Everything flows: a pragmatist perspective of trade-offs and value in ethical consumption

Hiller, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-8793-0013 and Woodall, T. ORCID: 0000-0002-8949-5577, 2019. Everything flows: a pragmatist perspective of trade-offs and value in ethical consumption. Journal of Business Ethics, 157 (4), pp. 893-912. ISSN 0167-4544

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The debate around ethical consumption is often characterised by discussion of its numerous failures arising from complexity in perceived trade-offs. In response, this paper advances a pragmatist understanding of the role and nature of trade-offs in ethical consumption. In doing so it draws on the central roles of values and value in consumption and pragmatist philosophical thought, and proposes a critique of the ethical consumer as rational maximiser and the cognitive and utilitarian discourse of individual trade-offs to understand how sustainable consumption practices are established and maintained. An in-depth qualitative study is conducted employing phenomenological interviews and hermeneutic analysis to explore the consumption stories of a group of ethically minded consumers. The research uncovers the location of value within a fluid, yet habitual, plurality of patterns, preferences, morals, identities and relationships. Its contribution is to propose that consumer perception of value in moral judgements is represented by an overall form of aggregate personal advantage, which lacks conscious reflection and delivers a phenomenological form of value rooted in habits, reflecting a pragmatist representation of value unified as a 'consummatory experience'.

Item Type: Journal article
Description: In special issue: The Development of Responsible and Sustainable Business Practice: Value, Mind-Sets, Business-Models.
Publication Title: Journal of Business Ethics
Creators: Hiller, A. and Woodall, T.
Publisher: Springer
Date: July 2019
Volume: 157
Number: 4
ISSN: 0167-4544
3956Publisher Item Identifier
Rights: © The Author(s) 2018. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 03 Jul 2018 13:42
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:14
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/33979

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