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University Students' Perceptions regarding Ethical Marketing Practices: Affecting Change through Instructional Techniques

Charles D. Bodkin and Thomas H. Stevenson
Journal of Business Ethics
Vol. 72, No. 3 (May, 2007), pp. 207-228
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25075375
Page Count: 22
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University Students' Perceptions regarding Ethical Marketing Practices: Affecting Change through Instructional Techniques
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Abstract

Many believe that colleges of business have a role to play in improving the level of marketing ethics practiced in the business world, while others believe that by the time students reach the level of university education, their ethical beliefs are so ingrained as to be virtually unalterable. The purpose of this study is to add to the literature regarding university students' ethical value judgments. It utilizes scenario studies to assess base line ethical values of junior level undergraduate business administration students, then techniques are employed to influence students' perceptions of the ethics of various marketing practices, and students' values are reassessed. A total of 667 junior and senior level students majoring in business administration (52% female; 48% male; 72% 22-years old or younger) participated in the pre-tests and 525 students (47% female; 53% male; 70% 22-years-old or younger) participated in the post-tests. The results of the before/after studies indicate that some experimental techniques are more effective than others in affecting change, but it is difficult to affect long-run change in those predisposed to unethical behavior.

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