The ethical gap of firms’ marketing practices

Fabio Lotti Oliva (University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)
Peter Kelle (Stephenson Department of Entrepreneurship and Information Systems, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Publication date: 12 February 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The corporate ethical behavior is a subject that instigates the reflection and practice of researchers and managers in general. Companies dedicate efforts to offer something valuable to society, making profits and usually doing it in compliance with the current legal system. Specifically in marketing activities, there is a higher potential for conflict between the business conduct and the expectations of society. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the ethical gap of the marketing activities of companies in the Brazilian and French markets.

Design/methodology/approach

As a conceptual framework, the authors adopted the main theories on marketing activities, ethical behavior in marketing and business conduct. The field research was divided into three stages: qualitative research with experts, quantitative research with business managers and validation of results with experts. The analysis of results of the quantitative research with business managers was supported by multivariate analysis techniques, namely, descriptive analysis, cluster analysis and regression analysis.

Findings

In the analysis of results of this study, the authors present the main marketing behaviors in the perception of business ethics in the Brazilian and French markets. In addition, as the main result of the research studies, the authors propose a model for the analysis of ethical gaps in marketing.

Practical implications

The paper proposes a model of analysis of ethical gaps in marketing that relates the omissive and comissive behaviors according to the pressure that society imposes on markets.

Social implications

The paper presents the main marketing behaviors in the perception of business ethics in the Brazilian and French markets. Thus, understanding what are the main marketing behaviors associated with the perception of business ethics allows the organization to leverage its marketing behaviors that are more positive and further develop less positive marketing behaviors.

Originality/value

As the main contribution, this paper proposes a model of analysis of ethical gaps in marketing that relates the omissive and comissive behaviors according to the pressure that society imposes on markets. The model allows the identification of the negative marketing behaviors in the four quadrants designated as opportunism, negligence, recklessness and incompetence. By mapping the problems, it is possible to minimize or eliminate the differences between the marketing behaviors of the company and the expectations of society.

Keywords

Citation

Fabio Lotti Oliva and Peter Kelle (2018) "The ethical gap of firms’ marketing practices", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 118-134

Download as .RIS

DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/JOCM-04-2017-0124

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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