Blood diamonds and ethical consumerism: an empirical investigation

Schulte, Meike ORCID logoORCID:, Balasubramanian, Sreejith ORCID logoORCID: and Paris, Cody Morris ORCID logoORCID: (2021) Blood diamonds and ethical consumerism: an empirical investigation. Sustainability, 13 (8) , e4558. ISSN 2071-1050 [Article] (doi:10.3390/su13084558)

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Although ethical consumerism has witnessed significant interest in recent years, most studies have focused on low-value, commoditized product categories such as food and beverage and apparel. Despite its significance, the research on ethical consumerism in luxury product segments such as diamonds is relatively scant. This formed the motivation of this study, which examined the ethical buying behavior of consumers and the moderating effects of their income levels in the diamond industry. Four hundred eightteen responses toa structured questionnaire were collected. The framework comprising of four constructs, namely ethically-minded consumer behavior, willingness to pay more, ethical concerns regarding country of origin of diamonds, and ethical buying behavior of diamonds was first validated, and then the hypothesized relationships between the constructs were assessed using structural equation modeling. Overall, ethically minded consumer behavior had a significant positive impact on willingness to pay more, ethical concerns regarding the country of origin of diamonds, and ethical buying of diamonds. Additionally, ethical concerns regarding country of origin positively influenced the ethical buying of diamonds, while the willingness to pay more had no significant impact on ethical diamond purchases. The multi-group moderation test results revealed that the income levels of buyers do affect the relationships between constructs. For instance, for the middle income group, generic ethically-minded consumer behavior did not translate into the ethical buying behavior of diamonds. The findings provide useful insights for practitioners and policy-makers regarding ethical consumerism in the diamond industry and help to highlight the issues facing the industry, such as its poor supply chain transparency, human rights abuses, child labor, money laundering, bribery and corruption, and environmental degradation from mining activities.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability
Keywords (uncontrolled): Ethical buying behavior, diamond industry, income, willingness to pay, consumer behavior
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Marketing, Branding and Tourism
Item ID: 33002
Notes on copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.
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Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2021 09:21
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2021 09:34

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