Establishing ethical boundaries for service providers: a narrative approach

Victoria Bush (Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Mississippi, Mississippi, USA)
Sharon Harris (University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA)
Alan Bush (Professor of Marketing, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Publication date: 1 August 1997


The arena of services marketing provides numerous opportunities for ethical violations. As competition intensifies, service providers strive harder to please the customer which can increase the temptation to make ethical compromises. Presents the narrative paradigm as a normative model for ethical decision making in the services marketing environment. The narrative paradigm is learned through socialization and can be applied to the performances of service providers. By viewing services rendered from the narrative perspective, service marketers may be able to discern hidden moral issues, or potential controversial activities. Introduces the concept of services as a performance and the current status of ethics in marketing with implications for the service industry. Introduces the narrative paradigm and gives examples of how it can be applied to the service marketing environment.



Bush, V., Harris, S. and Bush, A. (1997), "Establishing ethical boundaries for service providers: a narrative approach", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 265-277.

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Copyright © 1997, MCB UP Limited

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