The Effect of Corporations’ Irresponsible Actions on Young Consumers’ Purchasing Behavior in the FMCG Apparel Industry

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen; Uppsala universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen


Background and Problem: CSI is a topic with a limited amount of research despite it being a very relevant issue and that its counter pole CSR is one of today’s most popular subjects to study. In both areas there is a gap in the literature regarding the apparel industry where there CSI can be evident in many different aspects, especially in the production process. In the FMCG market, the demand for apparel that has been produced ethically has increased over the years. Still, the importance that the consumers place on ethical attributes in their purchase decisions is rather unknown.

Purpose: The study's purpose is to investigate the young consumers’ emotions towards FMCG apparel corporations in order to see if CSI actions give them a negative attitude. It will further be explored to see if the attitude towards the corporations reflects in their intentional purchase behavior and their actual behavior. This will provide insight to the young consumers’ knowledge and interest for CSI, aiding corporations in their quest for excellence when it comes to consumer relationships.

Method: This research is done through a deductive, qualitative research. A literature review is done to create a great understanding to the concepts of CSI, consumer attitudes and planned behavior. Four focus groups are conducted as a base for the empirical findings. Further, these two chapters are compared in an analysis to get an understanding about the young consumers’ attitudes towards corporations acting unethically and the affects it may have on their planned behavior.

Conclusion: Based on the analysis, the study found clear evidence that the participants have a negative attitude towards corporations’ CSI activities. However, these attitudes did not, as theory suggests, have any effect on the participants’ intended and actual purchasing behavior. Instead it is shown that young consumers base their decisions on contextual factors, where the most significant one is price.

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