Influence of Small Business Ethics on Buying Decisions of Customers: A case of Indigenous Owned Fast-Food Outlets in Zimbabwe
AbstractWhile the prevalence of ethical consumerism has pressured small businesses to embrace ethical behaviour, in ethically precarious business conditions the relentless pursuit for profit by small businesses may compel them to compromise their moral values. As such, a tacit struggle may persist between such businesses’ strategic orientations (e.g. profitability, improved performance) and demands of ethically conscious consumers. Drawing on ethics theory, this study explored the influence of the ethical conduct of small fast food outlets on buying intentions of customers. A survey was conducted on 116 probabilistically sampled customers of an indigenous owned fast-food outlet in two cities in Zimbabwe. Findings suggest that customers considered ethical conduct of business ventures when making their purchase decisions although it was unclear whether ethical consumers persistently maintained their buying decisions (i.e. purchasing ethically made products). Ethical business practices, however, remained an enduring feature of enterprises striving to optimise their profit motives.
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