Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 15, Issue 7, pp 711–720 | Cite as

Crafting a public image: An empirical study of the ethics of ghostwriting

  • Linda A. Riley
  • Stuart C. Brown


Ghostwriting is viewed by some as a necessary element for crafting an effective public image. Defenders of ghostwriting see no ethical dilemma in the practice because the audience knows the “speechgiver” is not necessarily the “speechwriter.” Alernatively, those regarding ghostwriting as unethical view the practice as deceitful. This group argues that the audience does not recognize the employment of a speechwriter and thus a speechgiver relies on the words of another to fortify personal ethos. This article examines several positions regarding the ethics of ghostwriting and discusses an empirical study testing three major positions found in ghostwriting literature. Findings from the study indicate that respondents do recognize the use of speechwriters by certain individuals in certain circumstances.


Economic Growth Empirical Study Ethos Ethical Dilemma Study Testing 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda A. Riley
    • 1
  • Stuart C. Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.New Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA

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