La sensibilità del consumatore a comportamenti aziendali eticamente scorretti (Consumer sensitivity to unethical corporate behavior)

  • Giuseppe Bertoli
  • Bruno Busacca
  • Alessandro Calzetti
Keywords: alterazione dei dati; corporate social responsibility; immagine di marca; autostima, alteration of product data; corporate social responsibility; brand image; self-esteem

Abstract

Obiettivi del paper: Il paper analizza l’effetto dell’alterazione dei dati inerenti al prodotto e alla responsabilità sociale dell’impresa sull’intenzione d’acquisto del consumatore e come tali tipologie di alterazione interagiscono con la brand image e l’autostima individuale.

Metodologia: La ricerca si fonda su un esperimento between subjects condotto su un campione di 200 consumatori. Il disegno fattoriale prevede tre variabili indipendenti: l’alterazione dei dati di prodotto (product sophistication vs product social responsibility); la brand image (forte vs debole); e l’autostima dell’individuo (alta vs bassa). La variabile dipendente è costituita dall’intenzione d’acquisto del consumatore.

Risultati: I dati ottenuti dimostrano che i consumatori sono influenzati in misura maggiormente negativa dall’alterazione dei dati di product sophistication che non da quella concernente la product social responsibility. In secondo luogo, l’intenzione d’acquisto del consumatore in presenza di quest’ultimo tipo di alterazione risulta più elevata quando l’impresa ha saputo sviluppare associazioni forti, favorevoli e uniche alla propria marca. In terzo luogo, i dati dimostrano che tale intenzione si accresce ulteriormente se, in presenza del medesimo tipo di alterazione dei dati, a una forte immagine di marca si accompagna un’alta autostima individuale.

Limiti della ricerca: Nell’indagine non è stato considerato il livello di coinvolgimento psicologico del consumatore nei confronti delle tematiche etiche in generale e di alcune di esse in particolare. Inoltre, non è stato valutato l’impatto della fedeltà alla marca e della percezione della sua unicità . In terzo luogo, si è esaminata un’unica variabile psicografica.

Implicazioni pratiche: I risultati ottenuti confermano la centralità delle informazioni sul prodotto, l’importanza dell’immagine di marca e l’opportunità di segmentare i consumatori sulla base del grado di autostima. Emergono inoltre significative implicazioni per quanto concerne la tutela dell’interesse collettivo.

Originalità del paper: Il tema dell’impatto dell’alterazione delle due tipologie di informazioni concernenti il prodotto aziendale e della loro interazione con la brand image e l’autostima non ha sin qui ricevuto attenzione.

Purpose of the paper: The paper analyzes: a) the effect of data alteration related to product sophistication and to product social responsibility on the consumer purchase intention; b) how these types of alteration interact with the brand image and individual self-esteem.

Methodology: The research is based on a between subjects experiment conducted on a sample of 200 consumers. The factorial design includes three independent variables: falsification of product data (product sophistication vs. product social responsibility); the brand image (strong vs. weak); and the individual self-esteem (high vs. low). The dependent variable is the consumer purchase intention.

Findings: The data obtained show that consumers are more negatively influenced by the alteration of data concerning product sophistication than product social responsibility. Secondly, the consumer purchase intention in the presence of the latter type of alteration is higher when the company has been able to develop a strong brand image. Thirdly, purchase intention is further enhanced if, in the presence of the same type of falsification of data, a strong brand image is associated to a high individual self-esteem.

Research limits: The survey did not consider the level of psychological involvement of the consumer in relation to ethical issues or the product category. Furthermore, the impact of brand loyalty and the perception of its uniqueness was not assessed. Thirdly, a single psychographic variable was examined.

Practical implications: The results obtained confirm the centrality of the information on the product, the importance of the brand image and the opportunity to segment consumers based on the degree of self-esteem. There are also significant implications for the protection of collective interests.

Originality of the paper: So far, the impact of different types of product data falsification on consumer purchase intention and their interaction with the brand image and the individual self-esteem has not received adequate attention.

 

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Published
2020-03-26