ساختارهای تصمیم گیری اخلاقی عمده فروشان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1599||2008||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 61, Issue 8, August 2008, Pages 834–841
The major constructs of the Ferrell and Gresham [Ferrell OC, Gresham L. A Contingency Framework for Understanding Ethical Decision-Making in Marketing. J Mark 1985; (Summer): 87–96.], Hunt and Vitell [Hunt SD, Vitell S. A General Theory of Marketing Ethics. J Macromark 1986; 6 (Spring): 5–16.], and Ferrell et al. [Ferrell OC, Gresham L, Fraedrich JP. A Synthesis of Ethical Decision Models for Marketing. J Macromark 1989; 9(2) (Fall): 55–64.] models were tested using LISREL. Our findings suggest that Friends, Superiors, Business Associates, and Formalization of the Organization are more significant than Moral Philosophy. A new construct Ethicalness, comprised of individual, organizational, and societal value structures yielded a tight multi-dimensional fit that supports Kerlinger's domain theory and is dissimilar to Reidenbach and Robin's (1991) multi-dimensional scale. This research is one of the first to test as many ethical decision making constructs while explaining the multi-dimensional conundrum of ethical/unethical and legal/illegal practices within retailing.
Since the late 1980′s ethics has become an important modeling aspect. AACSB has reiterated the importance of ethics by their accreditation formula as well as a plethora of research models, books, courses, and ethics centers. The rationale is simple: “Reinforcing ethical behavior is important for improving performance and achieving success in the marketplace” (Gundlach and Murphy, 1993, p. 44). But to improve performance, academia and practitioners must determine the empirical strength of the constructs that purport to be important within ethical decision making. Marketing is the academic leader, being first to develop ethical decision making models (Ferrell and Gresham, 1985, Hunt and Vitell, 1986, Ferrell et al., 1989 and Malhotra and Miller, 1998). Most research within the ethics literature in other disciplines is based on these models (Trevino, 1986, Jones and Ryan, 1997, Banarjee et al., 1998, Brass et al., 1998 and Upchurch, 1998). The past decade points to the constructs of opportunity in the work environment, moral philosophy/values, peers and superiors, as well as individual factors facilitating ethical/unethical determination of business decisions. Yet, no one has attempted to take these key constructs and determine their cumulative effect on a retailing sample. This article is a first attempt. A second issue within the ethics stream is quantifying the concept, “ethical/unethical.” A large percentage of research takes ethical scenarios or questionable practices and asks whether or not the action is relatively ethical, right, fair, or moral. The premise is ethics is relative to an individual or group perspective. What one defines as right/ethical therefore becomes reality. The other argument is side-stepped concerning absolute truth from a non-relativist approach. The result is a plethora of articles explaining what is ethical/unethical from the marketer's perspective. Compounding the problem is the relativity of time on perception. The solution is a measure that is multi-dimensional with an ontological perspective that does not originate with the marketer. In other words, once the decision is made how does the individual, business unit and society perceive the action? Pursuant to this question, three domains are identified, tested, and overall paths and associative strengths to moral philosophy, peers and superiors, and other individual factors determined. The sections that follow identify the significant constructs and hypotheses, define ethicalness, and analyze a model using LISREL.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
From the revised model significant others such as business associates and supervisors appear to have more importance than opportunity. A surprising result is that friends contributed most instead of a person's superiors or business associates, especially given that two of the three vignettes were business related. One possible explanation for this finding may be that respondents make a distinction between business associates and friends within the business or company. Role-set theory and business associates of superiors being more significant is somewhat overshadowed by an employee's friends. Partial support for this conclusion comes from the criminal literature that found a relationship between peers, perpetrators, and behavior (Agnew, 1993, Warr, 1993, Graham and Bowling, 1996 and Hawkins, 1996). Another explanation for the result is because these decisions have an ethical component, employees may trust individuals with whom they have a prolonged relationship over casual associates. In addition, conformity theory within social psychology confirms that such a finding likely exists. The results of age, length of business tenure, and contribution between friend and business associates may also be useful in result explanation. Formalization is most important in explaining ethicalness within the opportunity construct. This implies that standardization of ethical codes and subsequent behaviors be stressed within organizations more than looking at an employee's acceptance of authority figures. For example, if a retailer has limited resources, more money should be spent in developing comprehensive codes with penalties and rewards for ethical behavior than if employees readily accept authority figures or legitimate power. In hiring, retailers might look for employees who understand the why behind rules and procedures instead of military-type personalities that obey without understanding. Another significant finding is the exclusion of individual factors. Even when the individual factors construct is relaxed and moral philosophy, religiosity, and age are directly run they yield non-significant path associations. One explanation for moral philosophy not being included is the manner it was measured. The dichotomous evaluation of deontology/teleology across three situations was dissimilar to other scale-types. Additionally, the moral philosophy scale did not show the actual continuum. Rather it represents the moral justification state that an employee uses in determining their decision. Although many studies show values and moral philosophies as important, their overall contribution to ethicalness is not. From a retailing perspective, companies should place more resources into training their trainers and less on honesty or moral philosophy tests. Because when new hires join the firm, they absorb the values of the company and the people around them, thus making such pen and paper tests useless for prediction. Although important in decision making, religiosity is not a significant contributor to any of the three ethics domains even when checked independently of other individual factors. The religiosity research shows conflicting results and the research substantiates it. An alternative explanation is even though a person may have a strong moral value system that is being supported by various religious activities it just doesn't become significant when ethical/unethical business decisions are made. Finally, although age is tied to antisocial behavior age does not explain a significant amount of variance. The sample was fairly homogenous; hence the findings may be biased. However, O'Fallon and Butterfield's (2005) review on age and ethics is also inconclusive. From the findings, retailers need to reassess the adage that as one gets older one becomes more ethical. This is not necessarily the case. The research limitations should be seen as markers for future investigations. For example, in order to analyze more constructs a larger sample is needed and, depending upon the model tested, either a more homogenous/heterogeneous sample chosen. Moral philosophy needs to be better operationalized as well as somehow decreasing the questionnaire length yet increasing the amount of information obtained. Increasing the number of vignettes from three to many, as well as including more theoretical constructs for testing needs to be explored. For factors that influence unethical behavior the literature suggests that significant others (Robideaux, 1989), philosophy type (Fraedrich, 1993), and perhaps corporate culture (Herndon, 1991 and Herndon, 1992) have an impact. While some retailers have codes of ethics, many are quite general in language and scope. Research on whether the antecedents of customers' perceptions of retail ethics include such factors as product price or retailer advertising is needed. Work on helping retailers prevent unethical behavior; creating and communicating ethical guidelines; selecting hiring and training ethical salespeople; and measuring the impact of both ethical and unethical behavior on performance is also needed. Scale development from all three perspectives is a research opportunity, as is theory development for explaining retailer ethics. Future research within the empirical testing of ethical decision making models needs to investigate the anomalies discovered as well as testing the ethicalness construct. This is important relative to the issue of situational ethics (Kellaris et al., 1996 and Banarjee et al., 1998). Another issue is the differences between how individuals make decisions concerning ethical issues and dilemmas. An ethical issue is one that has some synergy between the three ethics domains as it relates to right/wrong choices. An ethical dilemma is where the matrix of ethical/unethical is not synergistic between the three domains; hence, the individual believes that there are only wrong/unethical solutions to the situation. Kohlberg's vignettes are excellent examples of dilemmas where decisions involve breaking laws, death, and stealing to survive. Far too often in business, the situations are not so severe. Retailers need to become more proactive in their codes and their effectiveness relative to sales training, amount and type of supervision, and desired type of salespeople. The multinational aspect of the models being used and tested is very important. Much of the theoretical work is done with a western perspective. Many of the scales used were developed in western cultures. The question is whether researchers are missing unique factors in other cultures thus restricting generalizability. For example, would the values construct change if the retailers tested were from predominantly Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish samples? Are academicians actually capturing the pertinent philosophies associated with all business people? And finally, would the ethicalness construct be the same in other cultures? A major contribution to the field is that business ethics is not just about formal rules and procedures, or how long or familiar someone is with the organization. The acceptance of authority, religion, and age are not very important relative to the ethicalness of individuals within business either. The findings suggest that friends, business associates, superiors, and business associates that are friends, contribute most to ethicalness. The findings suggest that the adage, lie down with dogs get up with fleas, is one step closer to being empirically proven within business ethics. This research does not purport to be error free. Many choices between parsimony and data richness were made. Not all constructs identified in all of the ethics models were incorporated. Yet the contribution to the literature is in testing three major and ten associated constructs together and demonstrating their relative explanatory strengths to a construct that explains the multi-faceted reality of ethics. Our research is a continuation of the many researchers involved in teasing out, bit by bit, the secrets of how ethically charged decisions are made, what causes business people to make unethical choices, and how we can help the individual, organization, and society make better decisions.