CFP: Special Issue in JCP « Marketplace Morality »


Margaret (Meg) C. Campbell, University of Colorado

Karen Page Winterich, Pennsylvania State University

Morality has received increasing attention from economists, psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists, and consumer researchers. Consumers’ morally questionable behaviors (such as wardrobing and overclaiming on insurance) have big impacts on companies and consumers respond strongly to organizations’ morally suspect behaviors. On the other side, consumers’ and organizations’ moral behaviors can lead to positive marketplace effects. However, many questions about how consumers define morality and evaluate their own moral behaviors as well as those of other consumers and of marketers remain. This JCPspecial issue seeks to move beyond an explanation of self-interest to advance our understanding of morality in the marketplace. How do consumers define morality; what do they perceive as right versus wrong in the marketplace; when do these concerns arise, and why? Do definitions of morality differ when applied to other consumers or to marketplace entities such as firms or the government? Do consumers perceive any of their own behaviors as immoral? If so, how do consumers reconcile their immoral behavior with their self-concept? What are the emotional consequences of moral and morally suspect behaviors? Which moral considerations, such as harm, fairness, loyalty, authority, sanctity, and oppression, are of particular relevance to moral judgments in the marketplace?  Concepts relevant to marketplace morality may include but are not limited to: tradeoffs, moral licensing and compensation, justification, forgiveness, disengagement, identity, emotion, moral judgments, relationship versus transaction mindsets, awe, conflict and reconciliation. Below is a list of possible topics that would fit this issue:

  • Moral versus Market economy mindsets
  • Perceptions of morality in the marketplace
  • Emotional drivers and consequences
  • Interpersonal versus Market principles
  • Moral flexibility
  • Identity and self-consistency
  • Trade-offs resulting in immoral behavior
  • Types of moral assessments on marketplace entities
  • Motivations for forgoing self-interest
  • Role of other consumers
  • Justifications for immoral behavior

In addition to this brief list of possible topics, we welcome submissions on other topics addressing consumer psychology of morality in the marketplace. We seek papers with conceptual and theoretical contributions and are also open to papers documenting interesting and important effects with a plausible theory to explain these effects in consumer behavior contexts. As with the regular issues of JCP, we welcome Research Articles, Research Reports and Research Reviews.

Articles for this special issue should be submitted by November 30, 2016. Manuscripts should be submitted using the regular JCP online system, but specify that the submission is for this special issue.