IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Can The Socially Responsible Consumer Be Mainstream?


  • Devinney, Timothy M.
  • Auger, Pat
  • Eckhardt, Giana


Empirical evidence reveals that the general notion of an ‘ethical’ consumer is a myth. However, in specific contexts specific individuals will reveal their social preferences through their consumption choices. Yet this implies that it is niche contexts and niche individuals that lead to a niche of socially responsible consumers. This article discusses the possibility that this niche phenomenon can be expanded so that more social consciousness arises through consumption choice. We argue that to making the socially responsible consumer mainstream entails a logic not unlike that used to enhance the other intangible aspects of consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Devinney, Timothy M. & Auger, Pat & Eckhardt, Giana, 2012. "Can The Socially Responsible Consumer Be Mainstream?," Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik - Journal for Business, Economics & Ethics, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 13(3), pages 227-235.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:ethics:doi_10.1688/1862-0043_zfwu_2012_03_devinney

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fehr, Ernst & Falk, Armin, 2002. "Psychological foundations of incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 687-724, May.
    2. Bruno S. Frey, 2002. "Liliput oder Leviathan? Der Staat in der globalisierten Wirtschaft," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(4), pages 363-375, November.
    3. Ronnie Schöb und Joachim Weimann & Joachim Weimann, 2003. "Kombilohn: Die Magdeburger Alternative," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(1), pages 1-17, February.
    4. Hans-Werner Sinn & Christian Holzner & Wolfgang Meister & Wolfgang Ochel & Martin Werding, 2002. "Aktivierende Sozialhilfe - Ein Weg zu mehr Beschäftigung und Wachstum," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 55(09), pages 03-52, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Rockenbach, Bettina & Pigors, Mark, 2015. "Consumer Social Responsibility," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113139, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item


    Consumer Behaviour; Social Consumption; Intangible Attributes;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rai:ethics:doi_10.1688/1862-0043_zfwu_2012_03_devinney. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rainer Hampp). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.