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Negotiating Unethical Business Practices: Consumers in Urban Housing Market

International Journal of Business Ethics in Developing Economies

Volume 3 Issue 1

Published: 2014
Author(s) Name: Asish Mukhopadhyay | Author(s) Affiliation: Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Kalyani, West Bengal, India.
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Abstract

Presumably, a consumer suffers most when the market is speculative, exploitative, non-transparent and operates with no authority to regulate the market irregularities. The urban housing market in India is a case in point. The present paper, which forms part of a larger empirical study, suggests that the consumers in urban housing market frequent a series of tricky practices, termed as critical issues, which are neither avoidable nor acceptable to them. The number of registered disputes do not actually reveal the magnitude of close encounters with such issues as these do not always mature as dispute requiring formal institutional intervention. Response of the consumers to critical issues is not uniform. Individual difference in response is influenced by ones affordability of damage/loss caused by deception and/or, ones own assessment of self to withstand the probable costs associated with resolution through formal dispute redressal mechanism. Chronic shortage of urban housing (that increases the chances of speculation), limited success of the state to ensure rigid enforcement of rules to contain deception, inadequate concern of the market for consumer justice and ignorance/reluctance of the consumers to contest allow unethical practices in urban housing market to perpetuate. A set of strategies has been prescribed.

Keywords: Consumer, Consumerism, Critical Issues, Real Estate

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