Personal values and consumers' ethical beliefs: The mediating roles of moral identity and Machiavellianism

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This study constitutes a theoretically grounded exploration of the factors that mediate the relationship between consumer values and ethical beliefs. An online survey of US consumers was conducted to explore potential mediators of the effects of personal values on consumers’ ethical beliefs. The results show that moral identity and dimensions of Machiavellianism (amoral manipulation, desire for control) mediate the effects of self-transcendence orientation (the importance of self-transcendence values relative to that of self-enhancement values) and conservation orientation (the importance of conservation values relative to that of openness-to-change values) on beliefs about unethical consumer actions. Furthermore, moral identity mediates the effects of self-transcendence orientation and conservation orientation on beliefs about pro-social actions. These results demonstrate that personal values, moral character, and belief systems all influence consumer ethics. Macromarketing implications for public policy, particularly education policy, are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Macromarketing
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Apr 2020


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