Why we boycott: consumer motivations for boycott participation and marketer responses

Klein, J G, Smith, N C and John, A (2003) Why we boycott: consumer motivations for boycott participation and marketer responses. Working Paper. London Business School nan.


While boycotts are increasingly relevant for management decisionmaking, there has been little research of an individual’s motivation to boycott. Drawing upon the helping behavior and boycott literatures, we take a costbenefit approach to the decision to boycott and present a conceptualization of motivations for boycott participation. Our framework was tested during an actual boycott of a multinational firm that was prompted by factory closings. Consumers who viewed the closures as egregious were more likely to boycott the firm, though only a minority did so. Four factors were found to predict boycott participation: the desire to make a difference, the scope for selfenhancement, counterarguments that inhibit boycotting, and the cost to the boycotter of constrained consumption. Further, the desire to make a difference and constrained consumption were significant moderators of the relationship between the perceived egregiousness of the firm’s actions and boycott participation. The role of perceptions of others’ participation was also explored. Implications for marketers, NGOs, policymakers and researchers are discussed.

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Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Subject Areas: Marketing
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2023 15:19
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2023 14:51
URI: https://lbsresearch.london.edu/id/eprint/3318

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