Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Alexander Nill
Chapter 7: The cooperation of marketing theory and the ethic of responsibility: an analysis with focus on two views on value creation
Marketing ethics addresses the ethical problems that result from ethically questionable behaviors by market participants. Thus marketing ethics is part of business and economic ethics and a unique branch of applied ethics. Applied ethics entails the application of ethical norms to domains that initially were identified or described by non-ethical, empirical theories (Brenkert 1998; Murphy and Laczniak 2006). Subsequently, this understanding is called the ‘received view’ of applied ethics. Those empirical domains are shaped by the real-world practices of actors including everyday theories and business philosophies (Jones 1960) such as those of marketing practitioners. In turn the practices are informed by marketing theories and philosophies (Grönroos 1989; Baker 2000; Layton 2009; Lusch and Webster 2011). As this contribution seeks to reveal with respect to marketing theory and the ethics of responsibility, the relationship of ethics and empirical science actually might be different from the received view though. Empirical science and marketing theory cannot only provide a descriptive system for characterizing empirical domains but also inform the development of ethical concepts such as responsibility. Marketing practice and responsibility concepts generally link marketing ethics to corporate social responsibility (CSR), which is a unique field of expertise in business ethics that has informed firm strategy, management and operations (Porter and Kramer 2006; Carroll and Shabana 2010).
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