An Empirical Evaluation of the Effect of Peer and Managerial Ethical Behaviors and the Ethical Predispositions of Prospective Advertising Employees

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advertising ethics, advertising firm's ethical culture, employees' comfort levels, employees' ethical behavioral intentions, manager ethical behavior, peer ethical behavior


An advertising firm's ethical culture (as defined by the firm's managerial and peer ethical behaviors) may affect the employees' comfort levels and ethical behaviors. In this research, scenarios were used to describe advertising firms with various ethical cultures. Respondents' perceived comfort levels in working for the firms described in the scenarios and the respondents' behavioral intentions when faced with various advertising situations were assessed. Results of the study indicate that peer ethical behavior exerts a strong influence on the comfort or discomfort level and the ethical behavioral intentions of potential advertising employees. Further, the strong influence exerted by peers seems to transcend the ethical behavior of the manager and carry over to the attitude toward the entire corporate advertising environment. This study provides insights for firms and researchers interested in assessing the impact of an advertising firm's ethical culture on potential employees.

Recommended Citation

Keith, Nancy K., Charles E. Pettijohn, and Melissa S. Burnett. "An empirical evaluation of the effect of peer and managerial ethical behaviors and the ethical predispositions of prospective advertising employees." Journal of Business Ethics 48, no. 3 (2003): 251-265.

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