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Why Do We Look Bad? A Consumer Perspective of Un/Ethical Corporate Behavior


  • Katja H. Brunk


This research provides a much needed consumer perspective of corporate ethics. Based on twenty consumer interviews, the study conceptualizes potential sources of ‘consumer perceived ethicality (CPE) of a company/brand by investigating consumers’ ethical perceptions of business behavior. The developed taxonomy delineates six domains and sub-domains of CPE origin, relating to the impact corporate behavior has on: (1) consumers, (2) employees, (3) the environment, (4) the overseas community, (5) the local economy and community, and (6) the business community. The findings underscore that the consumer and company perspective on corporate ethics may differ. More importantly, the results highlight that dimensions of consumer perception of a company/brand’s ethics are far more diverse than previously assumed in the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Katja H. Brunk, 2009. "Why Do We Look Bad? A Consumer Perspective of Un/Ethical Corporate Behavior," Working Papers CEB 09-021.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:09-021

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    Consumer Perceived Ethicality (CPE); Corporate Ethics; Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); Brand perceptions; Qualitative Research; Ethical consumption.;

    JEL classification:

    • M39 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Other

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