chapter  4
21 Pages

Values and ethical consumption

The overall aim of this chapter is to explain how knowledge of an individual’s values provides critical insight into their motivations and decision making. This is achieved by considering the relationship between the motivations, consumption behaviour and personal values of ethical consumers, arguing that a greater examination and understanding of the role and importance of the human values construct in ethical decision making produces a deeper understanding of the responsible tourist. The chapter first explains how values are formed and developed, and discusses how they have been used to explain human behaviour. The chapter continues by explaining how knowledge of an individual’s value priorities can contribute to a greater understanding of ethical consumer motivation. It concludes with an evaluation of the values construct and how this generates significant insight into responsible tourist motivation. As noted in Chapter 3, relatively little is known about the motivations of

responsible tourists. Partly this is due to the complex nature of the ethical dilemmas inherent in tourism’s development, operation and management activities, which were discussed in Chapters 1 and 2. It is only in the last decade that ethics and tourism have been discussed to any great depth, with very few tourism scholars successfully exploring the topic (see the work of Fennell, Holden, Malloy, Tribe, for example). Reviewing concepts within the disciplines of psychology and philosophy, and applying them to tourism studies can reveal much insight. This has been pursued quite successfully in ethical consumer research and the values construct has been used to produce a better understanding of these individuals’ motivational values. Values are important antecedents of behaviour – not only are they more closely related to behaviour than personality, but they are less numerous, more central and more immediately related to motivations.