Nature and Scope of Marketing Ethics

6680 Words Oct 15th, 2010 27 Pages
Nature and Scope of Marketing Ethics

O.C. Ferrell, Ph.D.

Professor of Marketing
Creative Enterprise Scholar

The Robert O. Anderson School
And Graduate School of Management
MSC05 3090
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Phone: (505) 277-3468
ocferrell@mgt.unm.edu

Nature and Scope of Marketing Ethics

INTRODUCTION
Marketing ethics is viewed as important because of marketingÔÇÖs interface with many diverse stakeholders. Marketing is a key functional area in the business organization that provides a visible interface with not only customers, but other stakeholders such as the media, investors, regulatory agencies, channel members, trade associations, as well as others. It is important when addressing marketing ethics to
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Marketing ethics not only requires an attempt to make ethical decisions, but also to avoid the unintended consequences of marketing activities. This requires consideration of key stakeholders and their relevant interests (Fry and Polonsky, 2004). Market orientation has been found as the key variable in the successful implementation of marketing strategies (Homburg, Krohmer, and Workman, 2004). But a successful marketing strategy has not always been associated with meeting the needs and demands of all stakeholders (Miller and Lewis, 1991). While Wal-Mart customers get low prices, Wal-Mart has many critics, including ÔÇ£organized labor, feminists, human rights activists, environmentalists, local businesses, and anti-sprawl activistsÔǪresulting in a growing negative consumer perception of Wal-MartÔÇÖs corporate citizenshipÔÇØ (Hemphill, 2005). Unfortunately, most approaches to market orientation select to elevate the interests of one stakeholderÔÇöthe customerÔÇöover those of others (Ferrell, 2004). Now that Wal-Mart has focused mainly on customers and profits, a new direction should include all stakeholders that have an interest in the firmÔÇÖs operations and conduct. There is evolving concern that organizations must focus on not just their customers, but also the important communities and groups that hold the firm accountable for its actions. A new emerging logic of…