Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 284–294 | Cite as

Institutionalization of ethics and its consequences: a survey of marketing professionals

  • Anusorn Singhapakdi
  • Scott J. Vitell


Because of increasing ethical problems in business, organizations have tried to control these problems by institutionalizing ethics, such as by creating new ethics positions and formulating codes of ethics. In this study, the authors develop a scale for measuring the institutionalization of ethics in organizations and assess it for dimensionality, reliability and validity. Two separate studies are conducted, both using samples drawn from an American Marketing Association practitioner population. In Study 1, using a sample of 126 marketing practitioners, we performed exploratory factor analysis on 44 institutionalization items resulting in two separate dimensions of the institutionalization of ethics construct: implicit and explicit institutionalization. Using a national sample of 306 marketing practitioners in Study 2, we performed confirmatory factor analysis on these two dimensions and investigated the effects of these dimensions on perceived importance of ethics, job satisfaction, esprit de corps and organizational commitment. Implicit institutionalization had a significant direct affect on all four of these constructs. On the other hand, explicit institutionalization significantly influenced only the perceived importance of ethics.


Marketing ethics Institutionalizing ethics Implicit Explicit 



This research was supported by the University of Mississippi’s Robert Hearin Foundation and Old Dominion University’s College of Business Faculty Research Grant Program. The paper also benefited from the valuable comments of three anonymous JAMS reviewers and the editor.


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marketing Area, College of Business & Public AdministrationOld Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Marketing, School of Business AdministrationUniversity of MississippiUniversityUSA

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