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Unpacking the perceived opportunity to misbehave: The influence of spatio-temporal and social dimensions on consumer misbehaviour

Daunt, Kate ORCID: and Greer, Dominique A. 2015. Unpacking the perceived opportunity to misbehave: The influence of spatio-temporal and social dimensions on consumer misbehaviour. European Journal of Marketing 49 (9/10) , pp. 1505-1526. 10.1108/EJM-01-2014-0061

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Purpose – This study aims to use opportunity as a theoretical lens to investigate how the spatio-temporal and social dimensions of the consumption environment create perceived opportunities for consumers to misbehave. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on routine activity theory and social impact theory, the authors use two experiments to demonstrate that spatio-temporal and social dimensions can explain consumer theft in retail settings. Findings – Study 1 reveals mixed empirical support for the basic dimensions of routine activity theory, which posits that the opportunity to thieve is optimised when a motivated offender, suitable target and the absence of a capable formal guardian transpire in time and space. Extending the notion of guardianship, Study 2 tests social impact theory and shows that informal guardianship impacts the likelihood of theft under optimal routine activity conditions. Originality/value – The study findings highlight important implications for academicians and retail managers: rather than focusing on the uncontrollable characteristics of thieving offenders, more controllable spatio-temporal and social factors of the retail environment can be actively monitored and manipulated to reduce perceived opportunities for consumer misbehaviour.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Opportunity, Experimental design, Routine activity theory, Consumer misbehaviour, Social impact theory, Theft
Additional Information: Released with a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC BY-NC)
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 0309-0566
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 11 April 2015
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2022 19:35

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