Skip to main content

The Perceived Role of Ethics and Social Responsibility: A Study of Marketing Professionals

  • Scott J. Vitell, Joseph G. P. Paolillo and James L. Thomas

This study examined the effect of various antecedent variables on marketers’ perceptions of the role of ethics and social responsibility in the overall success of the firm. Variables examined included Hofstede’s cultural dimensions (i.e., power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, masculinity, and Confucian dynamism), as well as corporate ethical values and enforcement of an ethics code. Additionally, individual variables such as ethical idealism and relativism were included. Results indicated that most of these variables impacted marketers’ perceptions of the importance of ethics and social responsibility, although to varying degrees.

Hide All
Akaah, Ishmael P. 1992. “Social Inclusion as a Marketing Ethics Correlate.” Journal of Business Ethics 11: 599608.
Budner, Stanley. 1962. “Intolerance of Ambiguity as a Personality Variable.” Journal of Personality 30: 2950.
Chang, Chi-Yun. 1957. The Essence of Chinese Culture. Taipei: China Engraving & Printing Works.
Chang, Kuuochung, and Ding, Cherng G. 1995. “The Influence of Culture on Industrial Buying Selection Criteria in Taiwan and Mainland China.” Industrial Marketing Management 24: 277284.
Chinese Cultural Connection. 1987. “Chinese Values and the Search for Culture-free Dimensions of Culture.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 18(2): 143164.
Clark, Terry. 1990. “International Marketing and National Character: A Review and Proposal for an Integrative Theory.” Journal of Marketing (October): 6679.
Etheredge, John. 1999. “The Perceived Role of Ethics and Social Responsibility: An Alternative Scale Structure.” Journal of Business Ethics 18: 5164.
Ferrell, O. C., and Gresham, Larry G. 1985. “A Contingency Framework for Understanding Ethical Decision Making in Marketing.” Journal of Marketing 49 (Summer): 8796.
Ferrell, O. C., Gresham, Larry G., and Fraedrich, John. 1989. “A Synthesis of Ethical Decision Models for Marketing.” Journal of Macromarketing 11 (Fall): 5564.
Forsyth, Donelson R. 1980. “A Taxonomy of Ethical Ideologies.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 39(1): 175184.
Frederick, W. C., Davis, K., and Post, J. E. 1988. Business and Society: Corporate Strategy, Public Policy, Ethics. Sixth edition, chapter 2. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Gordon, L.V. 1976. Survey of Interpersonal Values-Revised Manual. Chicago: Science Research Associates.
Hofstede, G. 1979. “Value Systems in Forty Countries: Interpretation, Validation and Consequences for Theory,” in Cross-Cultural Contributions to Psychology, ed. Eckensberger, L. H., Lonner, W. J. and Poortinga, Y. H.Lisse, Netherlands: Swets and Zeitlinger: 398407.
Hofstede, G. 1983. “National Cultures in Four Dimensions: A Research-Based Theory of Cultural Differences Among Nations.” International Studies of Management & Organization 13 (Spring/Summer): 4674.
Hofstede, G. 1984. Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values. Abridged edition. Beverly Hills: Sage.
Hofstede, G. 1985. “The Interaction Between National and Organizational Value Systems.” Journal of Management Studies 22(4): 347357.
Hofstede, G. 1991. Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. Berkshire, England: McGraw-Hill Book Company (UK) Limited.
Hofstede, G., and Bond, Michael H. 1988. “The Confucius Connection: From Cultural Roots to Economic Growth.” Organizational Dynamics 16(4): 521.
Hunt, Shelby D., Chonko, Lawrence, and Wilcox, James. 1984. “Ethical Problems of Marketing Researchers.” Journal of Marketing Research 21 (August): 309324.
Hunt, Shelby D., and Vasquez-Parraga, Arturo Z. 1993. “Organizational Consequences, Marketing Ethics, and Salesforce Supervision.” Journal of Marketing Research 30 (February): 7890.
Hunt, Shelby D., and Vitell, Scott J. 1986. “A General Theory of Marketing Ethics,” Journal of Macromarketing 8 (Spring): 516.
Hunt, Shelby D., and Vitell, Scott J. 1993. “The General Theory of Marketing Ethics: A Retrospective and Revision.” in Ethics in Marketing, ed. Smith, N. Craig and Quelch, John A.Homewood, Ill.: Irwin Inc.
Hunt, Shelby D., Van, Wood, and Lawrence, Chonko. 1989. “Corporate Ethical Values and Organizational Commitment in Marketing.” Journal of Marketing 53 (July): 7990.
Kluckhohn, F. R., and Strodtbeck, F. L. 1961. Variations in Value Orientations. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.
Kraft, K. L. 1990. “The Relative Importance of Social Responsibility in Determining Organizational Effectiveness: Student Responses.” Journal of Business Ethics 10: 179188.
Kraft, K. L. 1991. “The Relative Importance of Social Responsibility in Determining Organizational Effectiveness: Managers from Two Service Industries.” Journal of Business Ethics 10: 485491.
Mayo, Michael A., and Lawrence, J. Marks. 1990. “An Empirical Investigation of a General Theory of Marketing Ethics.” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 18(2): 163171.
Modic, S. J. 1987. “Forget Ethics—And Succeed?” Industry Week 235(2): 1718.
Nakata, Cheryl, and Sivakumar, K. 1996. “National Culture and New Product Development: An Integrative Review,” Journal of Marketing 60 (January): 6172.
Neter, John, William, Wasserman, and Michael, Kutne. 1989. Applied Linear Regression Models. Homewood, Ill.: Irwin Press.
Newstrom, John, and William, Ruch. 1975. “The Ethics of Management and the Management of Ethics.” MSU Business Topics 23 (Winter): 2937.
Norton, Robert W. 1975. “Measurement of Ambiguity Tolerance.” Journal of Personality Assessment 39(6): 607619.
Parsons, Talcott, and Shils, E. A. 1951. Toward a General Theory of Action. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Peabody, Dean. 1985. National Characteristics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Quinn, R. E., and Rohrbaugh, J. 1983. “A Spatial Model of Effectiveness Criteria: Towards a Competing Values Approach to Organizational Analysis.” Management Science 29(3): 363377.
Rallapalli, Kumar, Scott, J. Vitell, and James, H. Barnes. 1998. “The Influence of Norms on Ethical Judgments and Intentions: An Empirical Study of Marketing Professionals.” Journal of Business Research 43: 157168.
Robin, Donald P., and Reidenbach, R. Eric. 1987. “Social Responsibility, Ethics, and Marketing Strategy: Closing the Gaps Between Concept and Application.” Journal of Marketing 51 (January): 4458.
Schwartz, Shalon H. 1992. “Universals in the Content and Structure of Values: Theoretical Advances and Empirical Tests in 20 Countries,” in Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 25: 165.
Schwartz, Shalon H. 1994. “Are There Universal Aspects in the Structure and Content of Human Values?” Journal of Social Issues 50(4): 1945.
Schwartz, Shalon H., and Wolfgang, Bilsky. 1990. “Toward a Theory of the Universal Content and Structure of Values: Extensions and Cross-Cultural Replications.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 58: 878891.
Singhapakdi, Anusorn, Kenneth, Kraft, Scott, Vitell, and Kumar, Rallapalli. 1995. “The Perceived Importance of Ethics and Social Responsibility on Organizational Effectiveness: A Survey of Marketers.” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 23 (Winter): 4956.
Singhapakdi, Anusorn, and Scott, J. Vitell. 1990. “Marketing Ethics: Factors Influencing Perceptions of Ethical Problems and Alternatives.” Journal of Macromarketing 12 (Spring): 418.
Singhapakdi, Anusorn, and Scott, J. Vitell. 1991. “Research Note: Selected Factors Influencing Marketers’ Deontological Norms.” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. 19 (Winter): 3742.
Singhapakdi, Anusorn, Scott, J. Vitell, Kumar, Rallapalli, and Kenneth, L. Kraft. 1996. “The Perceived Role of Ethics and Social Responsibility: A Scale Development.” Journal of Business Ethics 15(11): 11311140.
Triandis, Harry C. 1995. Individualism and Collectivism. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, Inc.
Triandis, Harry C., Robert, Bontempo, Marcelo, Villareal, Masaaki, Asai, and Nydia, Lucca. 1988. “Indivdiualism and Collectivism: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Self-Ingroup Relationships.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 54(2): 323338.
Tsalikis, John, and David, J. Fritzsche. 1989. “Business Ethics: A Literature Review With a Focus on Marketing Ethics.” Journal of Business Ethics 8(9): 695743.
Vitell, Scott J. 1986. Marketing Ethics: Conceptual and Empirical Foundations of a Positive Theory of Decision Making in Marketing Situations Having Ethical Content. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. Lubbock, Tex.: Texas Tech University.
Vitell, Scott J., and Troy, A. Festervand. 1987. “Business Ethics: Conflicts, Practices and Beliefs of Industrial Executives.” Journal of Business Ethics 6: 111122.
Vitell, Scott J., and Shelby, D. Hunt. 1990. “The General Theory of Marketing Ethics: A Partial Test of the Model,” in Research in Marketing, vol. 10, ed. Sheth, Jagdish N.Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press: 237265.
Vitell, Scott J., Saviour, L Nwachukwu, and James, H. Barnes. 1993. “The Effects of Culture on Ethical Decision-Making: An Application of Hofstede’s Typology.” Journal of Business Ethics 12: 753760.
Voich, Dan. 1995. Comparative Empirical Analysis of Cultural Values and Perceptions of Political Economy Issues. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Press.
Wood, J. A., Longnecker, J. G.Moore, J. A., and Carlos, W. 1988. “Ethical Attitudes of Students and Business Professionals: A Study of Moral ReasoningJournal of Business Ethics 7(4): 249257.
Wotruba, Thomas R. 1997. “Industry Self-Regulation: A Review and Extension to a Global Setting.” Journal of Public Policy & Marketing 16(1): 3854.
Yamaguchi, Susumu. 1994. “Collectivism Among the Japanese: A Perspective from the Self,” in Individualism and Collectivism: Theory, Method and Applications, ed. Kim, Triandis, Kagitcibasi, Choi, and Yoon. London: Sage Publications: 175188.
Zahra, S. A., and LaTour, M. S. 1987. “Corporate Social Responsibility and Organizational Effectiveness: A Multivariate Approach.” Journal of Business Ethics 6: 459467.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Business Ethics Quarterly
  • ISSN: 1052-150X
  • EISSN: 2153-3326
  • URL: /core/journals/business-ethics-quarterly
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed