True consumer autonomy: a formalization and implications

Hyman, M. R., Kostyk, A. and Trafimow, D. (2023) True consumer autonomy: a formalization and implications. Journal of Business Ethics, 183(3), pp. 841-863. (doi: 10.1007/s10551-022-05114-0)

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Consumer autonomy is a fundamental topic for marketing ethics scholars. Nonetheless, autonomy’s philosophical treatment may have compromised its conceptual clarity. After reviewing the relevant ethics literature on consumer autonomy, the benefits of formally defining consumer autonomy are illustrated, and a novel formalization is adapted from potential performance theory mathematics. The goal is to transfigure a hitherto amorphous topic via a mathematical formalization that defines true autonomy, actual autonomy, reliability of wills, and reliability of product choice. The crucial and surprising result: an action that decreases true autonomy can increase actual autonomy if that action engenders a sufficient increase in one or both types of reliability. Relating the insights from the formalization to the long-standing debates in consumer autonomy suggests fruitful avenues for future research.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kostyk, Dr Alena
Authors: Hyman, M. R., Kostyk, A., and Trafimow, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Journal of Business Ethics
ISSN (Online):1573-0697
Published Online:14 April 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Author(s)
First Published:First published in Journal of Business Ethics 183(3): 841-863
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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