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Paper Information

Journal:   JOURNAL OF BUSINESS MANAGEMENT (MANAGEMENT KNOWLEDGE)   winter 2019 , Volume 10 , Number 4 ; Page(s) 905 To 921.

Investigating the Effect of the Consumers’ Ethical Philosophies (Idealism, Egoism, and Materialism) on their Perceived Unethical Marketing

Author(s):  Ghorbanian Gazafroudi Mohammad Sadegh*, Saeedirad Fatemeh, KHEIRI BAHRAM, ALIGHOLI MANSOUREH
* Department of Business Management, Central Tehran Azad University, Tehran, Iran
Objective Some ethically controversial behaviors within the companies have faced today marketing with the hallmarks of lying, deception, exaggeration, fraud, privacy violation and similar accusations. Therefore, creating and maintaining good relationships with the customers on one hand, and drastic lack of studies concerning the customers' perception of ethical and unethical marketing have made it important to create such perception by studying ethical philosophies as a framework to explain the perception process, decision-making and the customers' responding to ethical situation. The present research investigates the effect of ethical philosophies on perceived unethical marketing. In so doing, three ethical philosophies have been analyzed including idealism – the degree to which individuals understand actions such as right or wrong, and the degree to which they believe that they will be able to obtain the consequences they desire-; egoism – the extent to which an individual places his/her own well-being over that of others-and materialism – the importance a consumer attaches to worldly possessions. Methodology The present study is descriptive-survey research. The statistical population includes all the students of Management Department of Azad University of Tehran, the Central Branch and, according to Morgan’ s table, a sample size of 375 students from among around 10000 were selected based on random stratified sampling. Finally, 400 questionnaires were distributed and 375 were collected. SPSS was run for confirmatory factor analysis and AMOS18 was used to conduct structural equation modeling to analyze the relationship between the research constructs. Findings The results showed that customers’ idealism had no effects on their perceived unethical marketing, while egoism had a negative effect on their perceived unethical marketing related to 4P. In addition, the more materialistic the customers are, the higher their perceived unethical marketing i. e. the materialistic customers are more sensitive to the ethicality of the activities and behaviors of the company. Conclusion Provided that the ethical philosophy of idealism is proved to have no effects on Iranian customers' perceived ethical marketing, its noteworthy that there are many ethical philosophies capable of affecting individuals' ethical judgments and their effectiveness is highly in line with the cultural and social contexts in the society. Considering egoism indicators, one can analyze that the egoistic individuals and societies only care for their own personal benefits and show less sensitivity to observing ethics by the companies. Hence, in such societies it is necessary for the companies to persuade the individuals that dealing with the company will maximize their personal benefits. The more materialistic people have shown higher sensitivity to the effects of the activities of the companies on their properties; so, they showed higher unethical perceptions because of the threat regarding their loss of their properties. Therefore, in such marketing environment, the companies should provide services to ensure protecting their customers' properties and the safety of the transactions. In addition, materialistic consumers have an unethical perception of the companies' marketing because they did not conclude that companies' marketing will lead them gain more happiness and success. As a result, the companies should propose the idea that the materialistic customers will gain more happiness and satisfaction if they get in touch with them.
Keyword(s): Egoism,Ethical philosophies,Idealism,Materialism,Perceived unethical marketing
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