The impact of customer characteristics and moral philosophies on ethicaljudgments of salespeople

Journal of Business Ethics 23 (3):249 - 267 (2000)
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Abstract

This study considers customer characteristics as situational influences on a salesperson'sethical judgment formation. Specifically, customer gender, income, and propensity to buy were considered as factors which may bias these judgments. Additionally, the gender of the salesperson and their moral value structure were examined as moderating effects. An experiment using real estate agents reading hypothetical sales scenarios revealed differences across customer gender, customer income, and level of the respondent'sidealism. Significant interactive effects with these factors were also found involving respondent gender and level of idealism. These and previous findings which consider situational effects on ethical decision-making, indicate that a more contingent approach to ethics studies is warranted.

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