IntroductionCompared to a few decades ago, we have seen an increased amount of interest and attention towards business ethics by corporate entities, the government and even general consumers. Recent studies suggest that the issue of business ethics has a crucial effect on how customers rate and evaluate corporate entities and their reaction to unethical behavior within a short time span. The issue of ethics in business has critical significance and pertinence. Regardless of the absence of accord in characterizing ethics as an idea, numerous specialists are referring to it in psychological, philosophical and administrative writing (Bruni & Sugden, 2013; Narvaez, 2008; Richardson, 2003; Timpe & Boyd, 2014; Van Slyke et.al, 2012, as cited in Alzola, 2015). This particular research looks in to the part of businesses that has proved to be most controversial – Marketing.
Chonko and Hunt (1985) engaged in research to try and identify and thereby study the concerns in businesses. They researched information related to managers and ethical concerns. They research identified eight particular ethics related issues in businesses.
While most of them were Human Resources issues, some were triggered by direct marketing actions. These research centers around analyzing marketing ethics specifically. Thus, two applicable issues will be looked in to which are; unreasonable pricing strategies and untrustworthy promotion methods. Thinking about the idea of genuineness, specialists made some critical notices about the part of advertisements in the generally ethical quality of advertising. “In order for companies to engage in the marketing of good corporate conduct in a morally acceptable fashion, companies must not produce a barrage of ads that encourage faulty reasoning (Stoll, 2002).”Various investigations (e.
g. Leonidau, et.al. 2013) demonstrated that association’s dishonest conduct affects the way customer assesses the organization as a brand. Particularly, dubious business systems contrarily affect consumer trust. Some different investigations exhibited how purchasers’ ethical assessment of an organization can influence their brand commitment. Ingram, Skinner, and Taylor found that “If corporate actions are perceived, as unethical, the company stands to lose favor with their most committed customers” (Ingram et.
Al., 2005).Organizational duty and loyalty, as per Keller are at the highest point of consumer-based brand value pyramid (2003). The objective of this work is to discover exact outcomes of prior specified unethical practices. This will permit making exact conclusions in regards to genuine consumer reactions to marketing ethics. In order to accomplish this goal, it is required that certain objectives first be met.
As a matter of first importance, since the study revolves around the concept of ethics, it is essential to discover how the term can be defined and what the definition is based upon. Secondly, this study will seek to understand what is already known about the issue of business ethics pertaining specially to marketing and the specific influence it has over the elements of customer-based brand equity. The literature review will include two main parts. First it will seek to define ethics and the elements that play a role in its influence. While the second part will seek to identify the solutions to the major underlying reasons behind consumer attitudes towards unethical marketing behavior by businesses.
Defining business ethicsOne of the cross-cultural studies of consumer perceptions about marketing ethics states: “of all the business functions, marketing probably receives the most scrutiny, generates the most controversy, and faces the most criticism about ethics” (Mohammed, et.al, 1999). Ethics, as a rule, have a tight association with values. Payne and Pressley point out that: “Any discussion of ethics, whether general or business, must begin with the concept of values, which can be defined in different ways” (2013).
Despite the fact that these qualities may change in the definition for diverse organizations, abusing them can be reasonably called unethical conduct. In addition, the authors feature that “Making moral or moral judgments implies that the decision-maker is worried about the ethical rightness or misleading quality of the choice, as opposed to the legitimateness of the choice” (Payne and Pressley 2013).This implies that when taking a gander at unethical marketing conduct, it should be remembered that for instance despite the fact that specific systems may not really be unlawful fundamentally, all things considered, they can be viewed as unethical. For instance, numerous pricing policies may frequently be lawfully supported; although some of them can expressly damage unwritten rules of trust and transparency. In such a case, if fairness (despite the fact that they are subjective) is threatened, they will, in any case, be viewed as unethical.Continuing with the point of ethics’ nature, recently research presents us such an idea as good law rather than a legitimate law. The fundamental worries of these studies – is the issue or right choice being or not being in accordance with the letter of the law. Truth be told, following the law isn’t something a man can do or not do by his own choice (Preston, 2010).
A few authors concur that promoting ethics arise from business ethics as an augmentation. Specialists regard that “Brinkman (2002) gave both a more extensive meaning of ethics and additionally a more narrowly focused definition of marketing ethics” (Brinkman, 2002, as referred to in Payne and Pressley, 2013). The authors say that as indicated by Brinkman: “showcasing ethics is an augmentation of the essential definition of ethics.” Later they clarify that Brinkman’s “classification of promoting ethics bolsters the suggestion that general business ethics are a reasonable base for building a solitary advertising ethics code that everybody in the fields of showcasing could use” (2002, as referred to in Payne and Pressley, 2013).
Others say “Dishonest exercises make a negative perspective of business as well as influence corporate productivity, colleague connections, work execution, and employment fulfillment.” (Keith, et.al., 2008) Although, in spite of conceivable contention of being more experienced, “expansive firms are more probable than medium estimated firms to have encountered location of transgressions”. (Gazley et al.
, 2015) Following this rationale, Payne and Pressley (2013) infer that among organizations, such a term as ethics can have an all-inclusive definition. They express that “a solitary code of ethics for all business experts, including promoting experts, is sensible and might be a decent answer for those experts defied with moral problems.” (Payne and Pressley 2013). There is additionally an alternate conclusion on plausibility of a solitary code of ethics in an association. A few creators bring up that “While our outcomes affirm the significance of these codes of ethics and the need them in the organization, they additionally uncover that codes of ethics in themselves are lacking to make a solid moral” (Lavorata, 2007) On the other hand, the restricting perspective stays within reach. Talking about the issue from the point of view decency it has been noticed that “Moral standards restrict misdirection, as well, and furthermore other out of line acts. Shamefulness is a troublesome idea” (Preston, 2010). Proceeding with the subject, Preston depicts ethics as “not controls in a similar sense that lawful limitations are.
They are neither consistently nor formally settled upon by all individuals from society, nor can the guilty parties of moral standards be endorsed or rebuffed as by law.”(2010) Nevertheless, for this proposal specifically, the exchange implies that presenting the members to an exploitative conduct situation can have validity if every one of the members of an example is presented to similar ethics contention situation. Moreover, the decision about universalizability of business ethics’ definition suggest that slighting different variables (e.g. such 11 as culture, affectability towards ethics and so on.
), every one of the members of an example who qualify displayed conduct as exploitative, can be tried for their response towards the brand. As such, plausibility to sum up business ethics tends to the issue of subjectivity of ethics definition. Researchers nonetheless, likewise present such ideas as good nearsightedness. As per the definition it is: “a bending of good vision, going from foolishness to close visual impairment, which influences a person’s view of a moral quandary” (Drumwright and Murphy, 2004).
They continue with saying that this nearsightedness influences the issues of ethical quality to end up more obscure and undefinable. Particularly now and again it can influence purchaser to begin overlooking and not seeing the issue issues by any stretch of the imagination. (2004) Therefore, presenting customers to moral situation in the postulation should represent subjectivity of this idea. However, “as future business officials and representatives, the moral perspectives held by understudies will affect corporate culture.
” (Keith, et.al., 2008)Defining Brand EquityBrand equity – is the term, which these days gets very a lot of consideration.
Specialists, despite the fact that alluding to the comparative thing, has very a wide range of meanings of it. There has been maintained two most powerful models of brand equity. One of the viewpoints to observe brand equity – is as a consumer-based point of view. This viewpoint centers on the investigation of the impact made by customer recognition and conduct models on definite purchasing choice (Keller, 2003; Kotler and Keller, 2007, as referred to in Ruzeviciute and Ruzevicius, 2010). Taking a gander at the models specifically, however, there are a few conceivable ways to deal with customer-based brand equity.One model was outlined by Aaker (1996). It included ten measures and was isolated into five classes. Four components were identified with Consumer-Based Brand Equity and the fifth classification was estimating execution specifically (1996, as referred to in Oliveira-Castro, et.
al.,2008). Keller contended however that Brand Equity is overwhelmingly in view of customer learning about the brand. In his model, he presented additionally such components as Brand Awareness and Brand Image.
Brand Awareness identifies with clients’ acknowledgment of the brand and brand review. Brand Image, in its term hints in the affiliations the clients have with the brand (1993 as referred to in Oliveira-Castro, et.al.,2008). As to Brand Equity ownership, it merits seeing that normally, the Brand values of firms intermittently can be altogether different (Wang and Fin, 2014).Trying to concoct a thorough meaning of Brand Equity raise a progression of examination: “Brand Equity, as characterized by Keller, happens when a brand is known and has some solid, great and one of a kind relationship in a purchaser’s memory” (1993, as referred to in Pope et. al, 2008) Later the specialists feature that the model created by Keller see constructing a solid brand as four separate advances (Pope, et.
al. 2008) They continue giving careful consideration at the way that “These means, thusly, comprise six brand building squares – Salience, Performance, Imagery, Judgments, Feelings, and Resonance.” (Pope, et.
al. 2008) Therefore, in this specific research specifically, Keller’s model will be utilized, because of its lucidity and division into exact components of Brand Equity and separate levels for them (Figure 1,).”From “Strategic Brand Management: Building, Measuring, and Managing Brand Equity” by Kevin Lane Keller. © Pearson Education Limited 2013.” (as cited in Mind Tools Ltd, 1996-2016)Continuing with the investigation of Keller’s model itself (Pope, et. Al.) see that the Model overlooks those components, which identify with supporting administrations (2008). Be that as it may, Keller himself, portraying the Model in 2001 said supporting administrations being a piece of the Brand Equity components delineated in the Pyramid.
To be specific, it was said in the challenge of such a component as Judgment (2001). Plus, Pope et. al. alludes to show examine which endeavors recognizing Brand Equity and raises a comparable clarification as Keller brought. Specifically, Pope et.
al. say: “Correspondingly, Thompson et al. (1998) recognize other Brand Attributes related to the modern buying process. Once more, huge numbers of these are predictable with Keller’s image significance develop, however traits, for example, Technical Capability, Delivery unwavering quality, and responsiveness are not included.”(Pope, 2008) Overall, however, Branding is definitely not a basic procedure and it requires much time and hierarchical endeavors.
(Ruzeviciute and Ruzevicius, 2010) As an exhibition of this intricacy, examine includes discoveries of the effect of Brand Equity components on the monetary execution of an association. These discoveries demonstrated that Brand Loyalty has one of the minimal consequences for monetary execution of an association and it is an exponential factor of Brand Quality and Brand Awareness. Thus, with a specific end goal to enhance steadfastness, an organization must get to a specific level of mindfulness and quality.
(Aydin and Ulengin, 2015) Discussing settlement of Brand Equity, it was called attention to that “In endeavoring to make solid Brand Equity, an organization ought to be keen on surveying the level of Customer Brand Reliance. The brand quality relies upon the view of clients. Fulfilled and faithful clients demonstrate a positive view of the brand”. (Ari and Natarajan, 2011)LITERATURE REVIEWIntroductionThe extent to which an business enterprise can be held to be ethical is related to its capacity to create an ethical environment internally in its contributors’ relationships with each other and with the organization itself, while also externally in organizational members’ relationships with others. Codes of ethics are extensively understood to act as a mechanism facilitating and enforcing ethical behaviors inside enterprises.
The practice of business ethics in widespread and of ethics inside the marketing research feature especially has attracted significant interest both from the general public and from experts (Malhotra, Miller, 1998). Many studies have focused on the significance of business ethics within the activities of businesses, with the purpose of learning the real inclinations in business and organizational environments of performing and behaving in accordance with specific norms and standards that could generate an ethical business setting, proper relational interplay among actors concerned, and positive results for the stakeholders concerned. The entire realm of ethics and, inside this realm, of what constitutes an ethical business setting, is one wherein there is differing opinion. Ethics is the study of what contributes appropriate and inappropriate behavior, which includes related actions and values (Barry, 1979). Similarly, Thompson (2005) defines ethics as the study of right and wrong; of the ethical choices human beings make and the manner wherein they try to justify them. Ethics is concerned with details of certain choices made and the ?goodness or badness said choices in terms of the results of these choices (Chonko, 1995). business ethics exists as a subfield of ethics. business ethics additionally exists inside the context of a selection of commercial enterprise disciplines, most significantly management because the base business discipline that most business ethics experts relate with.
there’s additionally promotional ethics and within this subfield marketing research ethics exists as a smaller strand of research drawing from each ethics and business ethics within the specific context of organizational activities regarding marketing research. consequently, each of these strands could be thought to be in the realm of applied ethics. there has been an exponential rising public concern regarding business ethics (Brenkert, 2008; Chryssides, Kaler, 1996; Sligo, Stirton, 1998) and additionally an growing incidence of codes of ethics (Murphy, 1995; Ziegenfuss, Martinson, 2002) (variously defined as codes of conduct, ethical codes, corporate ethical codes, codes of practice). That marketing research practitioner ethics is probably a fruitful site of exploration turns into fact whilst one considers that marketing research is a key activity inside commercial enterprises for generating positive effects in terms of income and earnings.
Defining code of ethicsLove for money and the desire to meet the highest expectations of your managers as well as being dead serious to meet your company’s deadlines can lead you to perform unethical decisions in your work/business life. Nkundabanyanga, S. K., Omagor, C., Mpamizo, B., & Ntayi, J.
M. (2011) discuss in their article that if a salesman, company or anyone is blinded by their love for money they will be more than willing to commit unethical acts for the sake of rewards. In addition, regardless of the initial method, they will definitely resort to other acts as well, and find justifications without considering company’s brand image, consumer loyalty etc. Their study also argues that the pressure received from the top management to meet deadlines and other goals to reach adds more to the motive of committing numerous acts of unethical marketing. The authors mentioned as well that if managerial control is improved, the unethical actions get much more minimized. The study argues that companies should employ staff with good working experience in marketing profession, and without a fail there should be continuous staff screenings on their corporate behavior in the previous years. Literature on codes of ethics focuses specially on organizational / corporate codes of ethics (Pajo, McGhee, 2003).
diverse tries to outline a code of ethics were made (Berenbeim, 1988; Hosmer, 1991; Stevens, 1994). Yet, there’s a insufficient exposure in to what precisely a code of ethics should be composed of, and there may be confusion between a code of ethics and various ethics documentation that incorporate ethical standards (Pearce, David, 1987; Schwartz, 1999; Stevens, 1994). Codes of ethics can be variously defined as codes of behavior, codes of practice, moral codes, company ethical codes, ethical standards, business behavior, codes of professional behavior, working standards and so forth (Fisher, 2001; Marnburg, 2000; Schlegelmilch, Houston, referred to in Schwartz, 1998). Schwartz (1999) shows that it’s quite very a task to isolate a code of ethics from a plethora of documents that offer ethical pointers and standards together with a code of conduct or a code of practice.
He offers an intensive evaluation of numerous ethics documents and identifies that “…a code of ethics could also be a code of conduct, code of practice, corporate credo, or even a values statement”(p. 20). Various definitions of a code of ethics were supplied within the literature, which includes the following:In the Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics (Chadwick, 1998) “those bundles of intentional or behavioral requirements that members of a profession or other group must comply with in order to remain part of the group”(p.528). Melrose-Woodman and Kverndal (1976; cited in Schlegelmilch, Houston, 1989) “…a statement setting down corporate principles, ethics, rules or conduct, codes of practice or company philosophy concerning responsibility to employees, shareholders, consumers the environment or any other aspects of society external to the company? (p. 11). Berenbeim (1988: 91, cited in Schwartz, 1999) “…a major vehicle for stating ethical principles.” (p.
91). A written code of ethics is defined by Hosmer (1991: 185) to be “…a statement of the norms and beliefs of an organization … is an attempt to set the moral standards of the firm.”Stevens (1994: 64) identifies the code of ethics to be “…
written documents or statements ranging from five to fifty pages … which are intended to impact employee behavior … within codes companies attempt to manage and articulate ethics through these messages which are designed for both internal and external audiences … they are managerial tools for shaping change. They often demand from employees higher standards of behavior than required by law.”Schwartz (2002: 28): “A corporate code of ethics is a written, distinct, formal document which consists of moral standards used to guide employee or corporate behavior.”The above list defines code of ethics from an organizational or corporate perspective. However, it is important to note that when defining code of ethics, experts have clearly identified a distinction between what a corporate code ethics should be defined as and what a professional code of ethics should be defined as. As suggested by Tucker, Stathakopolous and Patti (1999), only a limited number of studies focus on codes of ethics of professional associations. Regardless of the reality that businesses and professional institutions have unique desires and targets, the developed codes of ethics serve a similar motive, that of making and generating ethical behavior (Oliver, Kearins, McGhee, 2005). moreover, as stated before, codes of ethics are recognized by way of specific names, which include codes of professional behavior, codes of conduct and operating standards (Schlegelmilch, Houston, 1989).
Following on from Steven’s (1994) proposition that differences among organizational codes of ethics and expert codes “frequently end up blurred and once in a while overlap? (p. 64), this paper, in keeping with definitions above, the phrase ‘codes of ethics’ is used whilst discussing organizational codes of ethics and / or expert codes of practice / behavior. For most of these reasons, the code of ethics’ definition proposed on this paper is the following: ‘A code of ethics is a written record that contains ethical suggestions and standards, and is designed to guide employee / practitioner behavior’.What is it used for?within the advertising research industry especially, it’s gradually becoming apparent that there’s increasingly more of a need to comprehend and practice certain standards and guidelines in an effort to guarantee ethical behavior, to make certain industry consistency concerning appropriate and unacceptable practices, and to preserve credibility with the general public upon whose goodwill the industry relies upon (Peterson, 1996). marketing research institutions have designed codes of ethics to be observed by their contributors (including the American marketing association code of ethics, European Society for Opinion and marketing research code of ethics, etc.
). Research investigating the usage of codes of ethics in marketing research corporations is scarce. Little research looks at ethical codes – organizational and / or professional codes – and their function in developing an ethical environment in advertising and marketing research companies (Ferrell, Skinner, 1988; Hunt et al., 1984; Segal, Giacobbe, 2007). Although this may be the case, the significant majority of this research deals with simply the theoretical application of codes of ethics. One such research outlines the precise ethical issues confronted when advertising and marketing researchers practitioners in their interactions with both respondents and customers, together with research integrity, treating external customers justly, and confidentiality (Hunt et al., 1984). The research tries to look at the boundaries to which the professional codes of conduct define predominant ethical issues of marketing researchers.
The technique used is to examine the content material of the codes of ethics, to see whether they encompass recommendations relating to the highlighted ethical problems. The challenge of this research information is that it does not deal with how professional codes of behavior are implemented and carried out in marketing research institutions, providing only a content evaluation of codes. Ferrell, Hartline and McDaniel (1998) examine the presence, enforcement and recognition of codes of ethics in the three primary sorts of members concerned in advertising and marketing research: research departments, advertising and marketing research corporations, and data subcontractors. The research indicates that marketing research companies and data subcontractors have a tendency to own and put in force internal codes of ethics, and are privy to and put in force external codes to a greater volume than company research departments. In a more recent research done, Segal and Giacobbe (2007) take a look at the Australian advertising and marketing research industry and advocate to discover the most important elements that make a contribution to unethical marketing research practices in Australia. mind-set and behavior of senior management coupled with a scarcity of private values appear to be the significant key elements contributing to unethical behavior; further, the shortage of popularity and enforcement of formal codes of ethics seems to be a key issue.
The research, however, does no longer offer ethical problems Australian marketing practitioners are dealing with and / or how they come at a decision when encountering an ethical quandary in creating and handing over marketing research services. As referred to before, their research indicates that loss of reputation and enforcement of a formal code of marketing studies ethics is thought to be key to unethical behavior. A better know-how of the code of ethics’ implementation method and different variables that could have an effect on the researchers’ behavior as a result becomes crucial (Segal, Giacobbe, 2007). Laczniak, G. R., ; Murphy, P. E.(1991) Discuss about The Contingency Model a model developed by Ferrell and Gresham that states in addition to the usual factors that already influence ethical decision.
They suggested two major intervening issues: the opportunity to engage in potentially unethical action and the relative influence (can be positive or negative). He states that if contact with peers is great, especially with the top management then the likelihood of performing an unethical decision is minimized as the influence from those peers or top management is sheer in size. Another model discussed is The Reasoned Action Model and it states that a manager or anyone should approach the decision from a calculative perspective, and in advance should calculate all kinds of risks involved in the process of such marketing decision. Is it still effective?The growing use of corporate ethical codes is acknowledged within the literature, however there are worries that a code may be just an tool in a organization’s image control (Marnburg, 2000). even though there may be no scarcity of instructional literature on codes of ethics’ use, focus and enforcement, there may be very few on how powerful a code is in guiding ethical behavior. Kaptein and Schwartz (2008) recognized a fairly small variety of research (79) analyzing the behavioral outcomes of codes of ethics, research that produced conflicting effects. further, within the literature there seems to be no settlement as to how beneficial and effective codes of ethics are (Grundstein-Amado, 2001; Valentine, Barnett, 2002, 2003; Weller, 1988; Wotruba, Chonko, Loe, 2001). Cleek and Leonard (1998) additionally look at whether or not codes of ethics are effective in representing ethical behavior.
much like Marnburg’s (2000) findings, their studies outcomes suggest that codes of ethics aren’t influential in figuring out someone’s ethical choice-making behavior. numerous articles deal with the nature of the connection between codes of ethics and human behavior. Schwartz (2001) examines the connection between company codes of ethics and said behavior, interviewing fifty-seven personnel, managers, and ethics officials from four comparatively big Canadian organizations. in contrast to Marnburg (2000) and Cleek and Leonard (1998), the outcomes endorse that codes of ethics are a possible element influencing the behavior of company agents. the writer outlines eight metaphors (or topics) which emerged from the interview statistics, and which give an explanation for the function of codes in influencing behavior.Schwartz shows that codes can doubtlessly have an effect on behavior in a selection of fashions as recognized by the diverse metaphors.
however, he admits that codes of ethics and their affect on behavior ought to be studied further extensively. despite the fact that the research’s preliminary subject was to examine the codes of ethics’ impact on behavior and the way they make a difference, more explanation is required. the connection between codes of ethics and organizational context interest several different authors too. Somers (2001) analyses the connection among codes of ethics, worker behavior and organizational values. mainly, the connection between codes of ethics and personnel’ attitudes and behavior is tested. The results indicate that the presence of codes of ethics became related to less perceived wrongdoing within the company, however no longer with an elevated propensity to record discovered unethical behavior.
It’s cited that potential studies centered on clarifying the scale of the context wherein ethical codes function and on gaining knowledge on the methods embedded in this context appears to be fairly appropriate. The research undertaken through Fisher (2001), analyzing the usage of codes of ethics in British companies, displays the concept that codes of ethics make a contribution to a loss of private ethical obligation on the part of employees. Codes of ethics undermine or question private integrity and codes of behavior limit and restrict the improvement of wider loyalties. Lee and Yoshihara (1997) studied the ethical behavior of Korean and Japanese commercial enterprise executives; their research has further discovered that codes of ethics are an crucial element in enhancing ethical requirements, even though no longer as vital as business executives’ own values. Similarly, Glenn and Van loo’s (1993) examination has proven that codes of ethics seem like much less influential than the personal’s robust personal value system. It’s advised that assistance for codes is declining. In comparison, codes of ethics are recognized as an essential aspect in generating ethical behavior. It’s quite far but unclear how powerful a code of ethics is in handling ethical problems and making ethical choices when it is required.
As a result, an in-depth evaluation of codes of ethics’ effectiveness seems to be necessary so as to offer a better know-how of what constructs and generates ethical behavior.ConclusionFor the motive of this paper an intensive literature survey was carried out with the intention to study codes of ethics’ use and effectiveness within the business surroundings. diverse definitions of a code of ethics were supplemented within the literature. Codes of ethics are variously defined and recognized with the aid of various names (e.g. code of conduct, code of practice, ethical guidelines, business conduct, operating principles). The literature indicates that there may be a degree of misunderstanding between a code of ethics and other ethical documentation and a shortage of clarity surrounding what a code of ethics comprises.
A boundary is made between corporate codes of ethics (i.e. advanced with the aid of businesses) and professional codes of ethics (i.e. developed through expert institutions) albeit those phrases are used interchangeably by means of businesses and in instructional literature. A code of ethics is defined within this paper as a written and formal record that consists of ethical pointers to be observed by personnel/practitioners and is designed to support their behavior and conduct. Codes of ethics are customary everywhere around the globe – even though more present within the U.S.
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