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Consumer Perceived Ethicality: An Impression Formation Perspective


  • Katja H. Brunk


This research investigates the process of how consumers form ethical perceptions of companies or brands by means of twenty in-depth interviews with general consumers. The study offers illustrative examples of evidence that the formation of consumer perceived ethicality (CPE) appears more in line with the configural model of impression formation, suggesting that perception formation is holistic and gestalt-like, rather than following the algebraic model, which takes a piecemeal information integration position. Given the explorative nature of the study, the paper concludes with developing research propositions for future – confirmative – testing.

Suggested Citation

  • Katja H. Brunk, 2010. "Consumer Perceived Ethicality: An Impression Formation Perspective," Working Papers CEB 10-034, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/57818

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Spiggle, Susan, 1994. " Analysis and Interpretation of Qualitative Data in Consumer Research," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 491-503, December.
    2. Brunk, Katja H., 2010. "Exploring origins of ethical company/brand perceptions -- A consumer perspective of corporate ethics," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 255-262, March.
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    More about this item


    Ethical Consumerism; Impression Formation; Brand Perceptions; Consumer Perceived Ethicality (CPE); Corporate Ethics/CSR; Qualitative Research;

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