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Consumer motivation for the decision to boycott: The social dilemma

Shin, Seongyeon, Yoon, Sung‐Wook
International journal of consumer studies 2018 v.42 no.4 pp. 439-447
consumer behavior, decision making, managers, marketing, models, motivation, questionnaires, social factors, structural equation modeling, surveys
This study suggests a rational framework to explain consumers’ decision to boycott. We proposed an instrumental boycott framework based on rational response to the offending behaviour of a target company. The hypotheses embedded within the research model are empirically evaluated. The data were collected by questionnaire survey, and structural equation modelling was utilized for data analysis. The results show that social factors (message credibility, expected overall participation and perceived boycott effectiveness) generate motivations for consumers’ boycott decisions. In addition, it is identified that these factors increase consumers’ perceived likelihood of boycott success. Further, it is also found that consumers' perceived likelihood of boycott success positively affect their boycott decision via the possibility of changing a target company's offending behavior and unwillingness to purchase the target company's products. The results of this study explain consumers’ instrumental boycott decision‐making process in terms of social dilemma. Further, this study provides practical contributions for understanding consumers’ rational boycott behaviour. Specific implications for marketing managers and boycott organizations are outlined in the general discussion. Suggestions for future research are also presented in the conclusion.