Exploring behavioural changeability in fair trade consumption

Gillani, Alvina and Kutaula, Smirti (2016) Exploring behavioural changeability in fair trade consumption. In: British Academy of Management (BAM) Conference 2016: Thriving in Turbulent Times; 6-8 Sep 2016, Newcastle, U.K.. ISBN 9780954960896


Ethical consumer behaviour is subject to change. Consumer segmentation has, previously, conformed to preconceptions of demographics and psychographics, which fail to reflect the dynamics of consumer purchase behaviour towards fair trade purchase. Employing a longitudinal qualitative grounded theory approach, this paper examines the discrepancy between the stated and actual behaviour in the substantive area of fair trade. Data were collected from thirty two respondents, using in-depth interviews, in tandem with till receipts. The findings reveal that ethical consumer behaviour is often inconsistent and open to change. This study develops the concept of behavioural mutability and explicates the causes of behavioural change when consumers are faced with the choice of buying a fair trade product. The major contribution of this paper is the recognition of theoretical and methodological shortcomings in existing fair trade consumer behaviour literature regarding consumer segmentation, and the challenges these shortcomings pose, including understanding the behavioural change in the context of fair trade purchase. This paper provides a valuable tool for academics and practitioners to better understand the dynamics and nuances of consumer behaviour towards Fairtrade.

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