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Chapter from: "Belief Systems, Religion, and Behavioral Economics: Marketing in Multicultural Environemnts"
Published by: Business Expert Press
Published in: 2014

Abstract

This chapter is excerpted from ‘Belief Systems, Religion, and Behavioral Economics: Marketing in Multicultural Environemnts'. Religion is a topic that businesses often ignore, in spite of 70% of the world being religious. Whether the silence results from the taboo nature of the topic or the thought that religion is a separate domain from consumption and business, it cannot be denied that it has received scant attention. Many do not realise (or resist) the idea that religion is a key contributor to a consumer's core values, which then contribute to consumption decisions, voting practices, reaction to pro-social messages and public policy, as well as donating behaviour. The field of behavioural economics discusses how various social and cognitive factors influence economic decisions, which encompass consumer decision making. This field needs to incorporate religion as an influence on economic decision making. To be able to manage a business effectively, to market to consumers of various religious backgrounds properly and effectively, to develop public policy acceptable across religious boundaries, and to interact with other business professionals, an understanding of religion and business is, and will continue to be, especially important in the business world. Thus, this book provides one of the first comprehensive investigations into the relationship between religion and behavioural economics. We discuss the importance of religion in the field of business along with managerial implications in great detail. The basic premises of the major religious affiliations (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism/Taoism) are reviewed. We bring to life prior research on religion and behavioural economics with an emphasis on how this research can help practitioners to improve business practices. In this book, we look at how religion relates to consumer behaviour from a scientific perspective. We try to observe and understand the consequences of very real beliefs. We critique our efforts from the point of view of epistemology, not hermeneutics. We will leave to others with different training and knowledge the quest for religious Truth, but we respect people who sincerely and honestly search for either scientific truth, religious Truth, or both. This book is relevant to current managers, anyone involved in marketing, MBA students, and also upper-division undergraduate students. Each of these groups will benefit from a clear understanding of religious groups and the influence of religion on consumer decision making. Readers of this book will learn to create marketing campaigns inclusive of all religious affiliations or directed toward specific religious affiliations, to interact with business associates with different religious beliefs, and to develop public policy or pro-social messages aimed at approval from certain religious groups.

About

Abstract

This chapter is excerpted from ‘Belief Systems, Religion, and Behavioral Economics: Marketing in Multicultural Environemnts'. Religion is a topic that businesses often ignore, in spite of 70% of the world being religious. Whether the silence results from the taboo nature of the topic or the thought that religion is a separate domain from consumption and business, it cannot be denied that it has received scant attention. Many do not realise (or resist) the idea that religion is a key contributor to a consumer's core values, which then contribute to consumption decisions, voting practices, reaction to pro-social messages and public policy, as well as donating behaviour. The field of behavioural economics discusses how various social and cognitive factors influence economic decisions, which encompass consumer decision making. This field needs to incorporate religion as an influence on economic decision making. To be able to manage a business effectively, to market to consumers of various religious backgrounds properly and effectively, to develop public policy acceptable across religious boundaries, and to interact with other business professionals, an understanding of religion and business is, and will continue to be, especially important in the business world. Thus, this book provides one of the first comprehensive investigations into the relationship between religion and behavioural economics. We discuss the importance of religion in the field of business along with managerial implications in great detail. The basic premises of the major religious affiliations (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism/Taoism) are reviewed. We bring to life prior research on religion and behavioural economics with an emphasis on how this research can help practitioners to improve business practices. In this book, we look at how religion relates to consumer behaviour from a scientific perspective. We try to observe and understand the consequences of very real beliefs. We critique our efforts from the point of view of epistemology, not hermeneutics. We will leave to others with different training and knowledge the quest for religious Truth, but we respect people who sincerely and honestly search for either scientific truth, religious Truth, or both. This book is relevant to current managers, anyone involved in marketing, MBA students, and also upper-division undergraduate students. Each of these groups will benefit from a clear understanding of religious groups and the influence of religion on consumer decision making. Readers of this book will learn to create marketing campaigns inclusive of all religious affiliations or directed toward specific religious affiliations, to interact with business associates with different religious beliefs, and to develop public policy or pro-social messages aimed at approval from certain religious groups.

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