Ethical consumption has been suggested as an alternative for resolving not only environmental pollution but also inequity problems in modern society. Buying social enterprise products is considered as ethical consumption because social enterprises pursue social aims such as offering jobs or social services to vulnerable social groups and improving the welfare of the local community by doing business activities of creating profits.
The purpose of this study is 1)to investigate determinants which influence on constant buying intention of social enterprise products based on product type, and 2)to examine the relationship among the variables. Nine social enterprises were chosen as companies producing hedonic products such as coffee or cookies and ten social enterprises were selected as companies producing utilitarian products such as bags or soaps.
The results of this study are as follows:
First, the degree of constant buying intention was slightly high, however, no significant difference between hedonic products and utilitarian products was found.
Second, variables that influence constant buying intention differed depending on product type. Constant buying intention of hedonic products was affected by corporate credibility(+), product quality(+), consumer satisfaction(+), altruistic motives(+), market inaccessibility(-) and so on. Constant buying intention of utilitarian products was influenced by cororate credibility (+), egoistic motives(+), market inaccessibility(-), altruistic motives(+), perception of corporate (+), product price(-) and so on. Although the variables affecting constant buying intention were not identical, corporate credibility, product quality and consumer satisfaction had a substantial impact on constant buying intention of both hedonic products and utilitarian products.
Third, altruistic motives had an effect on constant buying intention of both hedonic products and utilitarian products, however egoistic motives had a significant influence on constant buying intention of utilitarian products only. This indicates that both types of social enterprise products should offer altruistic values to consumers while utilitarian products should also fulfill consumers' egoistic needs.
Fourth, from the results of path analysis, consumer satisfaction mediated between some variables and constant buying intention. For example, product price was identified a significant factor that had an effect on constant buying intention of utilitarian products via consumer satisfaction.
Fifth, market inaccessibility has a direct and negative impact on constant buying intention regardless of product type. Therefore, several efforts which enhance marekt accessibility should be made by the government and social enterprises in order to help consumers to buy ethical products.
This study is worth in that it approaches to social enterprise issues in consumer's perspective and extends discussions about ethical consumption with respect to social enterprise products.