Login | Register

The Role of the Moral Identity in Consumption


The Role of the Moral Identity in Consumption

Kliamenakis, Argiro (2020) The Role of the Moral Identity in Consumption. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

[thumbnail of Kliamenakis_PhD_S2021.pdf]
Text (application/pdf)
Kliamenakis_PhD_S2021.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Spectrum Terms of Access.


In this dissertation, theories on self-perception and self-signaling are leveraged in order to examine the relationship between moral self-signals and the moral identity, and by extension the importance of this relationship in ethical and sustainable consumption. In the first essay, the experience of envy and whether it can influence ethical behaviour is examined—a particularly relevant question given the rise of social media and its conducive role in eliciting this emotion. As such, the first essay demonstrates how the metacognitive appraisal of envy unfavorably alters moral self-perceptions, thereby increasing morally relevant consumption and ethical behavior. Findings from six studies provide empirical support for this effect with implications for consumers and marketers. In the second essay, the relationship between the moral identity and application effectiveness of various cause marketing strategies is investigated. To that end, the second essay contrasts effort-based cause marketing that requires the performance of a prescribed behavior by consumers to generate a donation to the non-profit cause, relative to both purchase-based cause marketing that links donations with sales, and direct donation cause marketing that involves a direct donation from the firm to the cause. Five studies demonstrate that when consumers are driven to reinforce their moral identity—either chronically or due to the drive to restore a tarnished self-image—evaluations of cause marketing with effort-based participation are enhanced. This effect occurs because consumers associate higher levels of moral self-signaling utility from effort-based (relative to purchase-based and direct donation) cause marketing. However, this effect only occurs for cause marketing campaigns in which consumer effort is private. Cause marketing campaigns requiring the public performance of effort are not favored by consumers seeking to reinforce their moral identity, because public effort can be confounded with self-interested, reputation seeking motives. Both essays contribute to our understanding of consumer morality and morally relevant consumption by emphasizing the significance of self-signals that facilitate the formation of individuals’ sense of their moral self, and the role that this self-perception plays in fostering ethical and sustainable consumer behaviour.

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business > Marketing
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Kliamenakis, Argiro
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Administration (Marketing option)
Date:16 October 2020
Thesis Supervisor(s):Bodur, H. Onur
ID Code:987874
Deposited On:29 Jun 2021 21:07
Last Modified:01 Oct 2022 00:00
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
- Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
Back to top Back to top