Sales Ethics Is an Oxymoron

Topics: Ethics, Sales, Business ethics Pages: 5 (1861 words) Published: August 15, 2012
It has said that Sales Ethics is an oxymoron. Do you agree? Discuss this statement. Oxymoron is defined as a figure of speech which enforces terms which may seem contradictory. Are sales ethics controversy? Business Ethics describes the moral content of behaviour practiced within a certain organisation (Hair, J. F, Anderson, R. A, Mehta, R, and Babin, B. J.) It is the study of how people with business relationships react when they face a particular situation with moral consequences. Trust is a major factor concerning business ethics. Conversely, Sales management ethics is the specific component of business ethics that deals with ethically managing the sales function as sales manager’s priorities is to supervise the relationship bonded between the customer and a salesperson by ensuring that the relationship between the customer and salesperson is an honest one. Making the right decision can be very difficult for instance a majority of people would agree that honesty is an important ethical principle. Take in consideration an honest salesperson that have to meet ends of a looming end of month quota and is required to close one big deal to avoid falling short of the number. Will that salesperson fall short or will he or she undertake measures which may be unethical to reach those numbers. Sales Ethics provide aid in helping to shape a beneficial outcome for the concerning parties and stakeholders. Are salespeople more unethical than anyone else? It is proven that Sales managers and salespeople are not more likely to engage in unethical practices than are people with other marketing and management jobs. In reference to (Gene R. Laczniak and Patrick E. Murphy) significant questions are needed to be answered before taking action: is it legal? Will it infringe any regulations or laws enforced by the organisation? Does it contradict moral obligations that are specific to a certain organisation body? It is not always simple to act ethical and to oblige with the regulations denoted by the organisation. ‘It is possible to teach ethics and ethical behaviour; however can these be learnt and be easily enforced within an organisation?’ You either are or are not (Isn't Business Ethics an Oxymoron? 2008) Hence, some agree that sales ethics is an oxymoron. Acting ethical can be extremely expensive; one of an organisation’s main goals is to maximise profits; if they do not meet breakeven equilibrium point whereby profits equal to costs of production; a loss is incurred dispelling them to be unfit to compete in the market. The organisation making a loss would go bankrupt and would have insufficient capital to fund any operational circumstance unless they borrow the capital from banks which can be very risky depending on the organisation’s liquidity. Striving for a 100% in ethical commitment and regulations in order to be valid is impossible to achieve. Another aim of an organisation is to minimise costs as much as possible, acting ethical may increase costs of production creating a challenge for the company as a whole. When Salespeople are poised with the challenges that may seem impossible to achieve, giving up is the first response. On the other hand, it is not negative to strive for perfection in ethical standards; however to demand a 100% can sometimes bring about an opposite; an uncharted cause of actions that may apply pressure on the employees and stakeholders which may result in a destructive consequence.

Additionally; research conveyed that age is positively related to ethical behaviour among sales managers; older sales managers tend to make more ethical decisions and relatively high levels of relativism are associated with less ethical decision making among sales managers. Relativism demonstrates the process whereby an individual reaches moral decisions based on their actions they view to be acceptable when they provided a particular scenario. On the other hand, relatively high levels of idealism are associated with a lower...
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