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Title: Marketing self : negotiating moral conflict in the profession
Author: Opitz, Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 0302
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
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Consumers and society are becoming increasingly sensitised to corporate scandals and rejective of brands and products that suggest unethical business and marketing practice. To prevent corporate image loss and financial damage, academic marketing ethics research is concerned with the development of predominantly generic moral standards and prescriptive ethics codes to avoid moral conflict between stakeholder interests. However, these codes have yet found little application in marketing practice. The thesis focuses on this perceived gap between marketing theory and practice by arguing for an academic deficit of knowledge in marketing thought. Marketing thought is how marketers' make sense of their professional reality and negotiate moral conflict. For that matter, the thesis is based on the premise that an improved understanding of marketing thought provides the foundation for developing applied marketing ethics that generate a positive image for the profession as well as the corporations that marketing serves. To that effect, its investigation is believed to be mutually beneficial for marketing ethics academia and practice. Divergent from most conventional marketing ethics research, the thesis' empirical investigation is a qualitative, interactive and in-depth exploration of the individual marketing professional. Interviews provide insight into how actual marketing thought is manifested in the way individual marketers narrate and explain their daily professional decision making and negotiation of potential moral conflict. For credibility and viability, the analysis of interview data is informed by concepts of cognitive moral neutralisation theory that originate from criminological literature. In lieu of their great potential for the research of human's self-understanding and explanations of behaviour, as yet, they have not found previous empirical application in academic research of marketing ethics and the marketing-self. The key contribution of the thesis to existing marketing knowledge is the conceptualisation of the Professionals' Dyadic Self-Defence Strategy framework. The framework demonstrates that professionals' denial of experiencing moral conflict is based on a complex dyadic, as extrinsic and intrinsic self-defence strategy. Activated, the defence manifests in marketers' contextual constructs of effective ideologies to explain and justify one's professional behaviour to others and the self. The investigation's identification of ideologies show marketers' propensity to negotiate their responsibility for rather than the morality of their professional actions' outcome. The extended on knowledge of marketing thought is discussed by providing specific long-term and short-term vistas for development in academic as well as applied marketing ethics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available