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BBS301: Research to Business - The Ethical Shopper - Myth or Reality - Literature Review Assessment Answer

March 01, 2018
Author : Ashley Simons

Solution Code: 1AGJC

Question:Literature Review

This assignment falls under Literature Review which was successfully solved by the assignment writing experts at My Assignment Services AU under assignment help service.

Literature Review Assignment

Assignment Task

The Semester-Long Consultancy Project

Consulting is a term that includes virtually any form of advice-giving in a business setting. Consultants are hired advisers to organisations (clients) in areas such as information systems and software solutions, human resources, corporate communications, mobile communications, financial services, and e-commerce. Consultants tackle a wide variety of business problems and provide solutions for their clients. Client companies hire consultants when they are up against problems that require expertise beyond what their staff can provide, or when they need the fresh perspective of an outsider.

For consultants, this means constantly being exposed to the greatest challenges companies face: how to integrate staff and work processes after an acquisition, how to restructure after bankruptcy, where to set up manufacturing facilities abroad, how to attract and retain the right employees. Depending on the size and chosen strategy of the firm, these problems can be as straightforward as researching a new market or as complex as rethinking the client's entire organisation. No matter what the project is, consultants have to engage in research in order to advise a client to acquire a company worth hundreds of millions of dollars, or to reduce the size of its workforce by thousands of employees.

In this project, you have taken on the role of the consultant, and it is your job to research a problem put forward by your client and come up with a range of solutions. The consultancy project is a multi-stage major assessment. Broken up into several phases, upon completion the project will be worth 70% of your final grade. In order to complete your project, you will be required to undertake the steps in the business research process model. Some of these steps will be submitted as part of the formal assessment for this unit, but all steps will need to be undertaken to effectively complete this task.

Carefully read and choose one of the three consultancy projects below.

Although the project is to be completed as an individual, you will have the opportunity to engage with other students who have also chosen the same topic at various stages throughout the project. You will be required to collect a small amount (n=10) of primary data through a convenience sample survey. The survey will need to meet ethical standards and respect individual privacy and anonymity.

Consultancy Project 2

The Ethical Shopper: Myth or Reality?

Jennifer Goodwill works for large department store, ShopHere, as their procurement officer. Founded in 1984, ShopHere has grown from a single market stall to a national, multi-channel retailer. ShopHere sells quality, great value products across 95 stores in Australia and through an e-commerce platform. ShopHere source much of the cotton for their clothes from ethically-traded and organically-produced crops. They have many other products that are sourced sustainably and that respect the environments from which they are gathered. ShopHere made a deliberate decision to source such products to meet the needs of the more ‘ethical consumer’. Lately however, profit margins have slipped and Jennifer has begun to speculate if there really is such a customer as the ‘ethical consumer’.

Jennifer would like to find out if what people say they buy based on ‘ethical grounds’ is actually what they buy when they get to the check-out. She has employed you to undertake some research which helps her better understand the ‘ethical consumer’ and their decision-making. She will need you to present a good deal of primary and secondary research and strong evidence to back up your claims, as the results from your research may impact the direction of ShopHere in the future.

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Solution:

Ethical shopper - Literature ReviewEthical consumerism has become the trend with consumers making identical choices with moral thoughts. The article by Jenny et al (2016) is about the low income consumers who seek assistance from the government to make quality choices. With a series of five experiments conducted by the researcher, the variables that influence choice are identified. The quantitative analysis made on the high income individuals vs low income individuals shows that the former makes moral choice while the latter is under scrutiny to fulfill their desires. The prosocial behavior differs between both the categories by greater margins and so is the equity and attribution to quality goods.

The best way to understand the ethical consumerism is to make use of ethically minded consumer behavior scale as developed by Riley et al (2015). This scale has been designed to understand the cognitive understanding, environmental concerns and corporate social responsibility of people in making consumption choices. This mixed method research has been tested among 1278 consumers from various countries such as UK, Germany, Japan and Hungary to determine the validity and reliability. The quantitative sampling followed by pilot testing shows that there are five major factors including price that help consumers to make ethical decisions.

Similar to research by Riley et al (2015), Jayawardhena et al (2016) also insists on the factors that determine purchasing behavior of consumers. In addition to it, the research also demonstrates the need for firms and stakeholders to evaluate the purchase behavior with extensive research. The research done here is performed for about 688 UK shoppers and there are a range of theories applied to it. Decision making theory and image theory are two important theories that are carried out for the audience. Additionally, the green purchasing is understood with relation to fair trade and green merchandising. The result of this research is to understand implications before implementation of products.

The reason for the significance of theories is because of the presence of consumers who tend to intentionally ignore attributes of ethical product and also denigrate those who are careful in making the right purchase decisions. The research by Zane et al (2015) is carried out with literature analysis and social studies show that willfully ignorant consumers tend to demotivate others and indicate those who carefully follow to avoid the same. There are also personality traits that are attacked as a part of denigration. This type of negative ethical consumerism has been a reason for many shoppers to avoid ethical shopping.

From all the research results obtained above, it calls for an understanding of relationship between lifestyle choices, social responsibility and ethical consumption. Morgan et al (2016) performed demographic study to study the socio - ethical issues that are already prevailing and the CSR expectations to spread the idea of ethical consumerism. The qualitative survey made for about 1201 US consumers clarified that demographics is an important factor that influences purchasing decisions. The analysis intimated that women and younger respondents are keen about animal welfare concerns and they avoid products that depict minorities or affect animal associated concerns.

Taking the environmental aspect, the contemporary capitalism has had a good influence on the social and ecological ills. In the research made by Carrington et al (2016), the qualitative study highlights the need for growing awareness of major consequences in the environment and this defines ethical consumerism. There seems to be a large gap between ethical consumption attitude and behavior of consumers. This gap is influenced by ideologies that differs depending on the consumerist capitalism. Such capitalist structures should be evaluated before ethical choices of consumers are studied.

The review by Bartley et al (2016) adds value to the results from all the research works presented above. The literature analysis performed in this review shows the importance of "looking behind the label" performed by all the ethical consumers. This attitude shows that people carry out shopping with conscience and this seems to be essential and is a variable based on the country's background. While fair trade is an essential consideration, the production of goods is carried out after a deeper analysis of the consumption activity and social and environmental standards that they adhere to. The political nature of the country is an influencing factor for ethical consumerism.

Prior to the evaluation of consumer decision making, countries should adopt social identity approach for proper consumption. The brands should focus on motivation of CSR and extra role behavior of customers to build better corporate identity and product awareness to the end users. Isiksal et al (2016) in the study carried out two scenario based experiments to understand high CSR fit vs low CSR fit. The study aims to understand the relationship between CSR motives and the extra role behavior of consumers. The attribution theory and study show that CSR activity gives an idea to the consumers about the ethical awareness and understanding. Accordingly, public serving can happen and ethical consumers can accordingly purchase.

Summers (2016) has added to the study by Bartley et al and Isiksal et al. From global perspective, this research has been carried out and it was conducted within Europe. The citizenship module of ISSP (International Social Survey Program) has a data set that lists the standards that are taken into consideration by consumers to estimate the data quality. Individual level predictors are determined in this study and interactive models of political participation are also studied in this paper.

There is a broader difference between ethical consumerism in online and offline areas. The research by Roman et al (2016) explores the satisfaction of consumers through retailer, product and word of mouth marketing methods. People are keen about deceptive practices and they avoid such practices. The ethical consumerism primarily deals with the intentions through consumer satisfaction. Be it online or offline purchase channel, word of mouth works better for ethical decision making of products.

The above studies show the varied aspects and factors for ethical shopping and consumerism on online and offline channels. They also indicate the differences in ethical understanding depending on demographics.

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