Online Shopping and Ethical Consumption
Parallel to that phenomenon, a prolific and versatile research has investigated the determinants of the choice to purchase online instead of offline. Literature generally examines hedonic and utilitarian motives such as convenience, shopping experience or the price advantage to explain the benefits of online shopping.
Nevertheless, whereas the literature on e-commerce adoption is vast, no research so far considered ethics-related aspects as a possible hurdle to e-commerce adoption. As scandals about e-retailers’ unethical practices hit the headlines (eg. Die Zeit, 2013; Süddeutsche 2013; Seattle Times 2012), one may wonder whether consumer’s perceived ethicality of e-commerce also impacts their decision to buy online. This hypothesis would support recent research in ethical consumption, highlighting a growing concern for ethically produced products.
Especially questions regarding drivers and hurdles to e-commerce adoption, but also insights concerning the importance of ethics-related aspects can be promising and valuable topics for a Bachelor or a Master Thesis.
- Andorfer, V. a., & Liebe, U. (2011). Research on Fair Trade Consumption—A Review. Journal of Business Ethics, 106(4), 415–435.
- Die Zeit (2013). Fünf Tonnen am Tag. Retrieved from http://www.zeit.de/2013/50/dhl-paketboten.
- eMarketer. (2014). Global B2C Ecommerce Sales to Hit $1,5 Trillion This Year Driven by Growth in Emerging Markets. Retrieved May 10, 2014, from http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Global-B2C-Ecommerce-Sales-Hit-15-Trillion-This-Year-Driven-by-Growth-Emerging-Markets/1010575.
- Chang, M. K., Cheung, W., & Lai, V. S. (2005). Literature derived reference models for the adoption of online shopping. Information & Management, 42(4), 543–559.
- Pavlou, P., & Fygenson, M. (2006). Understanding and predicting electronic commerce adoption: an extension of the theory of planned behavior. MIS Quarterly, 30(1), 115–143.
- Seattle Times (2012). Amazon addresses criticism at meeting. Retrieved from http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2018277330_amazon25.html.
- Süddeutsche (2013). Ausbeutung als Teil des Geschäftserfolgs. Retrieved from http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/arbeitsbedingungen-bei-amazon-ausbeutung-als-teil-des-geschaeftserfolgs-1.1603584.
- Trudel, R., & Cotte, J. (2009). Does it pay to be good? MIT Sloan Management Review, 50(2), 61–68.