Can businesses abandon the axiom that the customer is always right when consumers start questioning the ethics of business practices? Professor Craig Smith examines the theory and practice of ethical purchase behaviour, a crucial mechanism for ensuring social responsibility in business. He explains how and why consumers have used their purchasing power to influence corporate policies and practices. He argues the case for the social control of business, drawing on perspectives from marketing, economics, politics, sociology, and business policy. He concludes that the market may act as an arbiter of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ business practice. Dr Smith considers the practical aspects of ethical purchase behaviour, focusing on consumer boycotts as a specific form of this consumer behaviour, and explains how boycotted businesses should respond. This title, first published in 1990, is ideal for both business students and those who have a business of their own.
Table of Contents
Preface; Introduction; Part I: Ethical Purchase Behaviour and the Social Control of Business 1. Capitalism and Consumer Sovereignty 2. Social Control of Business: Corporate Social Responsibility 3. Social Control of Business: From Responsibility and Philanthropy to Accountability 4. Pressure Groups and Pluralism 5. The Boycott Tactic 6. Pressure Groups in the Marketing System; Part II: The Use and Effects of Consumer Boycotts 7. Consumer Boycotts of Business 8. Consumer Boycott Case Studies 9. Effectiveness in the Use of Boycotts and Management Responses; Conclusions; Appendix A: Markets and Marketing; Appendix B: Other Instances of Consumer Boycotts; Notes and References ; Author Index; Subject Index