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Journal cover: European Journal of Marketing

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Online from: 1967

Subject Area: Marketing

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Determinants and consequences of ethical behaviour: an empirical study of salespeople

Document Information:
Title:Determinants and consequences of ethical behaviour: an empirical study of salespeople
Author(s):Sergio Román, (Marketing Department, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain), José Luis Munuera, (Marketing Department, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain)
Citation:Sergio Román, José Luis Munuera, (2005) "Determinants and consequences of ethical behaviour: an empirical study of salespeople", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 39 Iss: 5/6, pp.473 - 495
Keywords:Business ethics, Financial services, Sales force
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/03090560510590674 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The main purpose of this research is to gain a clearer understanding of several key determinants and consequences of the ethical behaviour of salespeople.

Design/methodology/approach – Questionnaires were administered during regularly scheduled meetings to a total of 280 financial services salespeople. The salespeople questioned were mainly specializing in selling high-involvement financial products (e.g. mortgages, life insurance) to final consumers.

Findings – Results suggest that method of compensation and control system (CS) are important determinants of ethical behaviour. Age (AGE) also proves to be a significant antecedent of ethical behaviour. However, education (EDU) is not significantly related to ethical behaviour. Additionally, a salesperson's ethical behaviour leads to lower levels of role conflict-intersender and higher levels of job satisfaction, but not higher performance.

Research limitations/implications – To improve generalization of the findings, future research should broaden the sample by including a variety of industries. Likewise, the use of longitudinal data could provide new insights into the antecedents and consequences of ethical behaviour of salespeople and in particular the relationship with performance. Continuing research is needed to further analyse the relationship between ethical behaviour and other relevant behaviours that may take place during the interaction with the customer (e.g. organisational citizenship behaviours and customer orientation).

Practical implications – This research is, to our knowledge, the first study that simultaneously identifies and analyses several key antecedents and consequences of the ethical behaviour of salespeople.

Originality/value – This study adds to the literature by reducing the existing gap and showing companies insights into how to foster ethical sales behaviour and the positive consequences that this behaviour has on their salespeople.

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