Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 11, Issue 8, pp 585–597 | Cite as

Consumer ethics: An empirical investigation of factors influencing ethical judgments of the final consumer

  • Scott J. Vitell
  • James Muncy


Business and marketing ethics have come to the forefront in recent years. While consumers have been surveyed regarding their perceptions of ethical business and marketing practices, research has been minimal with regard to their ethical beliefs and ideologies. This research investigates general attitudes of consumers relative to business, government and people in general, and compares these attitudes to their beliefs concerning various questionable consumer practices. The results show that consumers' ethical beliefs are determined, in part, by who is at fault in the unethical behavior (the seller or the buyer). The results also indicate that those with a more positive attitude toward business are less likely to engage in questionable consumer practices, but one's attitudes toward salespeople, the government and people in general arenot related to the consumer's ethical beliefs.


Economic Growth Marketing Ethical Business Positive Attitude General Attitude 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott J. Vitell
    • 1
  • James Muncy
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Business UniversityUniversity of MississippiUSA

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