درک مشتری و پاسخ به هنجارهای اخلاقی در بازاریابی خدمات حقوقی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|2833||2013||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8060 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Available online 16 February 2013
The study here examines the relationship between ethical marketing norms, relationship quality (RQ), and commitment in the context of legal services. Through a survey of customers of legal services providers in Malaysia, data were collected. Results from a standard analysis of data show that the four dimensions of ethical marketing norms contribute significantly and explain a significant amount of variance in RQ and commitment. The results further show that three dimensions of ethical norms namely price and distribution norm, information and contract norm, and general honesty and integrity norm are significantly associated with relationship quality and commitment. Product and promotion norm has no significant relationship with relationship quality and commitment. RQ plays a mediating role in the relationship between marketing norms and commitment. The study reveals that the same three dimensions of marketing norms predict both RQ and commitment, and are useful for effective legal services marketing. These findings lead to research, managerial, contextual and policy implications that conclude the paper.
It is a pity that lawyers are not more conscious of the importance of their part in the administration of justice: for if they were, they would surely be less disposed to abuse their powers and their privileges. Denning (1983). Lord Denning, one of the most celebrated English judges of the 20th century wrote his famous paper, “The Honest Lawyer”, in 1983. In this paper he lists the “charges” which the public have against lawyers, which revolve around ethics and fairness. His paper also sets out his opinion on how lawyers should behave in order to play their part in the administration of justice and to defend those “charges”. One of the “charges” against lawyers is that lawyers abuse their privileges. In Denning's view, in order to have public confidence it is essential for lawyers to be fair and to be perceived as such (Lai & Ndubisi, 2010). The second charge against lawyers is that they distort the truth for gain — in order to get the gain lawyers service their clients at all cost. However, Denning stated that this cannot be accepted by an honest lawyer; even though there is a duty to his/her client, the lawyer's paramount duty is to the cause of justice itself. The third charge against lawyers is that “they run up costs,” that is, they are more concerned of their fees than with the interest of their clients. Therefore they may advise clients to go make a case against another party even though it may be best to just settle out of court. Denning recommends that in order to avoid this situation, an honest lawyer should advise his client against an action in court unless he has no other choice. The perception that legal service providers are dishonest, lack conscience and are self-centered, is in all probability brought about by incidences of unethical behavior within the legal profession which has led to unfavorable publicity. Even though the numbers of such incidences may be small relative to the hype, it is unfortunate that when professional misconduct does happen, it tends to attract wide and unfavorable publicity. This may be because the general public tends to have higher expectations of quality of service provided by professionals (Grimshaw, 2001 and Jamal and Bowie, 1995) which makes lapses in ethical behavior endanger the credibility of a whole profession (Kerr & Smith, 1995) as well as the service provider–consumer relationship. Takala and Uusitalo (1996) recognize the need for better understanding of ethical marketing and called for more studies on the link between ethical behavior and relationship management. Furthermore, Denning's statements in the opening paragraph underscore the importance of high ethical norms and behaviors of legal practitioners and the need to understand the consequences. While perceptions of pricing in the legal sector, particularly in developing economies, have been investigated in the anecdotal and to a limited extent in the academic literature (e.g., Angur & Nataraajan, 1996), rigorous research into ethical aspects of this vital sector has remained sparse. The current research aims to alleviate this sparseness. Legal services providers should be ethical in their dealings because ethical behaviors are highly rewarding. Ethics is good business and central to the long-term success and sustainability of a company in society today (Paine, 2003). Ethical professional firms may attract the most ethical job candidates and these people tend to be more productive and their conduct will reflect well on employees. Paine (2003) further suggests that ethics is an idea–a point of view, really–that must be integral to a company's governance, leadership, and day-to-day management. High ethical norms engenders trusting relationships (Satkunasingam & Ndubisi, 2006), and many successful organizations are believed to have gained from, and understand the value of trusting relationships (Ndubisi, 2011). When the legal service provider is deemed ethical, the quality of the relationship with clients can improve, leading to greater relationship commitment. The opposite results when the legal service provider is deemed unethical. Epstein (2007) and Handy (2002) echo this perspective. As Epstein (2007) expresses, law and ethics are not mutually exclusive and legal requirements frequently derive from and incorporate ethical precepts. Markets rely on rules and laws, but those laws and rules in turn depend on truth and trust, which when concealed or eroded respectively, the game (or exchange relationship) becomes so unreliable that no one will want to play (Handy, 2002). The growing realization of the immense benefits individuals, organizations and societies can reap from being ethical has led to some changes in practitioner attitudes and behaviors in Malaysia's legal service sector. Unfortunately, research on the subject of ethical norms and its consequences in the legal profession in general and in Malaysia in particular, has remained very scant, leading to a poor understanding of this phenomenon. Indeed, the authors are not aware of any empirical work which has examined the impact of ethical norms on relationship outcomes in the legal service sector either in Malaysia or elsewhere. Consequently, there is a limited knowledge on how ethics-based strategies can improve (legal) services marketing, producer–consumer relationship and relationship outcomes. In the Malaysian context, legal services providers or practitioners also known commonly as lawyers or advocates and solicitors generally practice in the government or private sector. Lawyers are professional people who are trained to act for their clients on all legal issues but they are also considered to be officers of the Court and therefore must not mislead the court or assist clients in any way to break the law. Legal practitioners are bound by strict code of conduct and rules of etiquette. All Malaysian lawyers must pass a professional ethics course before being able to be called to the Bar which is the final stage of qualification to be a lawyer. As such, Malaysia provides an appropriate context for testing the research model, which explores the effect of ethical norms of legal services providers on customer perceived relationship quality and commitment. The paper approaches its objectives through the lens of ethical, fairness, and relationship marketing theories. The next section of the paper presents the underlying theories and extant literature in the area, followed by the research framework and hypotheses. Research method is explained next, followed by the findings and implications. The paper concludes with some future research directions and concluding remarks.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study achieved its objective of estimating whether or not ethical norms of legal practitioners have significant impact on perceived relationship quality and commitment of customers. Based on data collected from customers of legal practitioners in Malaysia, the study provides evidence confirming that ethical norms do have significant impact on relationship quality and customer commitment. Customers tended to perceive greater relationship quality and commitment when legal practitioners possessed high ethical norms. Ethical norms in the study include price and distribution norms, information and contract norms, product and promotion norms, and general honesty and integrity norms. Except for product and promotion norm, all other dimensions of ethical norms are strong predictors of relationship quality and commitment. The insignificant impact of promotion norm can be attributed to the restrictive nature of professional advertising and promotion in Malaysia, leading to customers not having the experience of that aspect of legal service to provide an informed decision or perception. Nonetheless, taken together, the findings of the study suggest that legal practitioners can approach building quality relationship with customers and customer commitment through increased ethical norms.