Handbook on Ethics and Marketing
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Handbook on Ethics and Marketing

Edited by Alexander Nill

Exploring both the theoretical and the applied aspects of the role ethics plays in marketing, this Handbook analyzes key issues in order to advance our understanding and provide an overview of the state of the art in this vital field.
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Chapter 15: Approaches to marketing ethics education

Terri Rittenburg and Linda Ferrell


All aspects of organizational ethics have become ‘top of mind’ in colleges of business in recent years. Nearly ten years ago the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) requested that we develop effective ethics education in our colleges of business, and many schools fulfilled the guidelines with a required course on business ethics or business and society. Today there is a greater emphasis on effective management of the business ethics subdomains with more courses emerging in accounting ethics as well as marketing ethics. The business ethics and business and society courses are more platform courses equivalent to principles courses, which lay the groundwork for students to delve into more specific ethics topics and discussion in their majors. Historically it may have been questionable as to whether business ethics should be taught at all (see, for example, Bok 1976; Weber 1990; Bishop 1992; Piper et al. 1993). Today, although most colleges of business recognize the responsibility to address organizational ethics, they struggle with how to effectively impart specific topics in the appropriate classes and create classes that further our students’ understanding of this complex and evolving topic. Colleges of business are increasingly taking ‘ownership’ of the ethics courses and perceiving them as what they are, helping our students to understand and manage the risk areas that they will face in their respective professions.

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