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Gender and Attitude to Fair Trade: Examination of the Mediation Effect by Consumer Social Mindedness

Title
Gender and Attitude to Fair Trade: Examination of the Mediation Effect by Consumer Social Mindedness
Author
송유진
Keywords
公平交易; 道德消费; 女性化; 消费者社会意识; 韩国; Fair trade; Ethnic consumerism; Femininity; Consumer social mindedness; Korea
Issue Date
2011-03
Publisher
한국마케팅과학회
Citation
Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science(마케팅과학연구), v. 21, NO. 1, Page. 23-31
Abstract
Currently many research reported that more and more consumers consider ethical factors as one of the more critical cues in their decision making (Bray, Johns, and Kilburn 2011). This study is interested in one particular area of ethical consumption, purchasing fair trade products. Fair trade is an alternative business model which is characterized by “direct trade between producers and buyers, relatively higher and fair price for producers, long-term commitment between buyers and producers, reliance on credit system, higher labor standards, and upholding environmental concerns (Golding, 2010). It started as an effort to narrow the gap between the haves (mainly consumers of the northern hemisphere) and the have-nots (small scale farmers and laborers of the southern hemisphere) who have little chance of improving the quality of life in the conventional marketing system. According to Transfair USA, conventional coffee bean farmers receive only two cents from the sale of $3 latte (Fair Trade Federation, 2010). The basic idea is that producers should earn at least the cost of production and buyers should pay as much even though the price is higher than the market price. Having few middlemen ensures this higher-than-regular market price, which is called the fair price, not very high. For example, typically fair trade certified coffee farmers can earn ten cent premium on top of the per kilo price of coffee beans, according to Fairtrade Labeling Organization standards (Fair Trade Federation, 2010). As the global sales volume and consumers' awareness of fair trade is increasing rapidly recently, understanding consumers who buy fair trade products gets more important. Previous research which mainly performed in Europe and North America has investigated consumers' purchasing motivation of fair trade products, as well as their demographic characteristics. It is interesting that the effect of consumers' demographic variables, such as gender on the consumption of fair trade products has been mixed. Some research suggested that female consumers were more interested in fair trade products in general and that was in line with the result from the research on other venues of ethical consumption (e.g., Kwong, Yau, Lee, Sin, and Tse 2003) and ethical decision making in business settings (e.g., Bampton and Maclagan, 2009). However, other studies pointed out that there were no gender differences in fair trade consumption (Doran, 2009). One possible explanation for the mixed results of gender effects might lie with the difference between sex and gender identity of consumers. Typically, in social sciences sex refers to biologically based distinction of male and female, and gender is more about the psychological aspects related to sex (Fischer and Arnold, 1994). It has been argued that gender identity has more explanatory power than sex and should be used in consumer research instead of the default sex as a variable (Fischer and Arnold, 1994). One way to operationalize gender is using consumers' masculine/feminine value orientation, which individuals internalized growing up in their culture and might or might not be consistent with ones' biological sex (Hofstede, 2001). While not directly deals with the focal topic of femininity, Doran's study of consumer values and their influence on fair trade consumption indicated that consumers of fair trade products tend to exhibit higher concerns of the welfare of out-group members, that is, fair trade farmers. Thus, it is suggested that consumers with higher level of femininity, who care more about other people's welfare, will be more interested in welfare of poor farmers in faraway countries. Thus, hypothesis 1 is proposed as below. H1a. Female consumers will show more positive attitude toward fair trade. H1b. Consumers who are more feminine (masculine) in their personal value orientation will show more (less) positive attitude toward fair trade. As mentioned earlier, several fair trade research showed the mixed results when consumer demographics were concerned. For this discrepancy, some argued that demographic differences between consumers and non-consumers became negligible when other more important variables were considered (Doran, 2009, 2010). Doran (2010) indicated that the value of universalism was related with fair trade consumption. Another study also suggested that the level of ethical consumerism influenced consumers' attitude toward fair trade (Kim et al., 2009). These studies illustrated that some higher order variables could influence consumers' socially responsible behavior, such as more positive attitude toward fair trade. In addition, the next hypothesis suggests that the consumer social mindedness may mediate the relationship between consumers' gender orientation and their fair trade attitude. The rationale for this assumption lies with the fact that masculinity/femininity value orientation is a relatively broad in its range and it includes many other concepts, such as gender equality, which are not directly related with the present research topic (Minkov and Hofstede, 2011). Therefore, instead of influencing consumers' attitude directly, consumers' masculinity/femininity value orientation may work along with more genre specific value. Thus, the following hypotheses are suggested. H2. Consumer social mindedness is positively related to consumers' attitude toward fair trade. H3. The relationship between consumers' feminine (masculine) value orientation and consumers' attitude toward fair trade is mediated by consumer social mindedness. To test the hypotheses, students from a mid-size university in Korea were asked to participate in in-class self-administered paper-and-pencil survey. The questionnaire included Hofstede's Masculinity-Femininity scale (2001) and Nijssen and Douglas's Consumer Social Mindedness scale (2008) to measure independent variables, and three questions to measure the attitude to fair trade as a dependent variable. Age, gender, and the amount of monthly allowance were also asked. Hierarchical regression analysis results supported Hypotheses 2 and 3. However, contrary to Hypothesis 1, consumers' femininity was related with their attitude toward fair trade in an opposite way. In other words, consumers who were more masculine tended to be more positive to fair trade than consumers who were more feminine in their value orientation. Thus, Hypothesis 1 was not supported, while the biological gender was not significantly related to fair trade attitude as expected. According to a series of marketing research, consumers of high level of masculinity value orientation wanted to demonstrate their success and achievement (de Mooji and Hofstede 2002, Steenkamp et al. 1999, Tsikriktsis 2002). It could be inferred that in this study consumers with high masculinity would have shown more positive attitude toward fair trade since using the fair trade products might symbolize that they were successful and could show interests for the less fortunate.;公平交易是一种可选择商业模式,其特点于“生产商和买家之间的直接交易,对生产商来说更价格相对更高更公平,是买家和生产者之间的长期保证,依赖于信用体系,更高的劳动标准,而且更环保(Golding, 2010)。它开始是为了缩小贫富差距(主要是北半球的消费者与南半球的小规模农户和劳动者之间),因为在传统市场体系中,穷人没法提高生活质量。据美国Transfair报道,传统的咖啡豆农民卖出3美元拿铁只能获利2美分(公平交易联盟, 2010)。其基本思路是,生产者应至少赚够生产成本,并且即使价格高于市场价格,买家也应支付。没有中间商就确保了这个“高于正常市场价格”,也就是所谓的公平价格,不会很高。例如,根据公平交易标签组织的标准,传统公平交易保证咖啡农民每公斤咖啡豆最高可赚取的价格的百分之十(公平交易联盟, 2010). 最近,随着全球销量和消费者对公平交易的认识的快速上升,理解的消费者购买公平交易产品变得更加重要。以往研究主要调查了欧洲和北美消费者对公平交易产品的购买动机,以及他们的人口特征。有趣的是,消费者人口统计变量,如性别,对公平交易产品消费的影响好坏参半。一些研究表明,女性消费者对公平交易产品更感兴趣,并且这点和在其他地方研究中得出的有关道德消费(e.g., Kwong, Yau, Lee, Sin, and Tse 2003) 和商业环境中的道德抉择 (e.g., Bampton and Maclagan 2009)基本一致。然而,其他研究指出,在公平交易无性别差异(Doran 2009)。对于性别影响好坏参半的其中一个解释也许是消费者性别和性别认同之间的差异。通常情况下,社会科学中,sex是指生物学上男性和女性的区别,gender则更多与心理范畴有关((Fischer and Arnold, 1994)。普遍认为,消费研究采用性别认同作为变量比默认性别更容易解释(Fischer and Arnold, 1994)。具体实施方法之一是使用消费者男性/女性的价值取向,其与个人成长所处的文化有关,可能与生物性别一致但也可能不然(Hofstede, 2001)。虽然没有直接聚焦于女性交易,Doran研究的消费者的价值观和他们对公平交易消费的影响表明,公平交易产品的消费者往往表现为更多关注他人利益,也就是,公平交易的农民。因此,建议更在乎他人利益的女性消费者,更加关注遥远国家贫困农民的利益。因此,提出假设1如下:假设1a:女性消费者在公平交易中更积极。假设1b:个人价值取向上偏女性化的男性消费者在公平交易中会(否)更积极。如前所述,一些公平交易的研究表明,消费者人口统计数据的影响好坏参半。对于这种差异,有人认为,和其他更主要的变量相比,消费者和非消费者的人口统计学差异显得微不足道(Doran, 2009, 2010)。Doran(2010)指出,价值普遍性与公平交易消费有关。另一项研究也表明,道德消费水平影响消费者对公平交易的态度(Kim et al., 2009)。这些研究说明,一些高阶变量会影响消费者的社会责任行为,比如对公平交易更加积极的态度。此外,另一假设认为,消费者的社会意识可能会调解消费者性别取向和公平交易态度之间的关系。这个假设的原理基于男性化/女性化的价值取向的范围比较广泛,它还包括许多其他的概念,如性别平等,这就本研究课题没有直接关系(Minkov and Hofstede, 2011)。因此,与其说消费者的男性化/女性化价值取向直接影响消费态度,不如说起有更多类型的特定值。因此,提出如下假设:假设2:消费者社会意识和消费者公平交易态度正相关。假设3:个人价值取向上偏女性化的男性消费者和公平交易态度见的关系可被社会意识调解。为了测试该假设,一些韩国中等规模高校学生参加了班级自我管理的问卷调查。问卷内容包Hofstede的男性化-女性化比例(2001)和Nijssen和Douglas的消费社会意识尺度(2008年)作为自变量,用三个问题衡量因变量--公平交易态度,还包括年龄,性别,以及每月津贴额。回归分析结果满足假设2和3。然而,对于假设1,女性消费者对公平交易的态度则背道而驰。换句话说,男性化消费者比女性化消费者有更积极的公平交易态度。因此,假设1不成立,正如预期所示,生物性别和公平交易态度非显着相关。根据一系列市场研究,高水平男性化价值取向的消费者想要证明其成功和成就(de Mooji and Hofstede, 2002, Steenkamp et al., 1999, Tsikriktsis, 2002)。此研究说明,男性化消费者对于公平交易态度更积极,因为使用公平交易产品能象征其成功和对不幸者的关注.
URI
https://www.kci.go.kr/kciportal/ci/sereArticleSearch/ciSereArtiView.kci?sereArticleSearchBean.artiId=ART001543530https://repository.hanyang.ac.kr/handle/20.500.11754/182443
ISSN
2163-9159;2163-9167
DOI
10.1080/12297119.2011.9711009
Appears in Collections:
COLLEGE OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS[E](경상대학) > BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION(경영학부) > Articles
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