Chinese Consumers’ Ethical Beliefs: An Investigation Into Chinese Consumers’ Attitudes Towards Businesses Affecting Their Ethical Beliefs

YUAN, RUIZHI (2011) Chinese Consumers’ Ethical Beliefs: An Investigation Into Chinese Consumers’ Attitudes Towards Businesses Affecting Their Ethical Beliefs. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In the past decade, there has been an increased awareness of consumer unethical behaviour in

Asian countries, because Asian consumers are supposed to be more engaged in the production

of counterfeit products and using computer software without paying than Western consumers

(Chan et al., 1998). How do they judge the ethically questionable behaviours? What factors

affecting their ethical beliefs? These questions are important for companies wishing to reduce

consumer unethical behaviours. They are also important to the government who want to

improve business environment and ensure ethical trade and also protect intellectual property

rights. For modern enterprises, it is extremely critical to investigate whether consumers’

attitudes towards businesses influence their ethical beliefs. This study explores the linear logic

between consumers’ attitudes towards businesses and consumer ethical beliefs in a Chinese

context. The present study uses a consumer ethics scale introduced by Muncy & Vitell (1992)

to determine consumers’ ethical beliefs through 116 valid questionnaires. The factor analysis

results show that the dimensions of consumer ethics scale for Chinese consumers are

somewhat similar compared with western consumers. Among four dimensions of consumer

ethics scale, Chinese consumers are more acceptable to ‘actively benefiting from questionable

actions’ while perceive ‘actively benefiting from illegal activities’ as most unacceptable.

Moreover, consumers’ attitudes towards businesses do have significant positive relationships

with both ‘passively benefiting at the expense of others’ and ‘no harm/no foul’ ethical

dimensions. Thus, it is imperative for Chinese companies and government to promote

consumer education and develop better customer-business relationship in order to change

consumers’ ethical beliefs, leading to and hence reducing unethical consumer behaviour.

Key words: consumer ethical beliefs, consumers’ attitudes towards businesses, consumer

unethical behaviours.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2021 14:07
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2022 16:09
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/25066

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