PurposeThis paper aims to examine consumers’ responses to products that are influenced by their moral justification. Specifically, this paper examines the factors related to consumers’ moral response and choices, including religious affiliation and obligation, group memberships, group reference, type of product and link of egregious conduct to particular products. This study explicates Adam Smith’s concept of people’s proprietary emotion that potentially affects their purchasing behavior.Design/methodology/approachThis study uses focus group discussion with nine consumers across ethnic groups in Malaysia. A recent boycott case was used to stimulate the group discussion. Their statements are displayed in the findings to show their expressions verbatim.FindingsThe findings outline that consumers’ participation in the boycott of products is influenced by their moral judgment with frequent addressing of the religious affiliation and obligation, group reference and group membership factors. Additionally, there is a tendency that certain issue(s), although perceived as a universal humanistic issue, would be relatively closer to people with backgrounds similar to the majority of the victims of a particular issue. However, such a boycott action has issues such as duration of action, consistency of action and choice of pragmatic over moral decision that weigh the efficacy of the boycott action toward products related to certain egregious actions. Overall, the non-participation decision had been attached to factors such as type of product, boycotting cost, brand attraction and function or usefulness of products. These factors may also moderate consumers’ sentiment to boycott a particular product(s) in the long term.Originality/valueThis paper offers new insight regarding factors influencing participation in the boycott of products which were suspected to have link with egregious conduct towards certain Muslim groups. This paper offers a different perspective by integrating ethical theory into the discussion. In addition, it explores the influence of Muslims’ brotherhood concept on participation in boycott activities.
Journal of Islamic Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 5, 2018