from four typical ethical scenarios to test the proposed structural relationships. Direct positive effects of PAB on consumers' intentions are observed in all four scenarios. NMR has stable, positive mediating effects in all scenarios. MAR is found to have negative mediating effects in two scenarios (switching price tags and using an expired coupon) and a positive effect in one scenario (copying software). However, no effect is observed in the benefiting from a cashier's mistake scenario. Finally, ethical beliefs are proven to positively moderate the relationship between PAB and consumers' intentions in the first two scenarios, but not the last two. This study also discusses the implications of the findings and offers suggestions for future research.

Original Publication Date

7-1-2020

DOI of published version

10.1111/beer.12284

Repository

UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Language

en

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS