Document Type

Thesis

Publication details

Lau, TC 2012, 'Consumer ethical beliefs and intention: investigation of young Malaysian consumers', DBA thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Copyright TC Lau 2012

Abstract

The aim of the research is to examine the impact of attitude towards business, intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity and money ethics on the four consumer ethics dimensions. The study also investigates the demographic effect of gender and ethics course on consumer ethical beliefs. Finally the association between the four consumer ethics dimensions with ethical intention is also explored. The sample is drawn from young consumers from one public and one private university in Malaysia and comprises of 510 individuals. For the dimension of ‘actively benefiting from illegal activities (CE1)’, the result indicates positive relationship with extrinsic religiosity and money ethics but a negative relationship with intrinsic religiosity and attitude towards business. As for ‘benefiting from questionable activities (CE2)’, the outcome shows a positive relationship with extrinsic religiosity and money ethics but a negative relationship with intrinsic religiosity and attitude towards business. For ‘no harm / no foul (CE3)’ dimension, there is no relationship with attitude towards business, intrinsic as well as extrinsic religiosity but shows negative relationship with money ethics. For ‘recycling / doing good (CE4)’ activities, there is no relationship with attitude towards business, intrinsic as well as extrinsic religiosity but shows negative relationship with money ethics. Female consumers are found to be more ethical in three of the four dimensions of consumer ethical beliefs. As for ethics course, there is no evidence to suggest that those who have taken ethics course in university are more ethical in their beliefs. On the association between consumer ethics dimensions and ethical intention, the result concludes that there is positive association between CE1, CE2 and CE3 with ethical intention but for CE4, negative association is revealed. The research contributes to the literature as one of very few Malaysian empirical studies that examine the effect of the antecedents of consumer ethics on the ethical beliefs and intention of young consumers. Results also extend understanding on the under research consumer ethics field and suggest theoretical and managerial implications for academics and practitioners.