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Influence of religiosity on retail salespeople's ethical perceptions: the case in Iran

Masoud Karami (University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran)
Omid Olfati (Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany)
Alan J. Dubinsky (Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas, USA)

Journal of Islamic Marketing

ISSN: 1759-0833

Article publication date: 4 March 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this research was to investigate whether there is a relationship between religiosity and ethical behavior of salespeople.

Design/methodology/approach

To investigate this association, structural equation modeling (SEM) was used; also, both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were undertaken to examine a scale measuring salespeople's ethical behaviors. The context in which the study was conducted was in Iranian retail specialty stores.

Findings

The results revealed for the first time the impact of religiosity on ethical behavior of the seller, a key entity in the buyer-seller dyad, that had been virtually ignored in extant empirical work.

Research limitations/implications

The study focused solely on retail salespeople in Iran. Future research should examine the religiosity-ethical behavior nexus using other kinds of sales personnel and those practicing other kinds of religion than the Shia Muslim faith investigated here. The investigation examined the association between religiosity and ethical behavior. Future work could include additional measures of religion (e.g. religious orientation) as well other individual, cultural, and organizational factors that may have an influence on salespeople's ethical conduct.

Practical implications

Sales managers should try to convince salespeople to behave ethically. Also, sales managers should not establish unachievable sales objectives for salespeople and try to employ more religious individuals as salespeople. Multinational corporations (MNCs) should treat Shia Muslim salespersons with the utmost of respect, relying on their word. Similarly, MNCs should incorporate ethical guidelines into their training classes in order to be able to communicate conveniently with local salespeople and persuade them to act more ethically.

Originality/value

The authors believe that this research can arouse managers in retail stores to set specific plans for evaluating their ethical behaviors. This research also has managerial and research implications for designing and formulating operations strategy in providing ethical standards for sales force.

Keywords

Citation

Karami, M., Olfati, O. and J. Dubinsky, A. (2014), "Influence of religiosity on retail salespeople's ethical perceptions: the case in Iran", Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 144-172. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIMA-12-2012-0068

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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