Nature and Scope of Marketing Ethics

6686 Words Oct 21st, 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 marketing’s 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 “organized labor, feminists, human rights activists, environmentalists, local businesses, and anti-sprawl activists…resulting in a growing negative consumer perception of Wal-Mart’s corporate citizenship” (Hemphill, 2005). Unfortunately, most approaches to market orientation select to elevate the interests of one stakeholder—the customer—over 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 firm’s 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 marketing is that it exists