A cross-sectional study on ethical buyer behavior towards cruelty-free cosmetics: what consequences for female leadership practices?

José Magano, Manuel Au-Yong-Oliveira*, Bruna Ferreira, Ângela Leite

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study extends the theory of planned behavior model and examines the humane factors (altruism, environmental knowledge, personal appearance concerns, attitude, perceived behavioral control, and subjective norms) that shape attitudes and buyer behavior toward cruelty-free cosmetics and the consumer characteristics that reflect their behavior toward such products. Recent global occurrences have affected human behavioral patterns, namely, the COVID-19 pandemic, which we aim to study. Has behavior changed to become more ethical? A survey was carried out involving a sample of 425 Portuguese participants (a feminine culture), following a convenience and snowball-sampling procedure. Significant correlations were found between environmental knowledge, subjective norms, and buyer behavior toward cruelty-free cosmetics with attitude and environmental knowledge and buyer behavior. Through structural equation modeling to evaluate the conceptual model, a good model fit was found, being that standardized values in the model are significant except for regressions from perceived behavior control and personal appearance concerns to buyer behavior toward cruelty-free cosmetics. Women present higher values than men on attitude, altruism, environmental knowledge, and buyer behavior, in line with what is expected in a traditional and conservative feminine culture such as that to be found in Portugal. Such a result points to the need to promote increased gender equality, for example, in senior leadership roles, as women are seen to have the desirable qualities required for a more sustainable, cruelty-free, and humane society. This is an alert for human-resource managers in the region.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7786
Number of pages15
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • Cruelty-free cosmetics
  • Ethical consumption
  • Portuguese sample
  • Sustainability
  • Theory of planned behavior


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