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The relationship between consumers unethical behavior and customer loyalty in a retail environment

  • Kristof De Wulf

    ()

  • Patrick Van Kenhove
  • Sarah Steenhaut

    (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)

This paper investigates the relationship between two outcomes of relationship marketing affective commitment and behavioral loyalty and consumers unethical behavior. The main objective of the study is to assess whether affective commitment and behavioral loyalty to a store translate into more ethical behavior towards that store, controlling for the variables of age, gender, and ethical beliefs. The study does not rely on a single measurement tool, but is based on ten months' panel data and three different mail surveys targeted at 359 Belgian households. The results provide support for our hypothesis that affective commitment is indeed negatively correlated with consumers unethical behavior. The same conclusion could not be drawn for the relationship between behavioral loyalty and consumers unethical behavior. No significant relationship was detected, not even in situations where affective commitment was high. The results hold major implications for retailing practice.

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File URL: http://www.vlerick.be/en/2724-VLK/version/default/part/AttachmentData/data/vlgms-wp-2003-17.pdf
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Paper provided by Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School in its series Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series with number 2003-17.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 27 Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vlg:vlgwps:2003-17
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  1. Chonko, Lawrence B. & Hunt, Shelby D., 1985. "Ethics and marketing management: An empirical examination," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 339-359, August.
  2. Fournier, Susan, 1998. " Consumers and Their Brands: Developing Relationship Theory in Consumer Research," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 343-73, March.
  3. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-117462 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Arnold, Stephen J. & Handelman, Jay & Tigert, Douglas J., 1996. "Organizational legitimacy and retail store patronage," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 229-239, March.
  5. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-358795 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Strutton, David & Vitell, Scott J. & Pelton, Lou E., 1994. "How consumers may justify inappropriate behavior in market settings: An application on the techniques of neutralization," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 253-260, July.
  7. Geyskens, I. & Steenkamp, J.E.B.M. & Scheer, L.K. & Kumar, N., 1996. "The effects of trust and interdependence on relationship commitment : A trans-Atlantic study," Other publications TiSEM ef7c8d6c-963d-4ee7-8576-9, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
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