, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 259-271

Fostering ethical marketing decisions

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Abstract

This paper begins by examining several potentially unethical recent marketing practices. Since most marketing managers face ethical dilemmas during their careers, it is essential to study the moral consequences of these decisions. A typology of ways that managers might confront ethical issues is proposed. The significant organizational, personal and societal costs emanting from unethical behavior are also discussed. Both relatively simple frameworks and more comprehensive models for evaluating ethical decisions in marketing are summarized. Finally, the fact that organizational commitment to fostering ethical marketing decisions can be accomplished by top management leadership, codes of ethics, ethics seminars/programs and ethical audits is examined.

Gene R. Laczniak is Professor of Business at Marquette University. He has written extensively in the field of marketing and business ethics. He is coeditor of Marketing Ethics: Guidelines for Managers, Lexington Books, 1985 and coauthor of The Higher Road: A Path to Ethical Marketing Decisions, Allyn & Bacon, 1992 (both with P. E. Murphy). Professor Laczniak's research interests focus on the social and ethical influence of marketing activities on society as well as marketing strategy.
Patrick E. Murphy is Professor of Marketing in the College of Business Administration at the University of Notre Dame. His articles on business and marketing ethics have appeared in several periodicals. He currently serves as editor of Journal of Public Policy & Marketing and is coeditor of Marketing and Advertising Regulation: The Federal Trade Commission in the 1990s, Notre Dame Press, 1990 (with W. L. Wilkie). His research interests focus on the ethical and public policy issues facing business.
This article is based on material forthcoming in The Higher Road: A Path to Ethical Marketing Decisions, Allyn & Bacon, 1992.