Spiritual Engagement: From Consumption to Anti-Consumption

Kieran D. Tierney, Ingo Karpen, Jodie Conduit

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


We argue that an essential element of human engagement has been overlooked in marketing research to date: spiritual engagement. While the rational, emotional and behavioural components have been much studied, spiritual engagement in marketing has been neglected, particularly in service research. This is surprising given that spirituality is recognised as a significant factor in motivating consumption choices. This paper qualitatively explores the nature and consequences of consumer spiritual engagement, based on more than 50 interviews lasting between 45 and 120 minutes each. We find that consumers engage with focal resources in a way that embodies a connection to self and others (subjects/objects), personal growth and expanded awareness, higherorder purpose and contributing to the greater good manifesting in both (anti-) consumption decisions that reflect this spiritual engagement. This generates a more fine-grained understanding of consumer engagement, and illustrates significant additional ways in which consumers interact with brands and other market actors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (ANZMAC) 2018 : Connect. Engage. Transform
EditorsJodie Conduit, Carolin Plewa, Dean Wilkie
Number of pages4
Place of PublicationAdelaide
PublisherUniversity of Adelaide
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)9781877040658
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventThe Australian & New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference. ANZMAC 2018: Connect. Engage. Transform - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 3 Dec 20185 Dec 2018
Conference number: 20


ConferenceThe Australian & New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference. ANZMAC 2018
Internet address


  • Spiritual engagement
  • Customer engagement
  • Spirituality

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