Morality Ad the Consequences of Marketing Action

Posted: 12 Sep 2010

See all articles by John Desmond

John Desmond

University of St. Andrews - School of Management

Andrew Crane

University of Bath - School of Management

Date Written: November 1, 2004

Abstract

This paper explores issues of morality in relation to the consequences of marketing action. It addresses the reasons why, despite adverse social consequences, as well as the exhortations of marketing ethicists, a societal-based morality continues to languish at the margins of marketing practice. We note that ethicists mistakenly characterize organizations as being ‘amoral’ and their decisions as being ‘purely economic’. This ignores the reality that marketing theory and practice are suffused with the morality of economic self-interest. This has important implications for whether one can understand the consequences of marketing action as intended or unintended.We suggest it is due to the power of egoism that attempts to import ethical maxims from moral philosophy have been sidelined. Finally, we discuss the difficulties of securing a more moral basis for marketing decision-making.

Keywords: Morality; Consequences; Marketing

Suggested Citation

Desmond, John and Crane, Andrew, Morality Ad the Consequences of Marketing Action (November 1, 2004). Journal of Business Research, Vol. 57, No. 11, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1675131

John Desmond

University of St. Andrews - School of Management ( email )

Department of Management
Gateway
St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS
United Kingdom
+44 01334 462873 (Phone)
+44 01334 462812 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/management/people/johndesmond.shtml

Andrew Crane (Contact Author)

University of Bath - School of Management ( email )

Claverton Down
Bath, BA2 7AY
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.bath.ac.uk/management/faculty/andrew-crane.html

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