Marketing Ethics

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Social Responsibility and Ethics in Marketing
M Mohamed Labbai* Abstract This Paper explains the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Ethics in Marketing and Identifies and Analyses the points such as 1) To what extent the academicians in the B-Schools are imparting to their budding marketing managers, the importance of Social responsibility and Ethics in their marketing subject or as a separate course. 2) How far the practicing marketing managers in India giving importance to the ethical aspects and 3) To what extent MNCs operating in the developing countries like India taking care of the ethical and social responsibility aspects while operating their business. Keywords: Conflict, Stakeholders, Corporate Citizenship, Ethnic marketing, Green marketing, Social marketing, Ethical Values. Introduction There is a growing trend among academicians and professionals (Indian Marketers and MNCs operating in India started realizing the importance of CSR and ethics in marketing and their role in conducting the business which takes care of the society’s interest at the same time optimizing the profit of their organizations. Corporate social responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large”. Here society meaning customers and people at large. It is an expression used to describe what some see as a company’s obligation to be sensitive to the needs of all the stakeholders in its business operations. A company’s stakeholders are all those who are influenced by, or can be influenced by, or can influence, a company’s decisions and actions. These can include (but are not limited to): employees, customers, suppliers, community organizations, subsidiaries and affiliates, joint venture partners, local neighborhoods, investors and shareholders (or a sole owner), Government and Media as per the Diagram-1. A variety of terms are used – sometimes interchangeably – to talk about corporate social responsibility (CSR): business ethics, corporate citizenship, corporate accountability, sustainability. In its simplest terms it is: “what you do, how you do it, and when and what you say. Social responsibility and ethics are blended together and applied in various discipline of management such as HR, Finance, computer etc. Here the author is concentrating on CSR and marketing ethics and its impact on the society.

PGDM (IIMC), Assistant Professor, VIT - Business School, VIT University, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.


Part I – Social Responsibility, Ethics & Marketing

Local Community Organization Governments

Owners Consumer advocates




Competitors Special Interest Groups Employees Media


Source: Freeman Edward R (1984)
Literature Review When we start talking about Social Responsibility or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Ethics in marketing the marketer needs to know the concepts of Corporate Social Responsibility, how is it applicable in the field of marketing and ethical conflicts faced by the marketers, the concepts of Consumerism, Social responsibility and ethics in Marketing. The Natural Environment, Green Marketing, Cause Related Marketing, Social Marketing, Ethnic Marketing and its relationships in Marketing Ethics. In the following paragraphs the author explains about each aspect in length. As Weeden has noted, the relationship for social marketers has shifted from begging to partnering (Weeden 1998, p. 14). However, this shift is not without its perils for both sides. Businesses find that venturing into social enterprise can pose important risks to the firm's reputation when it is found to step over ethical bounds (Sarner and Anderson 1996). At the same time, non-profits organizations have found...
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