An empirical examination of marketing professionals' ethical behavior in differing situations

Journal of Business Ethics 24 (4):331 - 342 (2000)
Abstract
The ethical behavior of a national sample of marketing professionals was examined by analyzing their responses to four different types of ethical dilemmas presented in vignette form. The ethical situations operationalize the concepts of coercion and control, deceit and falsehood, conflict of interest, and self integrity, within the context of the marketing mix elements – place, promotion, price, and product. Responses were examined to determine whether behavior varied by type of ethical situation, and whether demographic factors affected their responses. The results indicate that marketing professionals vary their ethical decisions depending on which marketing mix decision they face. Among demographic variables, age, gender, and education level had significant but mixed influence on respondents' ethical decisions across the different situations.
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