Ethical Marketing: Business Ethical Practices and Consumers’ Ethical Behaviour


Previous studies have examined a plethora of factors (Nguyen et al., 2016; 2017) providing very interesting evidence. However, the marketing insights published in academic journals do not seem to gain extensive reading public or active fans within practitioners and professionals in business (Carrington et al., 2012). The market shares of ethical and sustainable products and services remain low (Bray et al., 2011; Schuitema and de Groot, 2015; Grimmer et al., 2016). Most probably this is the most demanding challenge for the academic community in order to address the ethically oriented requirements of governments, businesses, socio-economic organizations and consumers/customers. Although severe climate change, visible over-exploitation of labor, economic crisis gender inequality, hunger and water shortage are spreading in some parts of the world (UNEP, 2020), consumption and waste levels are constantly increasing in other parts, notably in some portions of the affluent countries (Ferrell and Hartline, 2011).Is ethical consumption an extension of life-style in practice, exclusively for an elite of privileged, well-educated and highly paid white professionals (Carfagna et al., 2014) or it is another form of political movement? (Neilson, 2010; Koos, 2012; Stolle and Micheletti, 2013). Is it inspired by individualized or collective motives (John and Klein, 2003; Russell, 2016)? Which are the inhibiting obstacles of this phenomenon?


Bray, J., Johns, N. and Kilburn, D. (2011). An exploratory study into the factors impeding ethical consumption. Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 98, No. 4, pp. 597–608. DOI: 10.1007/s10551-010- 0640-9 Carfagna, L. B., Dubois, E. A., Fitzmaurice, C., Ouimette, M. Y., Schor, J. B., Willis, B. and Laidley, T., (2014). An emerging eco- habitus: the reconfiguration of high cultural capital practices among ethical consumers. Journal of Consumer Culture, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 158–178. DOI: 10.1177/1469540514526227 Carrington, M., Black, I. and Newhom, T. (2012). Transformative ethical/sustainable consumption research. Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 239–246. DOI: 10.1080/10495142.2012.733637 Ferrell, O. C. and Hartline, M. D. (2011). Marketing Strategy, 5th ed. NY: Cengage Learning. Grimmer, M., Kilburn, A. P. and Miles, M. P. (2016). The effect of purchase situation on realized pro‐environmental consumer behavior. Journal of Business Research, Vol. 69, No. 5, pp. 1582– 1586. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2015.10.021 John, A. and Klein, J. (2003). The boycott puzzle: consumer motivations for purchase sacrifice. Management Science, Vol. 49, No. 9, pp. 1196-1209. DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.49.9.1196.16569 Koos, S. (2012). What drives political consumption in Europe? A multi-level analysis on individual characteristics, opportunity structures and globalization. Acta Sociologica, Vol. 55, No. 1, pp. 37– 57. DOI: 10.1177/0001699311431594 Neilson, L. A., 2010. Boycott or buycott? Understanding political consumerism. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, Vol. 9, No 3, pp. 214–227. DOI: 10.1002/cb.313 Nguyen, T. N., Lobo, A. and Greenland, S. (2016). Pro-environmental purchase behaviour: the role of consumers' biospheric values. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Vol. 33, pp. 98-108. DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2016.08.010 Nguyen, T. N., Lobo, A. and Greenland, S. (2017). The influence of cultural values on green purchase behaviour. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol.35, No. 3, pp. 377-396. DOI:10.1108/MIP-08-2016-0131 Russell, C. A., Russell, D. W. and Honea, H. (2016). Corporate social responsibility failures: how do consumers respond to corporate violations of implied social contracts? Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 136, pp. 759–773. DOI: 10.1007/s10551-015-2868-x Schuitema, G. and De Groot J. I. M. (2015). Green consumerism: The influence of product attributes and values on purchasing intentions. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 57–69. DOI: 10.1002/cb.1501. Stolle, D. and Micheletti, M. (2013). Political Consumerism: Global Responsibility in Action, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. UNEP (2020). Gender, climate & security: sustaining inclusive peace on the frontlines of climate change. United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Available at: https://www.Gender, climate & security: sustaining inclusive peace on the frontlines of climate Accessed June 2020.

List of topic areas

  • Theory in ethical marketing, ethical norms and codes of ethics.
  • Ethical issues related to business (production and sales, pricing, distribution and promotion of products and services).
  • Ethical decision making, ethical values and ethical behaviour of managers and professionals.
  • Ethical consumer behaviour, types (pro-environmental purchasing, non-purchasing and postpurchasing consumer behaviour, fair trade choices, boycotting and discursive participation) and antecedents (demographics, attitudes, values, etc.).
  • Interrelations and differences between business ethics and corporate social responsibility.
  • Ethical issues in ecommerce.

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Key deadlines

Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 01/09/2022

Closing date for manuscripts submission: 30/09/2022

Guest Editors

Christos Sarmaniotis

Emeritus Professor, Department of Organization Management, Marketing and Tourism, International Hellenic University - Greece

[email protected]


Irene Tilikidou

Emeritus Professor, Department of Organization Management, Marketing and Tourism, International Hellenic University - Greece

[email protected]


Christina Boutsouki

Professor, Department of Economics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - Greece

[email protected]