Perceived Risk and Moral Philosophy: Situational Influences in Marketing Ethical Decision-Making.

INTRODUCTION A significant body of theoretical and empirical research has emerged in recent years examining ethical decision-making in marketing. While the studies have frequently concerned themselves with marketers’ values (Singhapakdi & Vitell, 1991, Vitell et al., 1993), individual constructs such as Cognitive Moral Development (Goolsby &Hunt, 1993), organizational factors (Zey-Ferrell & Ferrell, 1983) and any number of demographic variables, a common element in many of these and other studies is the influence of formal moral philosophical reasoning in ethical decision-making. Moral philosophy–whether explicitly considered or intuitively applied–lies at the heart of the best known theories of ethical decision-making in marketing (Hunt & Vitell, 1986; Ferrell & Gresham, 1985; Ferrell, Gresham & Fraedrich, 1989).

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