Unethical Marketers in the “Hot Seat”

Abstract
“Hot seating” is a form of creative drama in which the participants play themselves but imagine themselves in someone else’s position, some taking the role of interrogators and others the role of persons in the “hot seat”. This paper documents the case of marketing students who dramatised an ethics enquiry supposedly held under the auspices of a professional marketing association to investigate breaches in its code of professional conduct. Interpretive research, in the form of a cartoon test, was employed to examine the contribution of the educational drama activity to student perceptions of learning within a role-playing experientially-based marketing unit at an Australian University. Findings reveal that students preferred the hot-seating exercise to conventional teaching methods in terms of enjoyment, “real-life” experience, new understandings of both marketing and ethics, and their motivation to learn more about marketing ethics implications for themselves, customers and the profession. Strategically, the convention was found to involve the students emotionally and intellectually with some intensity, while revealing that some students may be fearful of the drama or even over-stimulated by the sometimes tense and powerful environment.This pedagogical approach was also seen to be particularly suitable for instruction for the delicate, contentious and personal issues often raised by ethics
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