How Do Unethical Salespeople Sleep at Night? The Role of Neutralizations in the Justification of Unethical Sales Intentions

Serviere-Munoz, Laura, and Michael L. Mallin (2013), “How do Unethical Salespeople Sleep at Night? The Role of Neutralizations in the Justification of Unethical Sales Intentions,” Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 33 (summer), 291-308.

18 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2014

See all articles by Laura Munoz

Laura Munoz

Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business/University of Dallas

Michael Mallin

University of Toledo

Date Written: July 1, 2013

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to propose and test a model illustrating the direct effects of five techniques of neutralizations (denial of responsibility, denial of injury, denial of victim, appeal to higher loyalties, and condemning the condemner) on the ethical intentions of sales people. A sample consisting of 157 sales people responded to an ethical case scenario survey to reveal that two neutralizations were predominant in impacting ethical intentions – these were denial of injury and appeal to higher loyalties. These relationships were tested in three sales behavioral settings: sales promoting, customer relationship building and maintenance, and sales organization. A post-hoc test of moderation effects were included to shed additional light on how some of the neutralizations interact with ethical judgment to impact sales person ethical intentions. Implications for research and practice are discussed as well as directions for further research.

Keywords: sales, ethical intention, ethical judgment, neutralizations, appeal to higher loyalties, denial of injury, sales promoting behavior, customer relationship building and maintenance behavior, sales organization behavior

Suggested Citation

Munoz, Laura and Mallin, Michael, How Do Unethical Salespeople Sleep at Night? The Role of Neutralizations in the Justification of Unethical Sales Intentions (July 1, 2013). Serviere-Munoz, Laura, and Michael L. Mallin (2013), “How do Unethical Salespeople Sleep at Night? The Role of Neutralizations in the Justification of Unethical Sales Intentions,” Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 33 (summer), 291-308., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2461434

Laura Munoz (Contact Author)

Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business/University of Dallas ( email )

1845 E Northgate Dr.
Irving, TX 75062
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.udallas.edu/cob/about/faculty/munoz-laura.php

Michael Mallin

University of Toledo ( email )

Mail Stop 119, HH 3000
Toledo, OH 43606
United States

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