Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Loughborough University Institutional Repository

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/18681

Title: Caring and conflicted: mothers' ethical judgements about consumption
Authors: Heath, Teresa
O'Malley, Lisa
Heath, Matthew
Story, Vicky
Keywords: Attitude–behaviour gap
Care ethics
Ethical consumption
Moral theory
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: © Springer Science + Business Media
Citation: HEATH, T. ... et al, 2015. Caring and conflicted: mothers' ethical judgements about consumption. Journal of Business Ethics, 136(2), pp 237–250.
Abstract: Literature on consumer ethics tends to focus on issues within the public sphere, such as the environment, and treats other drivers of consumption decisions, such as family, as non-moral concerns. Consequently, an attitude– behaviour gap is viewed as a straightforward failure by consumers to act ethically. We argue that this is based upon a view of consumer behaviour as linear and unproblematic, and an approach to moral reasoning, arising from a stereotypically masculine understanding of morality, which foregrounds abstract principles. By demonstrating the importance of context to consumption decisions and articulating the impact of caring relationships, we highlight how such decisions are both complex and situated. This is particularly evident for decisions involving the needs of others, as occurs in family life. We argue that the incorporation of care ethics provides both theoretical insights and a more complete account of consumer ethics. This is explored empirically through an investigation of the ethical dilemmas arising from consumption decisions made by mothers of young children. Such decisions juxtapose an ethical consumption orientation (representing impartial concerns) with care for one’s child. Therefore, what has been previously considered a failure to act ethically may in fact be the outcome of complex decision making, which involves competing ethical considerations. We discuss the implications of our findings for theory and practice and how this approach to consumer ethics could be applied more widely.
Description: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2441-z
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1007/s10551-014-2441-z
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/18681
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2441-z
ISSN: 1573-0697
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Business)

Files associated with this item:

File Description SizeFormat
Caring and conflicted_with authors_as submitted.pdfAccepted version151.29 kBAdobe PDFView/Open


SFX Query

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.