Does ethics need religion? Evaluating the importance of religiosity in consumer ethics

Denni Arli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the importance of religiosity in consumer ethics. This objective will be achieved by investigating the impact of intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity on consumer ethics, and segmenting consumers’ religiosity and explore differences between each segment. Design/methodology/approach: The surveys were distributed to undergraduate students, their friends and members of their immediate families, through a large public university in Australia. Of 700 paper questionnaires, participants returned 651. Incomplete surveys with too many missing values were removed from the sample. Of these, 517 were usable, yielding a response rate of 74 per cent. Singles accounted for 53.9 per cent of the sample, followed by married people (26.8 per cent). Of the respondents, 49.9 per cent were men. The majority of respondents were between 18 and 24 years old (52 per cent), followed by 15-34 years (16.4 per cent). Finally, most respondents had an income level of less than $20,000 (36.6 per cent) followed by $21,000-$40,000 (20.5 per cent) and $41,000-$61,000 (19.7 per cent). Overall, despite being dominated by younger consumers, the sample is relatively representative of the entire adult population of Australia. Findings: The results show that both intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity had an impact on consumers’ ethical beliefs. Moreover, the results show significant differences between the two segments studied. The religious segment was more likely than the non-religious segment to reject various unethical beliefs, but no significant differences were found in the behavioural dimensions of recycling and doing good deeds. Originality/value: This is one of the first few studies to explore the impact of religiosity on consumer ethics in Australia. The results of this study have several implications for academic researchers, religious leaders and managers working in the area of consumer ethics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-221
Number of pages17
JournalMarketing Intelligence and Planning
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Australia
  • Consumer ethics
  • Extrinsic religiosity
  • Intrinsic religiosity


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