Unpacking the Ethical Product

Posted: 17 Jan 2010

See all articles by Andrew Crane

Andrew Crane

University of Bath - School of Management

Date Written: November 3, 2004


Acknowledging the increasing attention in the literature devoted to the incorporation of ethical considerations into consumers' purchase decisions, this paper explores the notion of an ethical product. It is argued that ethical issues have long been involved in consumers' duct evaluations, but that there has been little academic investigation of ethics in terms of product concepts and theories. Ethics are thus examined in the context of the augmented product concept, and two dimensions of ethical augmentation are identified: Direction and content. These dimensions are set out and discussed at some length, and then they are used to construct an ethical product matrix. It is shown how this could be used to provide structure and coherence to examinations of the perceived ethics of any given product offering. The implications of the analysis offered in the paper are discussed, and a number of limitations of the ethical product notion are identified. Finally some conclusions and directions for future research are suggested

Keywords: ethical augmentation, ethical branding, ethical consumption, ethical product, marketing, product concepts

Suggested Citation

Crane, Andrew, Unpacking the Ethical Product (November 3, 2004). Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 30, No. 4, 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1533523

Andrew Crane (Contact Author)

University of Bath - School of Management ( email )

Claverton Down
Bath, BA2 7AY
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.bath.ac.uk/management/faculty/andrew-crane.html

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