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Social contracts and marketing ethics

Author: Smith, N. C. ; Ross, W. T. ; Dunfee, T. W.INSEAD Area: Marketing Series: Working Paper ; 98/94/MKT Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 1998.Language: EnglishDescription: 59 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working Paper Online Access: Click here Abstract: This paper describes the need and the search to date for a normative moral foundation for marketing. social contract theory appears promising because of its clear correspondance to the exchange relationships central to marketing thought and practice. It is introduced in a specific formulation known as Integrative Social Contracts Theory. ISCT provides a coherent framework for resolving ethical issues arising between different communities and is therefore particularly appropriate because marketers frequently engage in boundary-spanning relationships and cross-cultural activities. The applications of ISCT to ethical decision making in marketing is explored through the use of bribery as a major illustrative example. Implications for managers and researchers are discussed.
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This paper describes the need and the search to date for a normative moral foundation for marketing. social contract theory appears promising because of its clear correspondance to the exchange relationships central to marketing thought and practice. It is introduced in a specific formulation known as Integrative Social Contracts Theory. ISCT provides a coherent framework for resolving ethical issues arising between different communities and is therefore particularly appropriate because marketers frequently engage in boundary-spanning relationships and cross-cultural activities. The applications of ISCT to ethical decision making in marketing is explored through the use of bribery as a major illustrative example. Implications for managers and researchers are discussed.

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